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London College of Fashion

Two models wearing the same clothes with big hats and their faces covered, sitting side by side on two arm chairs

Life Of Alumni: Daoyuan Ding wins International Talent Support Award 2019

Written by Jesse Tilley
Published date 16 August 2019

MA Fashion Design Technology: Menswear graduate, Daoyaun Ding, has been crowned winner of the 2019 International Talent Support Award. Winning a prize of €15,000 as well as a 12-month mentorship by Pitti Immagine Showcase of Capsule Collection at PITTI UOMO. We had a chat with Ding to find out about his award and discuss the inspiration behind his winning collection.

Hi Ding! Congratulations for on your International Talent Support Award! What an amazing achievement. How did you feel when you found out you had won?

It was beyond my wildest expectations. I really didn't think I would win the ITS Award.

Can you tell us a bit more about your winning project and the motivations behind it?

My collection aimed to express the vagueness and ambiguity of objects and human identities. I was initially inspired by the philosophy 'Object Oriented Ontology' by Graham Harman, which states the theory that the objects can be ascended to be whole and descended to be pieces in human subconsciousness. And later, while developing my concept, I was also inspired by surrealist artists such as Rene Magritte, surrealist photographer Man Ray and film director David Lynch, who all practiced the theory of The Uncanny by Freud. In the theory of The Uncanny, it expressed the deepest feeling of fear that comes from the unfamiliar familiarity which my collection aimed to express.

How would you describe your brand’s style? What would you say makes it unique?

My brand’s identity is based on the objects which are already existing. And the unique part is the emotion of the brand which is ambiguous, rational and surreal.

I noticed that in your graduation collection, the collections are designed to cover the faces of the models – tell us a bit about that idea and what does it symbolise?

I call the hat, neck-warmer and gloves 'Triple Foundation' in my collection. It was actually inspired by a film by David Lynch. It erased the identity as a human but still with a human form. It was also an expression to practice the theory of 'The Uncanny' which makes the familiar, unfamiliar.

What’s your next personal goal to achieve?

Keep on personalising the brand identity and preparing for building up my brand.

What most excites you about the future of the industry?

The fashion industry changes very fast. The most exciting part is the new technology appearing, which provides the opportunities to redefine what is already out there.

Let’s talk a little bit about your time at LCF. Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion?

My time in LCF was unforgettable really. The experience mixed the hard self exploration and tolerance of anxiety, which lead me to create my original design language. I don’t think I've always wanted to work in fashion as such, but I know I am always keen on self expressions through fashion.

What made you choose LCF and why did you decide to do a MA Fashion Design and Technology Menswear course?

The reputation of MA Fashion Design and Technology Menswear course made me choose LCF. And I have been always a menswear designer, so the decision was easy to make.

What was the best part of your time at university? What did you enjoy the most about your course?

The combination between the creativity and commercial consideration was impressive in our MA Menswear course. It gave the unique points of views to push myself as a mature designer.

What advice would you give to a prospective student looking to start a course here in September?

Enjoy and have fun. Be insistent on your ideas and develop them continuously. Always be aware of time.