LCF News caught up with BA Womenswear student Genevieve Pinette and BA Textiles: Print student Lisaveta Haponenka for our Class of 2015 blog series. Lisaveta and Genevieve talk us through their catwalk collection, what inspired them and the importance of work experience to gain technical skills.
LCF News: Where are you from?
Lisaveta Haponenka: Belarus
Genevieve Pinette: Montréal, Québec, Canada
LCF News: Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
LH: I never follow rules and briefs. I always tend to adjust them according to my own way of seeing it.
GP: For a couple of years after high school, I studied in health sciences. Unlike many, I did not know from a young age that I wanted to work in fashion or any art related field. I always had a passion for fashion and design, but the idea of turning it into a career only came up when I was 19. At that point, I completely changed my career path and went from drawing molecules to drawing dresses and trousers. Before my first year at Lasalle College in Montreal I never touched a sewing machine in my life.
LCF News: Talk us through your final collection…
LH: As part of my final major project research I looked at Marc Chagall and Kazimir Malevich art, which inspired the techniques and materials I used as well as the colour proportion and composition within each look. Thanks to a lot of experimentation my flat prints based on 2d drawings have transformed into 3d shapes, which are now becoming the main feature of the collection.
GP: Without falling into the traditional costume or museum pieces I wanted to create a visual memorial to bear witness to those who are disappearing from the earth, I aimed to review and decompose some elements of the past of certain tribes in order to construct a new vision of the present, so that nothing disappears without a trace.
LCF News: What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
LH: As part of my colour studies for my final prints I was looking at Marc Chagalls stained glass. I was playing with its shine and architecture, which has led me to melting plastic pieces onto fabric, adding shine to it by applying heat transfer foil.
GP: One of the techniques I used was the use of some patterns of traditional dresses. From these patterns I created new patterns. Subsequently, the shapes and the patterns kept transforming in connection with the work of my colleague in the study of textiles. This collection is in constant evolution until the end.
LCF News: Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this work experience or placement?
LH: In my 2nd year we had to complete a compulsory work placement which we had to find ourselves. LCF Careers supported me with queries I had, from where to start my research to filling the documents.
GP: I was a studio assistant intern for Giles Deacon. LCF gives us an entire term to intern which is great as it gives us the opportunity to intern full time for a couple of weeks and take part in one of the fashion weeks.
LCF News: What did you learn on your work placement?
LH: I interned with a small London based fashion brand, where I had experienced all stages of creating a collection from A to Z . I also learnt how to research for colours/textures/materials, but the most important thing I’ve learnt is how to finish garments to a luxury standard.
GP: My main role was to work with the embroidery team to develop samples that would serve as examples for professionals during the production for the collection. From the first day I had to learn how to do high couture beading using sequins, Lurex and Swarovski crystals. I also learned several new hand-sewing techniques and embellishment techniques. Another main thing that I took away from this experience was the dedication and passion needed to succeed in the fashion industry. The hours and amount of work necessary to create a great collection is tremendous. After this placement I have even more respect for the people working in this industry.
LCF News: Describe your work in five words…
LH: Open, textural, diverse, talkative, playful.
GP: Eclectic, feminine, shameless, balanced and divisive.
LCF News: How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
LH: LCF has given me everything I need, now it’s my turn to act.
GP: LCF encourages its students to experiment, discover, and innovate, as well as pushing its students to improve their technical competences. The amount of work and the very high expectations of the tutors drives us to surpass ourselves.
LCF News: What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
LH: It is important to know and prepare the required portfolio and amount of work, but, I think it is more important to be yourself, as LCF needs unique people, who would challenge and enjoy every minute of this course.
GP: To be open minded, ready to work hard, and to never forget to do the work that pleases them and not others.