Class of 2017: BA (Hons) Fashion Photography with Federica Mungo
Next up on LCF BA17 is BA (Hons) Fashion Photography graduate Federica Mungo from the tiny Italian city of Rieti in central Italy. Federica explored the struggle young people in her home country are currently experiencing as the economic crisis continues to cripple millions. Read her full Class of 2017 interview below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the moment you knew you wanted to study fashion?
When I ‘discovered’ photography I was still attending high school in Italy. One day, my dad came home and gave me as a present, it was my first ever camera, a Nikon D750. I started shooting my family and my city, and from that moment I never stopped.
Talk us through your final project…
My final project is called Closes The Circle; about my life in London as a Photography student. It is a reflection on my country, Italy, and its possibilities and the struggle young people experience trying to make their way there, due to the high levels of unemployment, poverty, and indifference. It is a photographic series made of two parts: one based in London, representing a series of young Italians that moved to pursue their dreams, and the other one in Italy, which represents the Italian youth trying to find their space in the country. Everything is styled with different knitwear designer garments – in fact, the project initially started off as a research on Italian knitwear… which definitely went far!
What is the story behind your final piece of work?
My final piece of work is a series of prints and a book. In fact, I structured the final outcome as if I was curating my own exhibition. As a young fashion image-maker, I think it is important to claim the relevance of fashion images as independent works of art, and not only in magazines as fillers. The book is going to be my own exhibition catalog.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
I researched the relevance of Fashion Photography in a contemporary art environment. I linked the ideas of theorists like Bourdieu on taste to prove and justify that fashion photography can be considered a form of ‘fine art’. On the otherside, I researched the Italian social and economic situation, and on the immigration of young people abroad, with a specific focus on London. Everything was shot with my Nikon D800 and a point and shoot film camera (I wanted the series to look varied as much as youth is).
Have you won any prizes?
Yes, first place for the CPL Aromas competition.
Have you been in the media?
I was in an article of young photographers in Italies most known newspaper, La Republica.
Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? Where and how did you secure this work experience or placement?
Yes, I interned twice during my three years, once during my second year and again in my final year, until March. I attended workshops given by LCF, which taught us how to write a CV and Cover Letter. I researched every photographer in London I wanted to work with, and I sent lots of emails.
Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?
Yes, I went to a brilliant class with Walter Hugo, a London-based artist. He also gave us a highly interesting workshop on salt-print.
Describe your work and aesthetic in five words…
Naive, female, sexy, colourful and young.
Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?
I consider my mother my muse. I owe my aesthetic completely to her, as well as my first approach to fashion. But I never really take pictures of her – she hates being photographed.
What influences your style and work?
The news, both in fashion and in the world. I think that you have to be aware of what’s going on around you to produce work that has a contemporary relevance. Again, both from a fashion point of view and in general.
What are your plans for the future?
How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve this?
When I was accepted to LCF, I was a young Italian province girl who loved taking pictures. LCF taught me structure, method, and awareness to my way of working. The city of London did the rest.
Have you heard that LCF is moving to east London? What do you think about the move?
I think that having all of the courses coming together is a really interesting idea. I never really met people from courses that were based on sites far from mine. And I personally find east London much more stimulating than west London.
What music do you listen to whilst you’re working? Is there one particular track or artist that you like?
My twin brother always keeps me updated on indie music news. I always have an updated playlist from him which I put in the loop when editing.
What do you think Brexit means for the fashion industry and studying in London?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but I think that what makes London absolutely unique is its diversity, which is a massive inspiration for every creative mind, in every field. Creating borders and barriers means putting a limit on the exchange of ideas too. I think that every industry that wants to keep an “avant garde ” style will be damaged by Brexit, fashion included.
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