LCF Bespoke Tailoring students have collaborated with Hardy Amies and Create London, to highlight the connection between The White House in Dagenham, and the iconic British tailor Hardy Amies, who lived there as a child during the 1920s and 1930s. Theproject coincides with the opening of a n exhibition celebrating the life and work of Hardy Amies called Hardy Amies: A Dagenham Designer. The exhibition has been curated by LCF’s Professor Amy de la Haye.
Students in year 2 were required to consider ways of broadening the appeal of bespoke tailoring and how to influence this market, either through collaborations with other brands, makers or artists, or by identifying product innovations such as smart fabrics and technological development. A panel of judges chose Bowen Zhan, Misa Okamura and Akino Kitafuku’s work to be displayed as part of the exhibition.
LCF News spoke to the three students to find out more about their designs.
What inspired your designs?
Bowen: I started by doing research and what inspired me most was the innovation of Hardy Amies. Back in the 60s he was the first person to introduce the catwalk for menswear, and in the 70s he was one of the first people to use young college men in professional photo shoots, which was a way of targeting younger clients. My inspiration was very much “night sports” and I designed a menswear collection.
Misa: I also designed a menswear collection. My concept involved taking some detail from a garment designed by Hardy Amies in his early days. After that I put own aesthetic into my work – it is more focused on techniques and then I made a part of it as ready to wear items.
Akino: When I started researching Hardy Amies, it didn’t take long to find out about his early beautiful womenswear. I always admire 40s and 50s female looks, and when I saw his design, I came up with the word ‘revival’. I wanted to express both elegance and positivity. I was so pleased and felt so lucky to have this opportunity.
Bowen: I felt excited when I found out my work was going to be in the exhibition – it’s a very good opportunity for us and a great achievement – firstly because we collaborated with such an iconic, very successful, historical Savile Row brand, and then hearing about the exhibition itself made me really happy about it.
What are your plans for the future?
Bowen: I want to apply for an MA and continue my studies because what we are learning right now is very much technical but I want to move that a little bit forward, so I’m planning to apply for Creative Pattern Cutting and Garment Technology at LCF so I’ll be based at Mare Street. I want to continue my studies for another year and a half.
Misa: At the moment I am working at Savile Row as well so I’m managing uni work and work at the same time – I am doing an apprenticeship with Hunstman at Savile Row. I showed the garment I made for the Hardy Amies Collaboration and the manager really liked it and I got offered the role. Hopefully after I graduate I can get a job there.
Akino: I am working on my final year collection. I am designing and making for women’s wear again.My dream is to be a tailor in Savile Row. That is why I am studying bespoke tailoring in London. There is no certain plan yet but I hope my dream comes true!