BA (Hons) Creative Direction for Fashion student Nicole Chui is not wasting any time getting her career going by preparing to sell her embroidery pieces and interning at Boy by girls – an annual print publication combining menswear fashion and portraiture. LCF News speaks to Nicole about her work, creating playful embroidery pieces and her future plans.
Why did you choose to do creative direction for fashion at LCF?
I chose creative direction because I wanted to be in an environment that was diverse and helped me develop skills for various different fashion practices. It’s a course for people who generate great ideas, are open, multidisciplinary, and can work hard.
What are the best and most challenging parts of your course?
The best thing about the course is being able to collaborate and meeting guest lecturers. The most memorable guest speaker was definitely Rhea Thierston. She talked about her career in set design, did a workshop with us after, and happily answered all my questions on her collaborations with Tim Walker.
Tell us about your work
I began practicing embroidery on clothes when I created a project during secondary school in Hong Kong based on English smocking. At the time I decided to apply embroidery into fine art after researching Maurizio Anzeri as I was getting bored of others showing off pretty paintings. From then on I stitched on garments and 2D imagery to add elements of playfulness and darkness. You’ll notice that I use thick threads so that bold colours stand out, because I want the bright colours to stand out.
What are you working on at the moment, any exciting projects you can share with us?
I’m creating more embroidery pieces and will probably sell them soon. I’m also going to continue collaborating with friends to create colourful shoots to submit to publications. I will also be producing shoots and assist different creatives in the industry.
What inspires you?
As common as this sounds, everything inspires me. My embroidery designs are inspired by girl power, sassy characters, my thoughts, or things I hear on the streets and see in films. I like a lot of pop culture too, and the embroidery is usually really dark or tongue in cheek.
What do you like about studying at LCF?
I like studying at LCF because the campuses are spread across London, where everything significant or cool is happening. Trends begin here and artists are heard. If you’re doing something interesting and it gets picked up, you’re onto something. Also the library is amazing, the books are so great when you need to refine your knowledge on the history of fashion.
What do you like most about studying in London?
It’s a city that truly embraces creativity and collaboration. Most people whose work I admire are based in London or regularly come here. London is great because you can meet and collaborate with people from music or art, not just fashion.
Who have you worked with so far and who is your dream person or publication to work for?
I’ve produced shoots for Boys by Girls magazine online. I also often collaborate and do production for photographer Elizabeth Gabrielle Lee, and recently assisted stylist Shirley Amartey. I love Rachel Louise Hodgson, Christina Paik and Charlotte Rutherford’s work! My dream person to work with has always been Carolyne Cerf De Dudzeele, but publication wise, V magazine is the one. Maybe I should do a series on people I want to work with now that you brought it up?
What advice would you give someone who wants to study at LCF or applying for creative direction?
Be humble and work hard, the first year will be difficult so be independent with your schedule. Listen to what others have to say, but remember to keep your creative integrity true to you. Also brush up on your fashion knowledge, you’ll need it!
What are you plans for the future?
I want to continue stitching and creating new ideas. I’m in the midst of planning research for my final major project and dissertation, which involves streetwear, so when I get back to Hong Kong this August I want to hit up Hypebeast and see what their working environment is like. I want to stay in London after graduation, and work somewhere that enables me to travel, but for now I’ll continue to keep working my way up.
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