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Introducing LCF's new public facing Cultural Programme

People looking at hanging fabrics
  • Written byLondon College of Fashion
  • Published date 11 May 2023
People looking at hanging fabrics
Visitors during a recent LCF graduate exhibition. Photographer: © Ana Blumenkron

LCF is excited to announce that from September 2023, when it opens the doors to its new home as part of East Bank, it will offer a brand-new, free, cultural programme aiming to welcome, engage and collaborate with the public on a scale like never before in its prestigious 117-year history.

LCF’s new Cultural Programme will aim to strengthen the college’s mission to shape lives through fashion by engaging not only prospective students and their families in all the possibilities a career in fashion can offer, but local and global audiences in why the world needs creativity. LCF will be the first East Bank partner with a prominent public offer to open along the Stratford waterfront and this new Cultural Programme will be celebrating east London's artists and communities, creating exciting, unique opportunities for Londoners to visit East Bank; London’s newest cultural quarter for innovation, creativity and learning on Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

LCF's Cultural Programme will host annual seasons curated and produced in collaboration with students, staff, the local community and partners. Seasons will be free of cost and include three to five major exhibitions per year, a series of weekend and after-hours events and various pop-up moments. The programme will include existing, highly-anticipated LCF events such as the prestigious postgraduate and graduate shows as well as specially devised summer collaborations with East Bank partners; V&A East, Sadler’s Wells, UCL East and the BBC, to bring programming out of the buildings and into the public realms of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the surrounding boroughs.

Rendered image of LCF's Stratford campus
A rendering of London College of Fashion, UAL’s new building opening September 2023 in East Bank, part of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. Image © Allies and Morrison

London College of Fashion’s new home can only be a vital cultural destination if we listen to our communities, both internally and externally, to inform our programming and create experiences that resonate, connect and are relevant on a local, national and international platform. Through our programming we aim to create a space at East Bank known for tackling issues around fashion innovation and sustainability. Our new public spaces and content informed by our world-leading research teams and collaborative partners, will allow visitors to freely explore these topics first-hand, and discover the immeasurable ways that creativity can change the world.” - Tamsin Ace, Head of Cultural Programming, London College of Fashion, UAL

“East Bank is our capital’s biggest single investment in culture and education for over a century and it is fantastic to see the Mayor’s vision come to life as our world-class institutions bring thousands of jobs to the area and opportunities for young and emerging creative talent. London is a leading fashion capital, and we rely on the talent and creativity produced by our leading fashion colleges. London College of Fashion’s new home will be a step-change, bringing more than 6,500 students to this inspiring building on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and growing the next generation of creatives. What better way to celebrate this milestone than with this fantastic cultural programme of free events for Londoners and visitors to enjoy." - Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor of London for Culture and Creative Industries

Young people dancing on building
Young people from east London perform at a large-scale outdoor performance fusing dance, music, spoken word and film commissioned and produced by East Bank Partners: University College London, UAL's London College of Fashion, V&A East, BBC Music and Sadler’s Wells East. Photographer: © Anthony Jones, Getty

Beginning on 6 September 2023, the programme currently includes -

Designed for Life

6 September 2023 – 19 January 2024

Through mixed media, this inaugural exhibition will celebrate decades of work by LCF research, outreach and engagement teams using fashion and design to demonstrate how creativity and fashion can change the world. Through textile, film, photography, artefact and personal case studies, Designed for Life will highlight the many ways in which design and fashion can build community cohesion, create high-quality artistic content, offer employment and training opportunities and support people who are dealing with displacement and seeking safety to build a new future. Supplementing the show will be a series of events led by East London Art Prize shortlisted artists Alaa Alsaraji, Sophie Cunningham, and Woo Jin Joo critically examining the idea of the institution as a civic space, practices of the fashion industry, and the relationships between storytelling, sustainability, and making. Further details on featured exhibition objects and artists are to be released in summer 2023.

LCF Sampled

From September 2023

LCF Sampled is a monthly talks programme where a range of experts, thinkers and influencers share their knowledge with students, staff and the public. LCF Sampled will range from short talks, performances, readings and soapbox moments with no event being the same!

LCF Fashion Undressed

10 November (5pm-9pm) and 11 November (12pm-6pm) 2023

As a new reoccurring festival programme, LCF Fashion Undressed will invite audiences to delve deeper into ideas and themes around fashion and design. The inaugural LCF Fashion Undressed will be in partnership with LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion in-line with the 15th anniversary of the start of their ground-breaking work. This first event will ask the question, ‘What is the future of fashion?’ No matter whether a novice or expert, there’s something for everyone during this weekend of workshops, performances, keynotes, panel discussions and socials focused on the biggest challenges and opportunities in fashion.

2024 Graduate Shows and Exhibition

February 2024 and summer 2024

Each year London College of Fashion hosts its annual undergraduate and postgraduate shows featuring work from its three world-leading design, communication and business schools to demonstrate how LCF students look beyond the traditional notions of fashion to imagine new and exciting possibilities. These prestigious events comprised of runways, showrooms, activations, talks and more will now be hosted at LCF’s East Bank Campus, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the future of fashion like never before. Postgraduate 2024, February 2024. Undergraduate 2024, summer 2024. Exact dates to be announced in due course.

Making More Mischief

Spring 2024

Making More Mischief is the sequel to the highly successful Making Mischief: Folk Costume in Britain, currently open at Compton Verney in Warwickshire. As part of the same National Lottery Heritage Fund supported project, Making More Mischief builds on the themes of examining the central role played by costume in local and seasonal folk customs, but through a distinctly London lens. Represented through stories, objects and items ranging from the Pearly Kings and Queens to Notting Hill Carnival and through never-before-seen installations from collaborations with Numbi Arts and Pxssy Palace, Making More Mischief will uncover folk customs in Britain and reflect the rich tapestry of the people who bring them to life. The exhibition is generously supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and is curated by Simon Costin and Mellany Robinson of the Museum of British Folklore, and Amy de la Haye of London College of Fashion, UAL. Further details to be released in winter 2023.

LCF After Dark

From spring 2024

LCF After Dark will be a series of after-hours events complimenting LCF’s major programming. Taking place exclusively in the evenings, these events will be a unique opportunity to hear from collectives, research centres and further explore a theme or idea directly related to the wider programme's key themes. The first LCF After Dark will be a celebration of British folk dress exploring the ideas of identity, costume and ephemeral clothing. Expect DJs, poetry, inspirational thinkers and Pearly Kings and Queens.

Model on catwalk wearing wide shoulder jacket
Design by MA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) 2023 student Min-Ji Kim on the runway. Photographer: © Ana Blumenkron