LCF23: Exploring the Paradox and Duality of Humanity and Animality with Xingyu Ren
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.
As our students approach the end of their postgraduate studies, Xingyu Ren from MA Fashion Design Technology (Menswear) gives us a deeper dive into the work behind the concept ‘Beast’.
The concept 'Beast' explores the contradiction and unity of humanity and animality in men. Humanity is the unique morality of human beings, while animality is the primitive instinct. These two seemingly contradictory characteristics interweave and coexist in human beings. I want to portray the male image from the instinct while retaining the restraint brought by morality.
The apparel has features of hair in the garments, this is because from a natural perspective, hair is a male decorative feature and secondary sexual characteristic. From a cultural point of view, men with long hair usually have certain anti-social attributes. Therefore, the application of hair expresses the wild and rebellious side of men as animals.
I wanted to apply an aesthetic from the perspective of biological instinct in this collection. I did this by studying the relationship between waist to shoulder ratio and male sexual attraction through the research of sexual selection theory. I applied the proportion obtained in the research into pattern cutting to innovate the silhouette of traditional men's suits, integrating the instinctive aesthetic of human beings as animals into the design.
The biggest challenge I encountered was the production process because it was the first time I had adopted a hand tailoring method to make the entire collection. It took more time than I had expected. But fortunately, I finished it on time and learned a lot of techniques through production.
Looking back, the key moments during my time on the course were the fitting tutorials as it paid more attention to the clothing itself. The fitting process enabled me to review and reflect on my design and learn from it. These were the moments I enjoyed most as a designer and the time I made the most progress.