As the lights dimmed and the last guests took their seats an energetic soundtrack broke through the hubbub at The Showrooms Nicholls and Clark building, Shoreditch, and signalled the start of this year’s LCF graduate catwalk show.
The show opened with a dark and textured collection from BA Fashion and Textiles: Embroidery graduate, Nathalie Ballout. Models were paraded down the runway wearing nothing but distressed denim and woven yarn, which created nipple exposing tops. Nathalie, who has recently been awarded the #DiversityNOW People’s Choice award run by iD Magazine, used elements of up-cycling to create her unconventional, eye-catching designs, signalling a departure from traditional pattern cutting methods.
The show quickly took on a lighter tone when Louisa Pang’s simple, streamlined menswear collection broke the constraints of modern tailoring. A strictly monochrome theme ran through this collection and traditional silhouettes were given a new lease of life with additions such as biker jacket zippers and raw, un-hemmed edges.
There was a strong sense of contrast running through the show, with some designers opting for a dramatic, geometric appearance whilst others favoured a more graceful, free flowing look. However, whilst there was a clear divide in aesthetics, the technicalities remained similar. Each student demonstrated their sheer creativity and talent using complicated construction techniques and innovative design methods.
Chun Yin Mok’s oriental style sponge flip flops and white shell like garments were reminiscent of Bilbao’s Guggenheim museum. Splashes of rich jewel tones, hidden within the curves of the design, added a feeling of depth and created the illusion of a never ending garment.
Orientalism was a theme that carried through numerous collections including Bora Nam‘s which used a colour palette of neutral browns and pinks and details such as Obi belts to redefine the classic trench coat.
Overall, this year’s graduates have delivered a showcase that is as creative as it is diverse. The work on display is proof that LCF’s students have the unique ability to blend raw talent with a commercial outlook, making them all the more appealing for employers. And, if the sea of photos posted on Instagram and other social media channels is anything to go by, the collections have already achieved mass appeal.
Words by Grace Molan, BA (Hons) Fashion Journaliam
Photography (Images 1,2,3,4) Anders Birger, MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography, LCC, 2011.