Students from MA Fashion Curation and MA Fashion Cultures have recently collaborated with vinyl curator and pop historian Linda Mora Curtis, also an LCF alumna, to develop the latest display at the JPS vitrine: Club Minijupe. The project was originally created by Linda in 2009 as a “personal feminist brand that showcased and celebrated underrepresented female record DJs in Los Angeles, California.” Over the years, it has ended up focusing on the 1960s French Pop Yé-yé female singers, “who I also feel are deserving of attention and exposure,” as she explains.
Linda decided to bring Club Minijupe to LCF as part of the Collaborative Unit, working alongside students to create a new display that combines the idea behind her brand with an exhibit devoted to Françoise Hardy, one of the premiere Yé-yé singers. Joanna Wiltcher, from MA Fashion Curation, tells how the students experienced the process:
We worked as a team, regularly consulting Linda, who had made available her collection of record sleeves and magazines for display. Over the course of the development process, the design changed and adapted to our various ideas.
“Our first plan was to include both movement and music to the display. Trying to recreate a rotating record on a turntable, we sourced a battery powered rotating display unit sourced from a visual merchandising store. This is how we introduced movement. As for music, we thought it was important that visitors had the opportunity to hear the music being showcased. This is why we added a QR code linked to a Spotify playlist, to make it musical and immersive,” Joanna explains.
The MA Fashion Curation and MA Fashion Culture students delved into Françoise Hardy’s iconography and symbolism to bring her style and music back to life for this display, as Joanna adds: “From visual analysis of her record sleeves, some key attributes quickly emerged: the use of red, white and blue to denote 'Frenchness'; the presence of bare wood to symbolise her stripped back, acoustic style of music; and the nod to nature, particularly daisies, to affirm her natural beauty. In contrast, magazine covers and photographs showed a more fashion forward element to her style, and we also wanted to represent her as a style icon.”
Finding a way to represent France without becoming cliché was an important element of the design development.
Reflecting on the experience of being part of the Collaborative Unit, Linda mentions that she “greatly enjoyed” working alongside both MA students, highlighting Joanna’s input and commitment to the project as “positively invaluable and incredibly significant.” From an industry perspective, she strongly encourages students to take part in this type of collaborative projects, mainly because it provides them with key skills for their careers: “agility, proactivity, communication and connectivity — all attributes that are essential to solidifying their enterprise skills and preparing them for the future.”
Based on her many years of experience in the field, Linda also wants to offer a final piece of advice to those students entering the fashion and creative industries: “Have an open mind and ask questions, so you can gain as much knowledge as possible. Be humble and always remember you can learn from every single experience and person that you come into contact with. Determination and resilience go a long way. Also, NEVER give up on your goals!”
London College of Fashion, UAL postgrad students Joanna Wiltcher (MA Fashion Curation), Asena Kartal and Sarah Banon (MA Fashion Cultures) worked in collaboration with Linda Mora Curtis, founder of the Club Minijupe, to create a vitrine display dedicated to Françoise Hardy, also known as the “Yé-yé girl from Paris”. Here they discuss their inspiration and motives behind the display.
LCF x Club Minijupe
Club Minijupe. Curated by Joanna Wiltcher (MA Fashion Curation), Asena Kartal and Sarah Banon (MA Fashion Cultures). With thanks to Weslee Tsuei and Rebecca Tredget.