The MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear graduate collections drew inspiration from everything from Astronauts to life in layers of transparency, and used multiple garment techniques. The college’s annual graduate show coincides with London Fashion Week Men’s and acts a vital opportunity for graduates to try and stamp their mark on the industry.
The nine designers Soo Jin Cho, Jooin Yang, Wentao Shi, Tak Lee, Peng Tai, Shu Yao, Zhenhao Guo, Chang Zhang and Changxi Shao were selected for the show by a panel comprised of Angela Lambert, buyer at Yohji Yamamoto; stylist Anders Sølvsten Thomsen; menswear designer Domingo Rodriguez alongside Head of College Professor Frances Corner OBE and Dean of the School of Fashion Design Technology Jose Teunissen.
Professor Corner said, “LCF’s MA Menswear show offers our graduates a platform to showcase their collections to a global audience at a time when the industry is celebrating UK menswear. This is a vital opportunity for our young designers setting out in today’s ever-changing and increasingly challenging fashion environment.”
The event was live streamed by London College of Fashion, Love Magazine, SHOWstudio and Not Just A Label. The show was styled by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen who worked closely with the students, helping them shape their collections. Makeup was provided by Claire Mulleady and the M∙A∙C PRO team and hair by Louis Byrne.
We spoke to Stavros Karelis, Buying Director at Machine-A and SHOWstudio after the event. He said:
It’s always very exciting to see the LCF MA shows because there are always so many great talents every year. There were some really strong collections this year, I particularly liked Peng Tai and Jooin Yang – I really enjoyed the performance he did to accompany his collection. All the designers were very exciting. Overall I thought the level of creativity and garment construction was very high which was nice to see.
We also spoke to Japanese fashion writer Yu Masui after the show to hear his views.
It is incredible that how creative the graduates are. To be honest London College of Fashion when I studied there use to be more about tailoring and commercial aspects, especially menswear. I think college has grown so much in last a few years. But it’s not gone too far. Collections are now the right balance of creativity and commercial elements. I was also really impressed with technics and how graduates catch trends. These collections could easily be on a shop floor, graduate are ready to start their own brand or work for fashion houses straight away!
Soo Jin Cho said her collection was “based on French Literature, during the period of romanticism – it represents methods of synesthesia in literature. The collection is a translation of art history, into commercial fashion.” Soo focused on how the axis of tailoring changed from the shoulder to the head, concealing the classical male form, revealing and focusing on the male face. Read our full interview here.
Changxi Shao called his collection Spaceman. He said “the idea came from different functioning garments in the industry. I mixed different garments together and tried to keep a balance, like garment structure between pattern cutting, and different functional details.” The space suit is often referred to as the ultimate protective workwear from injury. The use of adjustable seaming, filler and down detail highlights protection with comfort. Read our full interview here.
The third collection shown was by graduate Jooin Yang, who explored dressing, undressing and redressing in performing garments created by corridors of pattern cutting. He said, “The idea behind my collection was the former Italian painter Lucio Fontana and Spatialism, plus the way he used canvases. I like how he differed from two-dimensional space to three-dimensional space, I wanted my work to look at different elements.” Read the full interview here.
Next out on the catwalk was graduate Wentao Shi. Men are drawn and brought to life in his collection through layers of transparency that form opacity replicating the shadows of their bodies. He said, “The two main fabrics I used are velvet and organza. I laser cut the organza to express the different layers that can be formed in transparent fabric, and to make shadows. I chose these fabrics as a development from our first project. The velvet garments are more about the silhouette. I chose the colours green and red – red is the main colour in the collection.” Read the full interview here.
Fifth out was Shu Yao, who created a paper silk collection inspired by tally marks and multiples of 5cm. The collection was created by a pattern cutting technique where every straight line is a multiple of five. Results show innovative new forms of border seaming, collar construction, pocket application, functional openings and border hems in rare sustainable fabrication. She said, “The idea came from tally marks and people who suffered mental illnesses. I found a picture of a room a while back with a wall completely tally marked by a patient who was suffering from mental health issues and kept a tally mark score to count the days he stayed in the room. He was in this room for hundreds of days. The marks were drawn in red, this really took me back.” Read the full interview.
Next to follow was Chang Zhang with his ‘male friendship’ collection. He said, “In my first MA project I was researching male friendship, and I found that male friendship used to be like a business relationship. I wanted to show that nowadays men have a more emotional connection with each other, sharing their inside worlds.” Read the full interview here.
Peng Tai was next out on the catwalk. His collection is about the relationship between men and clothing. He said, “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.” His collection, called Man of Feeling, was created by molding postures of the human body with machine and hand seam finishes. Read the full interview.
Up next was Tak Lee with his The Additional Man collection that explored the scope of 3D pattern cutting and washing and dyeing of finished garments. He said, “My final collection is to do with the intersection between construction, colour, texture, knitting and, of course, pattern cutting. The project is about creating some radical or ambiguous forms in menswear through 3D pattern cutting skills. I treated all the fabrics with techniques like washing and dyeing and also to damage the fabric to make elements like floating fringes on the surface.” Read the full interview here.
Closing the show was graduate Zhenhao Guo, whose collection ‘A Man of Many Scars’ interprets medical sutures in garment construction. His collection was an interpretation of sutures in garment construction. He said, “My final collection is about the wounded man and discarded bodies. I chose some elements from the medical world like a tourniquet and some suture methods, and also, I read a lot about the use of plastics in medicine.” Read the full interview here.
All catwalk images shot by Roger Dean.
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