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Class of 2016: BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery

Written by Josh De Souza Crook
Published date 22 May 2016

BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery teaches the design of contemporary fashion jewellery and students are encouraged to create experimental collections. The outcomes are always creatively spectacular pieces inspired by a variety of things.

Next in our Class of 2016 series are Jewellery students Yui Jiang from China and Ching-Hui Yang from Taiwan, who drew inspiration from cult-classic film American Beauty and societies attitude towards disabilities.

The pair discuss their final projects, jewellery and time at London College of Fashion for LCFBA16.

Ching-Hui Yang's final collection. Photo credit: Steven Chuan-Shun Huang. Model: Jay Walker.

Ching-Hui Yang’s final collection. Photo credit: Steven Chuan-Shun Huang. Model: Jay Walker.

Give us one interesting fact about yourself…

Yui: I love exploring.

Ching-Hui: I am eager to explore different materials, skills and methods to challenge the boundaries of what defines jewellery. I always get a lot of inspiration from investigating people. I am interested in focusing on the relationship between body, object and the absence of an object. For me, jewellery design can be a new way to explore new methods of relating awareness of the body and emotion.

Talk us through your final project…

Yui: My contemporary jewellery collection expresses the connection on a spiritual level in a playful way. It warns viewers to be wary of the force of natural wind. It also shows the dialogue between nature and artificial aesthetics.

The final work of Yui Chang.

The final work of Yui Jiang for LCFBA16.

Ching-Hui: My final project explores the social attitude towards physical disability and personal appearance. The process of psychosocial adjustment following an acquired disability has been viewed as a sequence of stages (Fortier & Wanlass, 1984), similar to those experienced during the grief associated with one’s imminent death or the loss of a loved one (Kubler- Ross, 1969). Whether people do or don’t have a disability, they may face the same six stages such as denial, anger, bargain, depression, shame and acceptance, when people experience a significant life-changing event. For my project, I wanted to explore psychosocial adjustment among people with acquired disabilities, and translate their feelings into a jewellery collection which could stimulate people to empathise with their experience and embrace diversity.

What do you love about what you do?

Yui: Because it lets my imagination run wild and each project has it own story behind it.

Ching-Hui: The desire and thought that goes into jewellery design fascinates me. I get a lot of inspiration from human emotion and behaviour, I think jewellery can be a way of communicating emotion between people. I can deepen my understanding of design and development through an abundance of primary and secondary research. I like to challenge boundaries of what defines jewellery through my design.

What is the story behind your final piece of work?

Yui: I got my inspiration from the American Beauty plastic bag scene. A quote from that famous scene touched me, “This bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That’s the day I realised that there was this entire life behind things.” We don’t notice the normal things around us that are beautiful, I want to give these things a new life and show them through my work.

Ching-Hui: My aunt had polio as a child and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair. She told me it took a long time for her to get used to this impairment and to accept her appearance. That’s why I wanted to explore how people felt or how others felt towards them after acquiring disability.

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

Yui: Each piece is different technically. I’ve used various combinations of technology and traditional crafts. For example, the marble mask is 3D Printed plaster marble, the Jade hair clip is hand craved.

Ching-Hui: While working on my final major project, ‘I’m Perfect’, I became addicted to 3D printing which affects almost every aspect of our industry and personal lives. Design has already irreversibly changed. Digital artists are creating magnificent pieces that seem almost impossible to have been made by traditional methods. Every design could be possible through this type technology. However, I believe traditional methods and high technologies are not dramatically opposed, they could be complementarity. For me, finding the balance could be a trend in the future.

What’s the best thing about LCF?

Yui: LCF is very open and a great place to express my creativity. Also were able to move around or collaborate in different fields which I find amazing.

Ching-Hui: You can meet a lot of creative people from different course across LCF, and get a lot of inspiration from them.

What’s the best thing about BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery?

Ching-Hui: The tutors always help me to challenge the definition of fashion jewellery, and expand my horizons of fashion jewellery. The role of a modern jeweller is not knowing how to develop an aesthetic into a technology, or how you wear something – instead it is posing serious questions and issues which include critical motivations and interactions. For me, jewellery is like a media that connects body, object and the absence of an object. I can always discuss jewellery and problem solving with technicians.

The final work of Yui Jiang for LCFBA16.

The final work of Yui Jiang for LCFBA16.

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

Yui: Yes, I secured a placement at Noemi Klein Jewellery. I found this placement via LCF Careers Team.

Ching-Hui: Yes! We secured internships during term three in second year, and I worked for the Sarah Angold Studio.

What did you learn on your work placement?

Yui: I learnt a lot about the business side of jewellery and how to run the brand. It showed me what I could be in the future.

Ching-Hui: From this experience I learnt that jewellery design is not solely preoccupied with designing highly expensive items, but also focuses on how to use the correct materials and techniques in order to develop a wide range of commercial jewellery collections, based on different inspirations.

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

Ching-Hui: I was inspired by a Tom Davies’ lecture. I was really attracted to his concept of working with unique materials which are used in their bespoke frames. I was very intrigued by the craftsmanship involved in their design process and the methods they use in their collections.

The final work of Yui Jiang for LCFBA16.

The final work of Yui Jiang for LCFBA16.

Describe your work in five words…

Yui: Beauty, silence, life and movement.

Ching-Hui: Contemporary exploration of emotions and empathy.

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

Ching-Hui: Iris Van Herpen has always been my muse because I like to explore new methods of relating awareness to the body. She stands for a mutuality between craftsmanship and innovation in technique and materials. She forces fashion to the extreme contradiction between beauty and regeneration.

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

Yui: Collaborating with different people to explore more of my creativities, then join the famous Maison Martin Margiela house.

Ching-Hui: I want to get more work experience in the fashion industry to learn how to run a studio. After that I hope to have my own jewellery studio.

Ching-Hui Yang's final collection. Photo credit: Steven Chuan-Shun Huang. Model: Jay Walker.

Ching-Hui Yang’s final collection. Photo credit: Steven Chuan-Shun Huang. Model: Jay Walker.

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

Yui: Developing my creatives and enriching my knowledge in a more professional level.

Ching-Hui: Throughout the course I have gained a considerable amount of experience in creating and designing jewellery or fashion accessories. They encourage students to challenge the boundaries of new materials, processes, technologies and design methodologies. I would like to deepen my understanding of design and expand the range of materials that could be used to create jewellery in the future.

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

Yui: Be passionate and confident about what you are doing on this course. And you enjoy your life in LCF!

Ching-Hui: Enjoy it and show your passion for fashion jewellery.