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Graduate Spotlight: MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear student Alexandru Tunsu

LCF_MA16_Alexandru Tunsu
LCF_MA16_Alexandru Tunsu
Written by
Josh De Souza Crook
Published date
15 February 2016

MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear designer Alexandru Tunsu will be showcasing his final collection at this Thursday’s LCFMA16 Womenswear Catwalk which will be live streamed at 7pmGMT. The event sees ten womenswear designers from this year’s cohort present their collections to an industry audience and press.

LCF News has been talking to the selected students ahead of the show to find out there inspirations, postgraduate experience and plans for the future.

LCF_MA16_Alexandru Tunsu

MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear designer Alexandru Tunsu will be showcasing his final collection at this Thursday’s LCFMA16 Womenswear Catwalk live stream. Photography by Felix Cooper and styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen.

Tell us about your final collection? 

The collection is called “Massacre of the Innocents”. Its based on the prevalent idea about the death of couture taken from a literal perspective. I focused on how I imagined clothing afterlife to look like, and the different forms a clothing item would take throughout its “life”. This cycle of life follows birth, death and its afterlife existence as a spiritual being. I focused on how garments evolve alongside us by creating their own history, while still maintaining their constant connection with the wearer.
I created my own fabric by fraying different types of cloth (cotton, polyester and silk) to take it to its primordial form. I then thread all the clothes together, recreating the base fabric for the finished products, obtaining a ghost-like version of the initial cloth. Though quite aggressive in concept and approach, the end result is more ethereal and peaceful.

Where did you prior to your MA at LCF?

I did my BA Fashion Design in Bucharest, Romania, it was mostly fashion design in performance art. It was mix of fashion, fine art and performance in one. It was quite an informative experience as I originally came from a mathematics and science background. It felt more like an experiment and changed my perspective towards fashion, I began to see how complex the whole thing was. Nonetheless, it helped me a lot, especially when I started at LCF because the course is mostly based on technology and creative pattern cutting, and my prior experience kept a balance between the different facets of fashion. My BA really helped me with the skills needed to adjust to MA Womenswear.

Reflecting back on your MA, and thinking of any prospective students thinking about starting an MA, what would be your top three tips/bits of advice would you give to them? 

Be opened-minded, but try to be self-sufficient and honest throughout the entire process.
Be prepared to leave certain preconceptions about your work behind and grow a thicker skin.
Oh, and everything is very expensive in London, so be prepared for that. But try to avoid getting stuck in the same place or group of people and constantly be looking into making new connections.

Why did you choose LCF and MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear

I had a friend that studied at LCF, I heard it was very different compared to my BA, it was so technology based and this was something I was already interested in. I listened to my friends advice and applied after she told me about her final year. It felt natural applying here as I was already familiar with the process and already had expectations. As I had more of a creative and textile-based approach to my design work, I felt that this experience would be a great counter-balance, by focusing on pattern and the technology behind it. I always wanted to study in London, applying to LCF was like my chosen instinct.

What have you found the most enjoyable and interesting parts of the course? And what have you found the most challenging? 

Our MA group was amazing! I was expecting everyone to be aggressive, defensive and competitive – instead we worked really well together. Its been great bouncing off each other, trying to push each other and help everyone develop ideas. We all worked towards improving ourselves, it was great working with Nigel Luck, he’s an amazing person, in every stage of the collection. He pushed us really hard, and its was so helpful, he’s definitely helped me and most people get to where they are. Its really nice to have some fresh eyes looking at your collection from a different perspective. The technicians and Nigel all have great experience in the industry, this has been really helpful throughout the course.

The open-minded part of the course has been really challenging, I get very attached to every aspect of the garment so its been difficult leaving or changing parts as I’m very stubborn. I want to be involved in everything from illustrations to manufacturing, so its difficult letting ideas go, but its made me more aware of how things work and not getting too involved in things. As I am usually self-sufficient and sometimes self-indulgent, it was difficult at first owning that and accepting them as crucial assets to my creative process.

What’s been your favourite thing about studying in London?

London is such a great place to live and work, its so lively and full of creative people. You get inspired in every aspect of London, even little things like going to the supermarket. There’s so many events and places you can go to get inspired. But probably my favourite thing would be the cultural mix, despite the delusional acts against it, as it makes London unique, special and dynamic.

Have you won any prizes?

Apart from the ones that I won during my BA, I was awarded two scholarships for this course at LCF, the Harold Tillman Award and the Fashion Matters scholarship. Both have really helped me during my studies.

Work experience or placements? 

I did an internship in June with Alexander McQueen, it was an incredible experience. It was the most enjoyable but easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It helped me so much, the collection we did was done in such a short time and I learnt so much. It was nice seeing the process, and how hands-on they are. It was a four month internship but it felt like two years!

Describe your style in five words…

Sensitive, Poetic, Intuitive, Rebellious, Unpredictable

What are your future plans and do you think the course helped you realise these plans?

The course has helped me be a bit more pragmatic and honest to myself. It also gave me the opportunity to cherish and develop my skills. I reached the point where I can easily tackle any kind of task and as I am mostly interested in the craft and the process of making a garment, I will look into finding a job that would fulfil those requirements.