LCF Patron, HRH The Countess of Wessex, hosted a reception at St James’s Palace on Tuesday night for a select group of 200 guests from across the industry, alongside long-standing friends and supporters of the College.
The Countess took the opportunity to discuss her involvement with LCF over the last two years, and explained that the College is at a turning point in its history with the planned move to the QEII Olympic Park in 2021.
“I am extremely fortunate to have been asked to become Patron of LCF at a very exciting moment in the College’s life. I am referring of course to the impending move of the college, as part of the University of the Arts London, to the cultural quarter of the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park. This will mean that for the first time in the history of the college, which is more than a century old, it will be on one site and will bring nearly 5,500 students and over 500 staff together! The move to our new site will help LCF to increase our reputation both in the UK and beyond our shores as a college of quality and standards. And whilst we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt and respond to the ever changing needs of the sector, this new home will allow us to do more in a more appropriate setting than we have had up until now.”
HRH signed a three-year patronage with the college back in 2013. Since then she has championed LCF’s Better Lives campaign – using fashion to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve well-being. During her speech, she took the opportunity to wish LCF’s Head of College Frances Corner the best of luck with the imminent move. HRH has visited a number of LCF’s six sites during her time as Patron and therefore knows what a fantastic and yet challenging opportunity the move will provide.
Guests to the palace included Turner Prize-winning artist and New UAL Chancellor, Grayson Perry, Ozwald Boateng, Jaime Winstone, Pam Hogg, Harold Tillman CBE, David Downton, Joan Burstein, Nat Weller, Chair of the Court of Governors Sir John Sorrell CBE, and Vice Chancellor of UAL Nigel Carrington.
Alongside the drinks reception and speech from HRH, LCF showcased selected work from the Art of Dress project, which has so far been exhibited in America, China and Dubai. Students were invited for an exclusive VIP meet and greet with the Countess. The design students talked through their work and future career ambitions, which were greatly received by HRH.
The Art of Dress saw students explore the evolution of ‘dress’ across the centuries and from around the world, drawing inspiration from ceremonial, religious, royal and national traditions, as well as the red carpet and the catwalk. The bespoke items of student work looked stunning in the Palace’s historic surroundings, infusing the history of St James’s with centuries of ‘dress’ evolution in all its various guises.
The Countess also took the opportunity to briefly touch upon the imminent arrival on the new royal baby, hinting at the fashion industries desire for a new royal princess to adore.