BA (Hons) Fashion Contour students have been busy in the studio at Curtain Road finishing their final projects for LCFBA16, creating innovative lingerie, intimate apparel, underwear, swimwear and structured bodywear.
As part of our Class of 2016 series, LCF News visited the studio and spoke to contour students Jade Gellard from Essex and Candice Stewart from London. Jade told us that she was inspired by the Greek myth of the Sirens, and Candice looked to the stars for her inspiration, focusing on cosmology.
Talk us through your final project
Jade: The initial inspiration for my final project was the sirens, mermaid-like creatures from Greek mythology, who lured men into the sea and to a passionate death. However, as time progressed, my research became darker and focused more on the mood of the ‘drowned man’. I honed in on the bruising that the drowned man sustains having been under water and used that to create a light to dark palette over four bodies of work, to show how the drowned man becomes more decomposed over time.
Candice: The range is called VEGA which is the name of a star and it is influenced by Sacred Geometry & Cosmology. I’ve always been inspired by the universe, so I thought it would be great to incorporate this into lingerie. The concept makes use of panelling, strapping and star-like fabrics.
What do you love about what you do?
Jade: I love that it’s a little more specialised than a typical fashion course, and it’s a huge challenge. Pattern pieces are smaller, seam allowances are halved, and it really does need to fit properly. I’m passionate about making lingerie fit beautifully but with a unique and interesting story.
Candice: I love that Contour and lingerie is precise. You have to work close to the body to get the right fit. I also like that I am free in my direction.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
Jade: I have trapped frayed organza inside two layers of tulle and mesh in order to replicate veins and damaged bodies. I have also used the Tanaka machine to pull organza fibres through the surface of parachute silk to create a bruised effect.
Candice: My designs being very surreal, I had to maintain the structure through toiling, I figured some garments needed the use of boning & interfacing.
What’s the best thing about LCF?
Jade: The creative freedom! I have never been told that an idea is too complicated, or silly, or not suitable.
Candice: LCF is full of creatives, every student is creative in their own way so it’s a nice energy to be a part of.
What’s the best thing about your course?
Jade: The opportunity to go on placements. I went to Agent Provocateur for 15 months and had the most interesting and useful time. Also the industry projects in year two are fantastic. I worked with Debenhams, La Perla and Marks & Spencer
Candice: Although we may be given briefs, we are able to have our own creative flair and I really appreciate that.
Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and what did you learn?
Jade: I was a technical assistant at Agent Provocateur, and this was secured though the help of LCF careers and an interview. I learnt about the fitting process, how to professionally communicate in the industry, the garment cycle from design to production, and so much more. It really cemented my aspirations to be a technician
Candice: I undertook some work experience with luxury womenswear designers before LCF and I learnt small but important things like how to lay and cut fabric and how to pattern cut.
Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
Jade: Christopher Raeburn was really inspiring and showed some beautiful work.
Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
Jade: I would love to be a roller derby girl and already have my name picked! Which is Klamity Jade because I’m extremely clumsy!
Candice: Apart from designing, I’m a great cook!
Describe your work in five words…
Jade: Dark, dreamy, flirty, bizarre, textural
Candice: Bespoke, srreal, cosmic, geometric, precise
Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?
Jade: The muse changes with each project. My Final Major Project work muse is ‘a drowned man’.
Candice: Yes, I can’t quite describe her, she fits the form of every inspiration.
What inspires you?
Jade: Finding pretty in the unpretty
Candice: Nature, food, colour, a lot of random things.
Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?
Jade: I would like to be a garment technologist for a popular high street lingerie brand
Candice: Have my own lingerie line.
How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
Jade: Having a lingerie design degree on my side will really make me stand out from other applicants in interviews who may have only studied fashion. LCF has such a broad spectrum of courses it is so easy to specialise and really perfect your skills in one place.
Candice: What I’ve learnt from the course and the networks I’m in.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
Jade: Really consider your sewing abilities, if you think you are up to the challenge, then stick with it! It takes some getting used to but making lingerie is really worthwhile and very satisfying.
Candice: To attend every pattern cutting lesson and technical lesson as this will show in your final year.