This time last year, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Development alumni Jay Andrew Biscarra was adding the final touches to his LCFBA15 collection and bracing himself for a life after university. Jay graduated as one of the stars from last year’s cohort, i-D and London Evening Standard both praised his collections, but what did that recognition lead to?
Jay came through UAL’s Outreach program which supports students from diverse backgrounds that have no family history of higher education. He developed collections for both men and women for last year’s BA15 show, but has emerged as a promising womenswear designer, releasing a lookbook for his latest collection this month. LCF News caught up with Jay nearly a year after graduation to discuss launching a label and adjusting to life outside of higher education.
How would you describe your style?
Minimal, classic, practical, playful and versatile.
How did Outreach assist you before and during LCF?
Having Outreach a was a big benefit for me to get a guaranteed place in LCF. I would say that I was very fortunate to have them, even now that I have left. Throughout my studies, they offered study support which helped me a lot especially with writing – sometimes with design work and portfolio. More importantly, it was their support and guidance that helped through. Taking advice from them has allowed me to grow, which has given me confidence to always push myself.
How are they or LCF offering support now?
By providing job opportunities, which is useful for graduates like me.
You graduated nearly a year ago, what have you been doing since then?
I have been spending time investigating myself and making evident progress. I am learning as I go along – I decided to do another capsule to build up my portfolio, and to see how to work on my own now.
Did you always want to start your own label, or did you want to work for an established brand first?
I studied a degree in fashion because I always knew that I want to have my own label one day. As much as I want to make it happen now, although, I would probably choose to work for an established brand first. I think I need more time to prepare myself and learn more skills from respective people in the industry.
Can you describe your new collection, what was the inspiration?
The new collection is called “Gender Neutralism”. The concept behind it was about me questioning myself and finding my own identity as a child. Growing up with three brothers wasn’t so easy – I found it quite hard to relate to them, especially when I had different interests. Having to play around with my mother’s clothes, taking everything out from her wardrobe had put me at ease. I wanted that memory of my childhood to reflect the new capsule.
For design research, I looked for inspiration from mod (subculture) and 1960s fashion. The jewellery pieces were inspired by a living seed, whilst the hanging threads symbolises the roots of it. I wanted to link them with the idea of growing up, sustaining the nostalgic impression in the collection. I collaborated with a jewellery student who is also from LCF, to be able to have these magnificent jewellery pieces.
Life after graduation can be quite daunting, what have some of the biggest struggles been so far?
One of the biggest struggles was to look for a job – no doubt! I strongly believe that this also happens to everyone; it can be very frustrating, but it never stops me from doing something in life.
What piece of advice or thing you learnt at LCF do you cherish most now?
To always do something that you believe in; to not be pretentious with your work. It’s not all about presenting beautiful and impeccable work, but sometimes it’s the unpleasant side of it that makes you grow.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
Having my own label or to be a Creative Director of a French fashion house – who knows?
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