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Class of 2016: BA Womenswear, Embroidery and Jewellery on the Catwalk

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Published date 03 June 2016

The LCFBA16 Catwalk show opens the BA16 season of events to celebrate this year’s graduating students. 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 here.

Working together, Gayane Arzumanova from BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear, Beth Wilson from BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery and Yui Jiang from BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery, have combined their very different skills and expertise to create their Class of 2016 collections that will be appearing at the show. Yui, Beth and Gayane spoke to LCF news to tell us about their work, their time at LCF and offer their advice to future womenswear, embroidery and jewellery students.

Womenswear by Gayane. Textiles by Beth. Jewellery by Yui. Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips.

Womenswear by Gayane. Textiles by Beth. Jewellery by Yui. Photographer: James Rees, Creative Direction: Rob Phillips.

Talk us through your final project…

Yui: My contemporary jewellery collection expresses spiritual connection in a playful way. It draws attention to being wary of the force of the wind, and shows the dialogue between natural and artificial aesthetics.

Beth: Heat manipulation is a huge factor in both my personal collection and my press show collection.

Gayane: My graduate collection has a strong textile influence – the shapes and silhouettes revealed from collages are exaggerated, with minimal details. I have developed the illusion of stone texture using leather melting techniques. My team and I have achieved the creation of a transient moment, and the illusion of thickness and softness.

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

Yui: Each piece uses a different technique. It’s a combination of technology and traditional crafts, for example, the marble mask is 3D printed plaster marble, and the Jade hair clip is hand carved.

Beth: I’m in love with experimental fabric manipulation – I love taking an ordinary surface and creating something brand new and totally unique. The techniques I used to create my final pieces were very painstaking and long, the prep for a few samples took around six hours alone before any material even hit the sewing machine. The prep that went into the final jacket involved heat manipulation of faux leather, using a heat gun and stretching it out to create a new surface texture, cutting into roughly 1cm strips and then using applique to create the final product.

Gayane: Our textile collaborator Beth found amazing leather melting techniques. While researching fabric we realised that there are only three or four types of faux leather in London that we were able to melt to achieve the desired look. We ended up with different samples from the UK and Moscow.

Beth Wilson, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery

Beth Wilson, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery

Describe your work in a few words…

Yui: Beauty, silence, life and movement.

Beth: Experimental, contrasting, tactile, detailed, dark.

Gayane: Modern, gigantism, purity, weird, sharp.

What do you love about what you do?

Yui: It lets my imagination turn into a physical form – each project has it’s own story behind it.

Beth: I love that it’s mine – I don’t think that there’s anything similar to it out there in the industry yet, so I’m excited to push it as far as I can. I want to use my technique to create beautiful, unique pieces of work.

Gayane: I love the first steps of the process, when you are researching related topics in the library, getting lost and ending up with the new ideas, but my real passion is drawing. Through it I get closer to the object I am researching. When I get the feel of a topic through drawing, my work takes form.

What’s the best thing about LCF and your course?

Yui: LCF and my course are very open and great places to express creativity. I also love that we are able to move around and collaborate with different fields – I found this amazing.

Beth: The best thing about LCF is that it’s all over London! I mean, don’t get me wrong, it can get exhausting travelling between campuses, but overall they’re in great places and offer amazing opportunities that no other university can. For example, Lime Grove has Goldhawk Road, the absolute go-to for pretty much any fabrics you may need and for reasonable prices as well. Then JPS of course has Oxford Circus and is a short walk from Soho, where you will find your more luxury fabric stores. Aside from the location, the tutors and staff are also great. It’s easy to tell that they are as passionate about your work as you are and this gives you a real extra energy to keep pushing. As for my course, I loved the freedom. I was originally on the FdA Fashion Design Technology course but transferred to the BA to complete my final year, which is when the unbelievable amount of freedom came. This can be good if you have the passion and the drive behind your concept and the strong technical skills to achieve amazing things.

Gayane: One of the best things about LCF is the method of teaching. The system kind of tells you that the work you have done is never enough, so you need to go and research more! It is very different to the study methods at Moscow University. My fellow students were the best part of the course – everyone is very talented and inspirational and you can make new friends from around the world, get inspiration from different cultures and collaborate on amazing projects.

Yui Jiang BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery

Yui Jiang BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery

Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF?

Yui: I had a placement at Noemi Klein Jewellery. I found this placement through the LCF careers team. I learned a lot from it – in particular about the business side of jewellery and how to run a brand. It gave me a picture of what I could be in the future.

Beth: I found various work placements on fashionworkie.com, which is a great place to find placements. There’s a lot of  LCF/UAL alumni on there so they really understand the position that you’re in.

Gayane: My first internship was at JUDY WU, and my second internship was at Isa Arfen. It was important for me to work with quite small brands to discover all the levels of the industry. I saw people dealing with both the business aspect and the creative aspects, which was great.

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

Yui: Be passionate and confident about what you are doing, and you enjoy your life – you’re at LCF!

Beth: Find a good balance – to achieve your goals you can’t be lazy, but you also need to know when you deserve and need a decent night’s sleep! Don’t take no for an answer, the design world is a difficult one and you’re not going to be able to please everyone, some things might go great for you and some might go horrifically wrong. I failed my bridging course before my BA, meaning that I wouldn’t be given a place on the course unless I passed my resubmission. It was extremely demotivating and disappointing, but I had to fight back and I had to prove that I was good enough for the course. Looking back at the experience now, I believe that it gave me that extra fire, the extra desire and drive to achieve my goals. Going from failing my bridging course to successfully graduating from my BA with my work featuring at LCF BA16 show, is a great feeling.

Gayane: The Womenswear course will teach you to look deeper and wider – it gives you an opportunity to improve in drawing and sewing, and there are endless possibilities to how you can create.

Gayane BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear

Gayane BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear