LCF23: Creating hacks and shortcuts in fashion design with MA Womenswear graduate Louis Mayhew
LCF Postgraduate Class of 2023 features work from our three world-leading design, communications and business schools to demonstrate how LCF students look beyond the traditional notions of fashion to imagine a new and exciting future. A bustling two-day exhibition will offer a unique perspective into LCF’s postgraduate work by immersing visitors in the future of fashion through displays of design, film, photography, VR and more from LCF’s boundary-breaking students at the infamous Truman Brewery in east London.
We interview Louis Mayhew from MA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) who talks us through his final collection called ‘Shortcuts’, breaking down the means of creating ‘hacks’ and manifesting integrity through innovation, time constrains and sustainability.
Creating hacks or shortcuts in fashion design can be a great way to save time and energy while still getting the same amazing results. With so many techniques available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when trying to figure out which ones are the most effective for your specific project.
Tell us about your final collection ‘Shortcuts’, what is the story behind it that makes it unique?
My creative practice is informed by research into approaches to nuanced design and shortcuts. Through an extensive investigation into these areas, I have been able to reach my own definition of shortcuts that can be applied to design and clothing.
This was born from my work as a painter and decorator, which is my job alongside studying. I noticed the numerous hacks my colleagues and I were making to our clothing for it to better perform function and I wanted to see how this could be translated into my design practice.
I defined shortcuts as: hacks or modifications made to clothing to enhance it in terms of functionality, longevity, comfortability, and aesthetics. This definition is forever growing and expanding but it lays important foundations for my design practice and when integrated with my manifesto it has allowed for the creation of stylish and innovation forward clothing.
What does sustainability mean to you, how have you incorporated it into your work?
Sustainability is innately part of my work and my life. I am undeniably a treasure and bargain hunter; this flows through into my work naturally and helps create a practice that is striving for circularity whilst simultaneously being cost effective and critically innovative.
All the fabric and materials I source are, second hand, donated or found; mainly sourced from a local recycling initiative called: Watford Recycling Arts Project. This annuls nearly all costs and allows me the freedom to work innovatively and succinctly.
What are some of the ways in which you practice sustainability in your garment design?
Sustainability for me means growth and I constantly try to implement innovation into my designs but also my practice and process.
During my final collection I developed a zero-waste pattern cutting technique that is derived from photogrammetry, some results can be seen in the imagery. This is one of the many ways I am integrating sustainable elements into my work. Not only does it eradicate my use of virgin fabrics/materials but it also has me constantly develop my practice and keeps the process interesting for me.
What research have you done that reflects in your work?
Research is constant and becomes second nature. Viewing my work and life through a ‘Shortcuts’ lens allows for research to come from the unlikeliest of places. I constantly take photos of anything I find interesting, nuanced, funny etc. These images can come in handy, especially when prototyping and starting to blend with garment archetypes or previously made samples.
Are there any plans for life after graduation?
My classmates and I will be showing our collections at London Fashion Week on February 18th. Apart from that I am playing it by ear and just taking some time to make some items that will eventually be for sale on my website www.shortcutsarchive.co.uk. It is currently being updated and will be up and running at the time of the show.