Ahead of our LCFMA17 MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear catwalk show on Friday 6 January (watch it live streamed here), Peng Tai, whose work will feature in the show, talked to us about his final collection, the highlights of his time at LCF, and what his plans for the future are, as part of this year’s MA Graduate Spotlight Series.
My final collection… is about the relationship between men and clothing. I was thinking about the issue of fast fashion – everybody throws their clothes away and they don’t cherish their garments anymore, not like before when you had your garments for a long time and then gradually the garment became a symbol of you. As time goes by, clothes become carriers – of traces, memories emotions and they become a reflection of the man wearing them – this is what I wanted to talk about in my final project.
In terms of the design I transformed the pattern into the human body as my initial idea and I have spent the past year and a half developing this. I used natural fabric in my collection because it has the closest relationship with people – all of the garments are made from 100% organic cotton with linen and wool. I spent a lot of time developing and hand-finishing the garments, because I think that when you do something by hand, you will at the same time inject your emotion into the garment and you will feel the warmness in it.
Before my MA… I did the FDT Graduate Diploma at LCF before going on to the MA. Before that I studied womenswear in Taiwan.
I chose MA Menswear at LCF… because I want to design garments that I can wear. MA degrees in the UK are very short, so I wanted to take the diploma as well as the MA, because it kind of acts as a first year of MA. I’m also really interested in pattern cutting and sewing techniques and LCF’s MA in menswear is famous in this area – this is why I chose LCF. I no longer wanted to create dramatic pieces, I wanted to create something wearable but also interesting – a garment has to work functionally.
My top three tips for prospective students… Know the direction you want to go in. Work as hard as you can. Think about the future.
The thing I enjoyed most… was working in the studio. The working environment is nice – people help each other like a family.
The most challenging thing… is that the course is intense – it’s a long journey and you have to keep pushing yourself to achieve your goal. The schedule is really tight, especially for menswear when you have to do lots of development and finishing of the garments in every unit.
The best thing about being in London… lot of things are going on in London – people are open minded and you get to learn and experience a different perspective. It’s an energetic city and you can keep refreshing every single day.
My work in five words… organic, hand crafts, nature, sense of time, warmth.
My biggest inspiration… in terms of designers, Yoji Yamamoto, Comme des Garcons and Margiela inspire me most, because you can see that they care about every detail and the finishing of their garments. Even if they look ‘weird’ or different, their clothes are still something you can wear and this is the thing I want to tell in my work too.
After my MA… I plan to go to Paris to do an internship and I would like to be a member of an atelier team. I have done internships in Italy and in the UK so I want to go somewhere else to see what it’s like there. I prefer to work as a pattern cutter to start with rather than a designer. I think the MA at LCF has helped me a lot because I learnt new techniques and have been able to practice pattern cutting for a whole year.