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Class of 2014: Sihua Ariel Chen

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Published date
21 June 2014
Image from BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery student Sihua Ariel Chen's final collection

Image from BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery student Sihua Ariel Chen’s final collection

Our BA Design Exhibition runs until Sunday 22nd June. This is your chance to see the wealth of design talent coming out of LCF.  As part of our Class of 2014 series we are featuring students whose work is on display at the exhibition. Here we talk to BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery student Sihua Ariel Chen about her final collection, experience of studying at LCF and advice for future students.

LCF: What have you enjoyed most about studying at LCF?
Sihua Ariel Chen: Being a fashion school with so many fashion related specialist courses there is a huge array of facilities available to be used. I like the fact we get to collaborate with students from other courses, for instance, jewellery student working with womenswear. This is challenging but fun. Also there is so many creative international students from various countries meaning there’s a huge variety of great creative ideas and works which makes me feel humbled and encourages me to push myself more in my designs.
As for  the curriculum, I like the fact that you pretty much have the freedom to design what you want, sessions with lecturers are always helpful and it trains your self-discipline, which is an essential skill to have when you are out to work in the future.
Lastly, the huge range of books available at the library; it’s like a treasure trove, I’ve always wished I had spend much more time in them.

Have you won any prizes / been in the media / undertaken work experience?
SAC: I was the winner of SDC (Society of Dyers & Colourist) award for Singapore’s first Sustainability Competition with my collection of menswear and womenswear in 2011 right before I started 1st year in LCF, in which I then represented Singapore as Grand Finalist at SDC International Design Competition 2011 in Dec held in Hong Kong.
I did a short internship stint for Mary Katrantzou last year 2013 at their Embroidery department, it was an enriching experience.

What inspires you?
SAC: It could be anything, I don’t restrict myself, because I always felt everything around us has a potential to be turned into something fascinating and beautiful.  It could be a current event, a music video, a song, a picture or even a conversation with someone.

What is most important to you about fashion?  
SAC: To be able to express myself through my pieces and hope it will have the same impact on the wearer. Hoping that my piece  inspired them to have fun, be bold and to present their individuality through fashion.
I used to study and work in the fashion field in womenswear before coming to LCF, and some people thought it was a drastic or even an impulsive decision to study fashion jewellery, but to me, I love fashion, and I felt clothes, jewellery, accessories etc are all closely related, the passion and aesthetics are very similar. Fashion is best presented when all these worked together beautifully.

How would you sum up your graduate collection?
SAC: To it would not be possible without all the help and advice I had received from my lecturers, the sessions with them are important to me and kept me in focus, and on the right track and direction for my collection as sometimes I had too much ideas and got carried away.
Because of the freedom we had in designing our graduate collection, its really exciting to see all my fellow course mates work during submission, everyone’s style is so distinctly different in aesthetics and techniques, it’s beautiful.

What are your plans for the future? And how do you feel your course will help you?
SAC: I might consider getting a Masters in the future, but for now I would like to gain some more valuable job experiences and opportunities here or elsewhere upon graduation.
Ideally it would be great to work and be part of an amazing creative team in a big fashion houses to gain some experience and improve myself. I would also hope to work on my own brand of jewellery in the very near future. I just want to continue doing what I love, designing and making and hope people will like the pieces as much as I do,

What advice would you give someone wanting to study for a BA at LCF?
SAC: Make full use of the facilities and the technicians on site available for you, as with more knowledge and experiences of the techniques, it can help you a lot and develop your knowledge and workmanship. It is never too late to learn something new. Extra classes like workshops on illustrations  are fun and extremely helpful and beneficial for your portfolio. Last but not least, enjoy life as a student because you are going to miss it when you start working.

Photography credits
Jewellery: Sihua Ariel Chen
Photography : Raymond Tan
Make up & Hair : Se-Chun Liu
Model: Felicity Taylor