Class of 2016: BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Andrew Ko
The LCFBA16 Catwalk show opens the BA16 season of events celebrating this year’s graduating cohort. The catwalk will showcase 35 designers who have have collaborated on 17 different collections. You can watch the live stream show at 7pm GMT on Monday 6 June.
Over the coming week LCF News will be speaking to the designers involved in each collection. Next up is South Korean BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student (Kwangman) Andrew Ko. The designer draws inspiration from vintage garments, styles and art. After picking up an old Japanese fashion book from east London’s Broadway Market, he was instantly inspired and knew what he wanted to create for this final collection. Combining vintage Japanese country side fashion, with the experience he gained while interning at MCQ Alexander McQueen, Celine and Stella McCartney, Andrew created a collection using 3D draping.
Find out about Andrew’s inspiration, style and placement year below.
Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
My wardrobe is 90% second hand garments and 10% brand new clothes.
Talk us through your final collection…
When I was walking down Broadway Market (where I live), I popped into an art bookshop and found a 1980s Japanese photo book called, HIGH FASHION IN JAPANESE COUNTRY SIDE. The book really fascinated me, this was when I started developing my idea of using traditional Japanese fabric divider for my final collection. All the pieces are totally from new patterns, the design approach consists of 3D draping, using completely new patterns. I wanted to create a collection that was unique as I’m truly interested in constructing garments, shoes and accessories by myself.
What do you love about what you do?
Exploring new designs! My course is pretty commercial and less crazy than womenswear for example. But from my first year, I’ve been creating new pattern shapes, experimenting and studying with it.
What is the story behind your final piece of work?
During the toile process, I made all of them as beautifully and seriously as I could during the practice stage so I was ready for the final pieces. Luckily I had a friend who recently completed her BA and is now studying an MA in design. She helped me to top-stitch the straps as my collection requires thousands of top-stitched straps. It was a real struggle getting the top-stitches dead straight and equal, it was very important for my pieces as they make a real statement about my collection.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
I used a new fastening approach with straps, which means there are no zips and buttons. I literally only used straps and loops.
What’s the best thing about LCF?
LCF has 6 campuses in London, which I think are fantastic. All courses are separated, yet concentrated. That means this college is all about fashion and well-divided.
What’s the best thing about your course?
I really enjoyed going on a year long placement.
Have you undertaken a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this placement?
I did! I was at MCQ Alexander McQueen for 8 months, where my boss was trying to help me get into another place that I really wanted to work at. I was lucky enough to get an intern position with Celine thanks to womenswear designers at McQueen. I worked in Celine’s 3D design studio for three months, where my boss suggested I should apply for a position at Stella McCartney after my contract ran out.
My final placement that was year was in Stella McCartney’s accessories design department, where I interned for another three months. It was fantastic learning how they work with Phoebe Philo and Stella McCartney, because I always wanted to know and learn from them. I was so honoured to work those big three companies and gain the both experience and connection.
What did you learn on your placement?
I’ve learnt how high-end garments are made and where the inspiration comes from. Celine sent me to their archive to collect the stuff they needed, the room was jaw-dropping. More importantly, I learnt how they communicate and work with through the season.
Describe your work in five words…
Dark, new avant-garde, timeless, fierce and serious.
Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?
Vivienne Westwood! She is iconic and knows what she’s doing until her hair turned grey. I want to work in design until I’m not able to work anymore.
What inspires you?
Vintage! Vintage films, garments, photographs, anything vintage. Maybe I should clarify what is vintage for me, anything before the turn of the century, so until 1990s.
Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?
Working in one of the four fashion capitals (London, New York, Paris and Milan) as a senior designer in a fashion house.
How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
Keep updating us with new opportunities even after graduation.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
Don’t see or try to replicate someone else’s work, make what you want to. But do it with a creative mind, that’s very important.
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