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Class of 2016: BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Joseph Standish


Written by
Josh De Souza Crook
Published date
31 May 2016

The LCFBA16 Catwalk show opens the BA16 season of events to celebrate 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.

First up is BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Joseph Standish, who created a collection as a backlash to high-end fashion not being relatable to normal people. Originally from Wolverhampton, Joseph grew up with Japanese cartoons and traditional men from the Midlands who’ve had the same denim jackets for nearly five decades. He drew inspiration from his background and life in London, but also wanted to create a humanised collection to go against high-end fashion. Read his story below.


BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Joseph Standish. Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ové, Beauty: Kirsty Gaston

Give us one interesting fact about yourself…

I have never told a lie.

Talk us through your final piece…

I think high end fashion can be very esoteric and difficult for people to relate to, I tried to portray my personal frustration with the widespread use of industry standard models and represent a wider image of beauty. The end result is 3D sculptures I guess, but they just happen to be wearable. I wanted to push myself with the materials and media I used in my collection.

What do you love about what you do?

Being able to work on my garments as I do my drawings collaging onto of pieces as you would a painting, giving the pieces a life of their own.
Appreciating how fashion relates to other elements of life, the relationship between clothes and who wears them.

What is the story behind your final piece of work?

Just a bunch of guys being goobers, creating characters that I felt were more real. Characters who drink beer, who don’t have bad tattoos, hopefully humanising the collection more than a couture dress, its more encompassing. If I could do more, I’d create everyone. I think people are so interesting, and that’s why I wanted to create people.

What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?

I find seasonal fashion un-relatable when I’m interested in Dragon Ball Z and live above a kebab shop, I can only make what I know so I just used this to my advantage. I treated my garments as drawings, and used the same materials on both. I wanted to design pieces similar to a Katy Grannan’s photography, a sculpture you can look at and see a story behind.

What’s the best thing about LCF?

The opportunity to development of my professional career. I really believe that what you put in is what you’ll get out, and there is a lot to get involved with.

Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ové, Beauty: Kirsty Gaston

BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Joseph Standish. Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ové, Beauty: Kirsty Gaston

What’s the best thing about BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development?

Having the opportunity to express my designs creatively, whilst also getting an insight into how the industry works. I also appreciated learning how to address the balance between artistic licence and the real demands of a consumer market.

Have you won any prizes?

River Island internship during my second year.

Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this work experience or placement?

ADIDAS, I applied online! I really enjoyed the experience, their design team have a really amazing ethos and they really encourage their employees to design what they feel is the next step not just on a computer, or answer to next seasons trends.

What did you learn on your work experience/placement?

I’ve worked in a few places and I learnt how important it is to voice your opinion. A lot of companies are grateful for ideas and I believe everyone has the capacity to develop something amazing. The other thing is how smaller companies can work within the industry, understanding how to market a brand is the key to its success. The necessity for smaller fashion design companies to be willing to work on a wider spectrum of design in the current climate. I think it is important to work across several different media platforms to establish a brand. People are looking for a lifestyle not a t-shirt!

Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?

BJ Cunningham when I first started at London College of Fashion. We had a talk with the Dean who spoke about seizing opportunities and that there will always be someone who will if you don’t. I held this advice throughout my four years at LCF,  I think its one of my favourite pieces of advice.

Describe your work in five words…

Sculptural, collage, fun, mistakes and lads.

Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?

I drew a lot of inspiration from people, the bloke in the pub or the builder with his backside out. I’ve never really been drawn to the idea of celebrities, it’s my dad and his mates I’m trying to design for. Outside of fashion, George Condo is one of my favourite artists, I also really like the work of photographers Katy Grannan and Pieter Hugo.

Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ové, Beauty: Kirsty Gaston

BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development student Joseph Standish. Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips, Hair: Ezana Ové, Beauty: Kirsty Gaston

What inspires you?

I really enjoy drawing, I think its an incredible method of expression and I appreciate when this freedom is used across different artistic formats such as anime, comic books and the visual arts in general. Worn garments are my biggest inspiration, seeing an old boy who has had the same jacket for fifty years is amazing. How garments can be changed by their wearer really fascinates me. Denim is a really amazing fabric for this. If people had a stronger symbiotic relationship with garments it would change the way people relate to fashion, and create a more sustainable and honest reaction to fast fashion. I think if you spoke to most people they’d talk about their favourite pieces being an old hand-me-down jacket or a pair of shoes they can’t bare to throw away, this connection is what I’m interested in understanding.

Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?

I want to create big and bolder pieces. I’m looking to really develop my ideas further, I think it is a great foundation to build on. Ultimately I would love to get involved with a denim company and have access to their archives. But I think it is also a great time for young designers to develop something new within art as a whole, I guess you just have to hope that someone is listening.

How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve your plans?

LCF has a great history with designers and there is a lot of support for alumni to work with. I think taking advantage of these avenues to develop my own brand is the next goal.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?

Just to make something you want to make! I think it’s a real shame when someone has an amazing idea and it becomes toned down by the end of it. I would also say it is very important to draw every day.