LCF x LCW: BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery
The Fashion Space Gallery is abuzz with London College of Fashion’s newest exhibition – LCF x LCW. Taking place throughout May, LCF x LCW is a celebration of craft excellence across footwear, accessories, jewellery, tailoring and artefact.
Next in our series of interviews, we’re spotlighting BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery graduates Juefang Yang, Teresa Kexuan Liu, and Yifan Gao, whose work exemplifies the individual creative expression encouraged on the course.
Which key craft and design concepts did you apply to your work?
JUEFANG: My work challenges the use of materials and techniques to encourage a shift in perception – reimagining an object’s form and function to create new narratives. The CONNECT collection was designed as ‘Celebrating the Old by Joining the New’ – reinterpreting the indigenous ancient jade hand carving technique by combining it with contemporary aesthetics and cutting-edge technology.
TERESA: My main focus was on the design of assembling 3D printing to integrate them with metalworking craft. By building a slot in 3D modelling that matches the design, the parts and hand-polished metal were assembled. Finally, I polished and sprayed the piece.
YIFAN: The key craft and design concept is based on the complex mechanical structure that simulates the flower blossoming process.
What themes and ideas have you explored through your work, and what inspired these decisions?
JUEFANG: My idea was to CONNECT old and new, hard and soft, analogue and digital, slow and fast, traditional techniques and advanced technology, handmade and machine made, meaningful and valuable… My work is mostly inspired by everyday objects and how people form relationships and perceptions of value.
TERESA: The performance-looking goggles were designed for those who have social anxiety and prefer to immerse themselves in their inner world of heavy metal. It is a “protection” – goggles block the view, creating a barrier to the outside world that prevents contact with others. Its dynamical shape design was inspired by the movement of the headbanging and can be positioned on the head to exaggerate the wide imagination and vivid spirit world.
YIFAN: The key focus of my design is to neutralizes gender boundaries by using materials to cover part of the body. My main inspiration came from the reproduction system of flowers, so I created an imaginary flower planet named ‘Gamama’ for this series of work. Gamama is a kingdom of flowers that produce liquids and pearls, which also acts as the source of energy which the residents feed on.
Who are your favourite designers and/or makers?
JUEFANG: Otto Kunzli and Giovanni Corvaja.
TERESA: Joshua Harker – who has used 3D printing technology to create the Quixotic Divinity Headdress – is my favourite designer. The piece makes the beauty of digital modeling and the traditional Native American, Latin and African adornment culture which belongs to the aesthetics of human civilization complement each other remarkably.
YIFAN: Thierry Mugler, Hussein Chalayan, and Alessandro Michele.
What has been the highlight of your experience in preparation for Craft Week?
JUEFANG: The “wow” reaction when I tell visitors that the chain is hand carved out of one piece of stone.
TERESA: Before painting the 3D printed object, I repeatedly experimented and practiced its effect. When I successfully sprayed the desired gradient colour, it seemed that this 3D printed craft turned out to be a unique and unduplicated vibrant handcrafted creation thanks to the hand-painted layer.
YIFAN: I wasn’t able to physically participate for the preparation for the Craft Week under the current self-isolated lockdown situation in Shanghai. I really hope I could have opportunity to be physically involved in this project.
What are your goals for the future?
JUEFANG: I would like to learn and explore more and more materials and techniques to expand my creative dictionary, and to show more of my culture and background through my designs and collections.
TERESA: I intend to continue my research and explore the combination of traditional handmade craft and new technology – such as 3D printing and wearable tech, so that the two gradually evolve.
YIFAN: I hope my jewellery brand can have more collaboration opportunities and my designs can be widely recognised and known.
What does ‘craft’ mean to you?
JUEFANG: To me craft is a process of no-thing becoming a thing.
TERESA: I regard craft as an extremely close connection between the item and the designer. Handcrafts are like the shadow of the designer, in which their thoughts and techniques and even the traces of innovation of each generation could be seen. The craft is the ultimate static appearance of a process of thought and crafting, which makes each handicraft an independent entity with a soul.
YIFAN: Craft is a process of continuous innovation and realisation.