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London College of Fashion

Various costumes designed by LCF students from MA Costume Design for Performance

LCFMA20: Costume Design for Performance final show — Part Two

Written by Alexandra R. Cifre
Published date 02 December 2019

We're officially kicking off the #LCFMA20 season with MA Costume Design for Performance. For this year's final show, which took place at Sadler's Wells Theatre in London, the students proved the power of storytelling and performance portraying a wide range of themes through costumes: from climate crisis to sexuality in religion, traditional cultures, mental wellbeing, identity and even the adventures of a living sofa! To know more about the messages and inspirations behind their costumes, here's a recap of this year's MA Costume final show — Part Two.

Pinar Avanzato - EmBODY

"This performance is a sensory story inspired by the subject of a case study and her personal experience with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) which includes heightened sensory perception. EmBODY follows her daily lived experience, her challenges and struggles."

"The performance establishes four zones of regulation which inform the piece, characterised by distinct sensory triggers that influence feelings and states of emotion. Through costume, surfaces and wearables, the different emotions and sensations experienced by the character are explored in a performative context, allowing her to regulate the zones in a personalised, sensorial environment."

Amelia Daniel - Coral Bleaching

"The planet has lost over 25% of its coral reefs in the last 30 years. They're threatened by pollution, overfishing, warming water and ocean acidification. When water is too warm, coral will expel its synergic algae and it will turn completely white, a phenomenon known as coral bleaching."

"Coral reefs can survive a bleaching event but they are under stress and at greater risk of death. This performance tells the story of this process, drawing attention to the impact of climate change, the biggest challenge facing our natural world today. The costume is made from recycled materials."

Sarah Carman - Tender Heart

"Tender Heart is inspired by a personal journey of grief after losing a father. It explores the struggle of coping with the weight of sorrow and the void felt throughout childhood. The performance aims to illustrate the journey of transformation from unbearable and all-consuming grief into strength and the ability to see beauty in everyday life."

"The piece is called Tender Heart in memory of the father, a term the family use to describe his loving, sensitive, and compassionate spirit founded in his Christian faith. This performance is dedicated to his memory."

Zixuan Liu- [134340HZ]

"This performance is inspired by a boy diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, where he seems to be wrapped in a ‘shell’, closed off from the world, like inside an invisible fog. When he becomes stressed by external over stimulations, this ‘shell’ can contort into shapes that operates like a defence mechanism. Hypersensitivity to outside stimulations such as sounds can trigger the self- defence mechanisms."

"The project aims to express his self-enclosed state through a performance, hoping to provide a different perspective to help people understand the interaction of people with autism and the world around them."

Zeta Iakovou - The Washer Woman

"Cultures throughout history have developed myths and belief systems to explain the mystery of death and the afterlife. This performance explores the importance of rituals for the preparation of the dead body, developed from ancient cultural references and traditional folkloric practices."

"The washing, shrouding and encasing processes prior to burial or cremation serve as methods to aid ‘safe passage’ between the world of the living and the dead. The Scottish folklore Washerwoman, also known as Bean Nighe, and her role as a prophet or omen of impending death have been the main elements of inspiration for this performance."

Liisa Zukova - The Weight of Gold

"This performance reflects on the choices and destiny of an artist, of the value of wealth over self-expression. It follows the artist's temptations of prosperity and comfort, choosing well-paid but non-creative occupations instead of pursuing of his own artistic practice and self-expression."

"The piece is about a journey of reconsiderations of priorities, rediscovery of a creative practice which was sacrificed for financial security; it's also about the liberation of the artistic spirit, breaking through restraints of materialistic concerns and the price that comes with that."

Dea Martini - The Ghost Rider

"This performance is inspired by an old Albanian legend which exposes the tradition of Besa — a faithful and unbreakable promise. Constantin is dead and risen from the grave by the Besa which he failed to keep to his mother during life. He must ride alone at night to find and return his sister home before he may finally rest."

"Constantin’s connection to his family is powerful, represented by the knots he carries on his chest and his back. These knots also serve as a metaphor for the Besa that binds him to this world."

Riley Burks - Dorian Gray

"A marriage of camp and grotesque, this comically irreverent performance is inspired by Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It tells the story of a young man corrupted by vanity and indulgence, descending into a lifestyle of hedonistic debauchery in the dark underbelly of 19th century London, rotting from the inside out."

"When Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture will age and fade in his place, the wish is granted and he pursues a libertine life of amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; meanwhile, his portrait distorts and records every sin."

All photography credits to Emmi Hyyppä.

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