We caught up with BA Womenswear student Dan He and BA Fashion Jewellery students Jordon Byron Britton and Shuangshuang Wang. Here, the three collaborating students tell us about their final catwalk collection and what has inspired them along the way.
LCF News: Where are you from?
Dan He: Originally I’m from China, but I’ve also lived in South Africa.
Shuangshuang Wang: China
Jordon Byron Britton: Bristol
LCF News: Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
DH: I have been single my whole life.
JB: I was once clinically dead after an accident.
LCF News: Talk us through your final collection…
DH: My final major project is influenced by the work of Rachel Whiteread and explores the ideas of negative space and positive form using leather and other materials. This project uses different moulding techniques, with the negative space of various objects and shapes transformed into the positive form. These positive forms of the moulded leather pieces are incorporated in the looseness and transparency of the garments, emphasizing the contrast between the constriction of the waist and the flowing, diaphanous quality of the cape-like outer section inspired by 1950s fashion.
SW: I am fascinated by images of performing “freaks” that I have discovered through my research. I was touched by their fearlessness was amazed with their uncommonly large or small body parts: awkward posture, extension bones, too much or no limbs, and twisted body shapes. Hence, I focused on unusual parts of the body as a starting point, and eventually developed some fun, modern, chic, weird inspired jewellery pieces.
JB: Throughout all areas of my work, from jewellery to floristry I am driven by the lack of understanding and care our society has when it comes to nature. This project began with research into the worrying decline in bees, an Issue that seems to be ignored. Intensive reading and studying the subject led me into an obsession of bee keeping and agriculture, giving my designs a strong bee keeping and glasshouse aesthetic.
The final pieces came about from combining the concept with the idea of funerals. I produced wearable bee smokers representing a cremation or thurible. And a collection of hats each veiled to replicate the mourning, embroidered with glasshouse designs to show the causes of the bee’s demise.
The press show collection is a much cleaner and simplified version creating a much more interesting and desirable aesthetic whilst hinting at the underlining concept.
LCF News: What do you love about what you do?
DH: The freedom of being experimental with materials and exploring different silhouettes and proportion through pattern cutting and draping.
SW: The feeling of being so into my work and being really good at it.
JB: I love the excitement each new project brings. Each new subject kick starts a new obsession for me. Millinery is also an amazing form of fashion, with very little limitations within design it’s very easy to become sculptural and conceptual.
LCF News: What is the story behind your final piece of work?
DH: Its more about the idea of exploration of space – of transforming the negative space into positive form.
SW: The acrylic material is not my first choice, I was planning on working with resin but I was in fact allergic to it! After that I chose acrylic instead, and unexpectedly it was a much better result.
JB: The story this time is a very personal one. Previously I had aimed for an informative and educational outcome but this concept touched me so much the pieces have become a representation of my mourning over our ignorance towards the bee decline.
LCF News: What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
DH: For my collection I used a leather moulding technique.
SW: I handcraft most of all my final pieces.
JB: This collection has brought about a brand new area of techniques and theories. I have worked with moulding and finishing veg tan leather and using traditional hat blocks.
LCF News: Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
DH: Yes, I was really inspired by Francois-Henri Pinault at the Kering Talk.
JB: I haven’t attended many as the silence and crowds of a lecture terrifies me. But I have attended lectures of Rob Phillip’s which are very inspirational and make you question your own views within areas of the industry. Jane Francis is also someone who is very experienced within the industry and has a vast knowledge of how the industry works and what it wants.
LCF News: Describe your work in five words…
DH: Clean, minimal, experimental, sculptural and peaceful.
SW: Light, delicate, fragile, transparent and wow.
JB: Pure, personal, honest, informative, conceptual.
LCF News: Do you have a muse?
DH: Yes, my imaginative muse, her name is An (meaning peaceful and quite).
SW: Not a muse, but I really like Korean artist G-dragon, he has a spirit of his own and I love the way he lives.
JB: Jayne Thompson. Jayne is a close friend of mine and suffers from cancer however you’d have no idea as the woman always has a painted face and some incredible outfit. Her burlesque and glamourous style of dress often inspires me. And when designing hats I always picture them on her even if I try not to.
LCF News: How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
DH: I gained valuable skill and techniques throughout the course that will definitely help me in working independently.
SW: People I met at this college helped me develop my confidence and refine my techniques. Huge love to my tutors and technicians, especially Bernadette, who supported me the most and helped me to achieve the best of myself.
JB: LCF has given me an incredible and vast knowledge of material, technique and design. Which I can now use in so many ways to fuel my creativity and create what’s in my head.
LCF News: What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
DH: Be yourself and believe in yourself.
SW: Fight for your own thoughts and stand your ground. Know what you want and make the most of it.
JB: Forget about diamonds and rubies.