The LCFBA16 catwalk is a showcase of some of the fantastic work produced by students from the graduating class of 2016, namely the design courses. There are 35 designers who have have collaborated on 17 different collections and the show is available via live stream at 7pm GMT on Monday 6 June
In the build-up to the show, we’ve been talking to the designers involved in each collection and chatted with Jaewon Sophie Kim, BA Fashion Design and Development; Fotini Handra BA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear; and Sarah Forgie, BA Fashion Textiles: Print about their design processes and what they love about LCF.
Where are you from?
Sarah: Perth, Australia
Jaewon: Seoul, South Korea
Fotini: Athens, Greece
Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
Sarah: I moved to London at the tender age of 18 to study art.
Jaewon: I love watermelons.
Fotini: I have named the mannequin I work on everyday, ‘Wilson’ and I have made him a head – with eyes, mouth and all – out of pattern paper.
Talk us through your final project
Sarah: The final project was based around gender binaries and my interpretation of research and findings conducted by myself to create artworks, drawings and textile samples which; abstractly represented what I felt is currently happening; the intertwining of characteristics that society suggest makes you masculine or feminine and how these guidelines are being entangled together; no longer in separate columns.
Jaewon: My final collection started from an interest in shape inspired by sculptures by John Chamberlain who mostly worked with crushed-car shapes, which developments were integrated into womenswear pieces.
Fotini: Despite Jaewon, Sarah and I having different starting points, we managed to establish a common aesthetic, merge ideas and develop a common way of working.
What do you love about what you do?
Sarah: I love the research, the design and production of what I’ve been doing and how broad it can be. The work can always be explored more and depending on the stage you’re at, the knowledge you have at that time and the interpretations you make, the work can be unique.
Jaewon: My main interest when designing is in colour story and being sustainable without losing the beauty of womenswear, which was also considered throughout this collection, and which I love.
Fotini: I really enjoy the process of making something from scratch. There are so many decisions in every final piece from colour and fabric to the length of the stitch. This process is quite fascinating, although there are days that I get decision overload and can’t make up my mind on the simplest thing.
What is the story behind your final piece of work?
Sarah: My project explores Carl Jung’s theory of the Anima and the Animus: the masculinity within a female and the femininity within a Male. The way in which people perceive each other has moved away from constrained gender stereotyping and better reflects the societal acceptance of each person’s right to their own individuality. Having them free of the constraints of gender binaries that serve to dictate the expected thoughts and behaviours an individual must display simply according to their birth genitalia. Although, people are all genetically assigned as being either male or female, mentally and emotionally it is not as straightforward. Each person’s unique identity which contains qualities of both masculinity and femininity, reside and work cohesively to form the identity of that individual; the ideal state of being.
Jaewon: Therefore my major interest throughout the year was to bring design inpirations to sustainable fashion and how to create contemporary pieces that are wearable and have their own aesthetics at the same time.
Fotini: The past few months have been quite intense. My work has evolved quite a lot from my initial staring point, that I feel the need to reflect on it when all this is over. I guess the process of making the pieces became more important than the initial idea behind it.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
Sarah: I used traditional screen printing processes; I wanted to make the most of the workshop and facilities we have instead of digitally printing. I incorporated several binders and print processes into a single sample as I find juxtaposing textures most interesting.
Jaewon: The shapes come from John Chamberlain’s works where parts of cars were crushed and twisted. The shapes were first developed in paper on stand by cutting, twisting, and adding volume with paper shapes. Then they were refined and developed into wearable garment details – collars and sleeves – or as decorative features for example.
Fotini: A lot of bonding and fusing fabrics and checking temperatures constantly
What’s the best thing about LCF?
Sarah: The various campuses, the library and the way they encourage independent working.
Fotini: The third floor on the Curtain road campus. And the heat press on second floor.
What’s the best thing about your courses?
Sarah: The technicians – they’re the most knowledgeable and helpful. I also love the print room.
Jaewon: Collaborations with industries and researching the right market for my designs were helpful in building ideas on my future brand and where to position in the fashion market.
Fotini: The tutors, my classmates and the technical staff at Curtain road. They save the day all the time.
Have you won any prizes?
Sarah: I’ve been nominated for TexPrint this year, and am taking part in the Press Show collaborating with Sophie Him of BA FDD and Foteini Chandra of Womenswear.
Fotini: I was awarded the Nicolas Samuel Celebratory Scholarship when starting the course. Such initiatives are very important, especially with the constant cuts in education and increase of tuition fees.
Have any of you been in the media?
Fotini: During my first year I was in a feature on ID magazine along with other LCF first year students at the time.
Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this work experience or placement?
Sarah: I did a 5 week internship at Insley & Nash, a bespoke screen printing and digital print company in south east London. I wrote and called them all within a day as I was very keen to work with them. The following day I went in for an interview with a selection of work and got hired
Jaewon: I interned with Roksanda Illincic design studio which was an opportunity I found via LCF Careers
Fotini: I did a placement term at ROKSANDA which I got via LCF careers
What did you learn on your work experience/placement?
Sarah: I was keen to apply because I wanted to learn more about the production side of printed textiles. I learnt repeat printing; recipes for devore and acid; how to print very large quantities and how to manage everything when there are deadlines
Jaewon: It was great experience in that I was able to learn generally how a design studio is run, and I was also able to assist the designers closely with surface design and embroidery which was an amazing experience! And definitely an improvement in IT skills!
Fotini: I think I got a better overview of how the different departments within a company communicate with each other and how important it is to be clear and precise with information in order to avoid mistakes.
Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
Jaewon: Christopher Raeburn! When he shared his experience on opening his brand – how a first collection’s impression could make up a strong brand, using reclaimed materials, and still is recognised for his work with parachutes.
Describe your work in five words…
Sarah: Mark-making, textural, abstract, linear, contrast.
Jaewon: Being a woman/conscious/colour fun/ready-to-wear and ready to work.
Fotini: Geometric, crushed, bonding, bonding, bonding.
Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?
Jaewon: My mum who is a busy city woman. I generally want to design clothes for the working women that would make them look beautiful.
Fotini: I don’t really believe in the concept of one single muse.
What inspires you?
Sarah: Theory inspires me, I’m more into researching processes and reading. Fine art also inspires me greatly and I’m inspired by artists like Sarah Lucas, Thomas Houseago and photographer Viviane Sassen.
Jaewon: shapes and colours – in galleries or streets
Fotini: Usually I get inspired by things I read.
Where do you want to be in your career in five years’ time?
Sarah: I’d like to have had a lot of intern experience working at several companies, not only in fashion but also in interiors and design studios. Hopefully, I would have completed an MA but I’m not sure specifically what in or where.
Jaewon: I would like to be working in different fields as a designer – designing costumes for contemporary film or writing about fashion and culture for example. And it would be amazing if I have a brand of my own.
Fotini: In a paid position relevant to my degree. Hopefully sooner than five years.
How do you think your courses and LCF will help you achieve your plans?
Sarah: Through the technical knowledge I have gained and through exposure – help is always given to those who are most keen. Although I know I need to make the most of these opportunities.
Jaewon: LCF would help you whenever you would need help from them – helpful technicians and tutors always!
Fotini: I have gained a lot of skills while on my course and a well rounded understanding of Fashion.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to study your course?
Sarah: Be open to trying and mastering all the printing processes; make the most of your time at UAL by exploring the other colleges and finally try to enjoy everything you do.
Jaewon: If you know what you want to find, the more you will get from design research to the technical parts.
Fotini: Come to school everyday.