Today is the day! You can watch the BA15 catwalk show LIVE tonight from 7pm… Here’s another little taste of the amazing work to walk the catwalk this evening….
LCF News: Where are you from?
Natalie Hitchon: I have been living in London for the last two years whilst studying at London College of Fashion but I grew up in the village of Maresfield, East Sussex.
LCF News: Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
NH: I was the Independent Prep Schools Trampoline champion two years running in 2003 and 2004.
LCF News: Talk us through your final collection…
NH: For my graduate collection, I created a range of textile samples for womenswear and the final product was a collection of twenty knitted samples, consisting of a number of techniques and materials such as leather. My concept was heavily inspired by my London surroundings. I spent the summer leading up to the final collection taking photographs of groups of people in their everyday surroundings and looking at how people conform to a certain group through what they wear and the materials that are used to display this. I then compared and contrasted this with other cultures to give an innovative contrast to my final major project.
LCF News: What do you love about what you do?
NH: It’s the best platform for expressing my creative self.
LCF News: What’s the best thing about LCF?
NH: LCF has been great in terms of collaborating with other students in different specialities. Collaborating has been encouraged from day one and although I was originally sceptical about the idea my second year project with menswear was an eye opening experience. The other interesting aspect I am currently working on is the Negotiated Portfolio Project, which gets you industry ready by doing a project for a brand, or in my case the BA15 catwalk show.
LCF News: What’s the best thing about your course?
NH: I enjoy the freedom and autonomy to push my creative ideas to the absolute maximum.
LCF News: Have you won any prizes?
NH: In second year I was involved in a menswear collaboration project where we got the opportunity to work with MiPAC- who put a new spin on the traditional backpack. As a collaborative team our textiles were selected for production for their gold label bags. The designs and merchandise will be on sale in Liberty of London as well as internationally.
LCF News: Have you been in the media?
NH: I have recently been featured in Spindle magazine for our recent collaboration with Mi-Pac gold label AW15 Collection and have also been featured in F*ckingYoung online magazine for my second year collaboration project with Menswear which was inspired by British Identity as seen through the works of Chris Ofili and Sebastian Horsley.
LCF News: Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF?
NH: In second year I was given the opportunity to work with a small independent designer, Mark Fast. He is a favourite of mine from my experience with the British Fashion Council at London Fashion Week and being able to secure a work placement with him and his team was very exciting.
LCF News: What did you learn on your work placement?
NH: In the two months that I worked in the studio I learnt numerous elements of the design process. From sampling the vibrant colours of India for the AW14 collection to running errands to other studios and even stepping in as a model for Bora Aksu. Everyday had something new and exciting which made the internship completely absorbing – I didn’t want it to end!
LCF News: Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
NH: We have been fortunate as a Fashion Textiles group to have a number of classes with Bart Hess who explores several creative aspects through film, animation and photography in a surrealist manner. Bart Hess has been an inspiring teacher through his manipulation on the body that is an important aspect to fashion textiles and his futuristic take on film. He is a great example of an artist that pushed the boundaries of textile design.
LCF News: Describe your work in five words…
NH: Innovative, artistic , playful, detailed, versitile
LCF News: What inspires you?
NH: I am more inspired by artists and photographers than by designers. My favourite photographer is Jim Goldberg, who has been influential in a number of my projects at LCF. His work is exciting, relevant and truly graced with emotion. His imagery and poetry written alongside his photographs was a great starting point to my project.
However, I would say I am open minded as to where I get inspiration – it doesn’t always come from the same places. I enjoyed designing my final graduate collection, which was inspired by the people of London, I regularly begin my research by capturing colour whether it be a painting or something I see on the street. Anything textural with colour that inspires me I capture and record.
LCF News: Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?
NH: Hopefully in five years’ time I would have gained enough industry experience to branch out on my own and set up my own luxury brand as an independent designer. In the meantime I will try and keep developing my ideas and abilities in the industry to lay the foundations for this long-term goal.
LCF News: How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
NH: The great thing about being a student at LCF on the BA Fashion Textiles course is that it is the only course that offers both elements of design. When applying for my degree course, London College of Fashion offered this course and it was clearly the best fit for my interests and skills.
LCF News: What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
NH: There is no denying that Fashion Textiles is full-on but as a result it is extremely rewarding. It is important to get your head down and work hard right from the start. However, it makes it easier when you love what you do, the work no longer becomes a chore and evolves into more of an obsession! Therefore, my advice to any Fashion Textile student who is about to start their final graduate collection would be to choose a concept that they really love and that truly inspires them, as that will make the hard work worth the effort.