This year’s LCFMA18 show was a statement that there is more to shows than clothes, as each designer selected a story or moment close to their heart to base their womenswear collection around. From twisted tales of the fourth dimension to couture at its height, breaking away from a decade of domesticity to eroding fast-fashion, this year’s MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear show was an evolution from the past to present and maybe one day to the future. We reflect on the ten designers that lit up the show.
Designers from Devon to Japan showcased their work at an energetic fashion show attended by some of the industry’s biggest fashion publications and brands. Vanessa Kingori was there, who is now British Vogue Publishing Director, having previously overseen GQ Style and British GQ, plus i-D and SHOWstudio amongst many others. There were talent scouts from brands like LVMH, Kering, Pentland and Inditex and buyers and designers from Browns, Mango, ASOS and French Connection. We also had CEOs like Peter Williams – Jack Wills – and VIPs like Harold Tillman and Elizabeth Peyton-Jones.
Taking place at Victoria Studios, Belgravia, the show started at 7pm, on the eve of London Fashion Week. The show was styled by Adele Cany, who worked closely with the students to help them shape their garments and deliver a smooth and high-quality final collection. Adele also worked with our menswear students last month on their shoot and show (recap on the show here). Makeup was provided by Claire Mulleady and the superb M∙A∙C PRO team, who we’ve worked closely with on many of our previous shows. Fashion favourites Princess Julia and Luke Howard provided music.
The show began with Leanne Callon and her ‘Informal Arrangements’ collection that derives from a design background focusing on the processes, development and construction techniques that make up a garment. She told us “as a knitwear designer I strive to create an emotional response, ensuring that my understanding of craft and construction is visible through my pieces… One of the main features of this collection is the re-use of second-hand rugs. I have chosen to incorporate rugs into my collection due to their stance forming a direct link to my concept while also telling a visible story of its past life and former relationships.” Read her full interview.
Second-out was graduate Jiali Lu, whose collection was inspired by Jane Austen’s classic novel “Pride And Prejudice.” Jiali used the stories main character Elizabeth as her source of inspiration. She wanted to blend female and male clothing of the 19th-century together to “create a modern, independent, masculine, intelligent and brave neutral style” for her final collection. Read her story here.
Chinese-designer Feiyi Shuai created a ‘Fun To Wear’ womenswear collection that draws inspiration from fashion photographer Mark Borthwick. “The garments were created, assessed and judged on the merit of their construction or where they would be fun to wear. To me, this is the essence of fashion that lies at the heart of dressing” she says. The inspiration came from ‘All Events Are Even’ book by fashion photographer Mark. Learn more about Feiyi’s journey.
Hong Kong-native Vicky Leung used her LCFMA18 collection to explore ‘ugly fashion’ in the industry. She told us, “My womenswear collection looks to inspire people to define their own aesthetic or point of view of fashion and clothing, but not just to follow a trend without thinking about it.” By using tailoring pattern cutting with embroidery, Vicky created an innovative approach to one of the industry’s hot issues. Find out what inspired Vicky to study here.
“This collection was inspired by abstract art, uses pure colour, shapes and forms to express meaning. Abstract art can touch the emotions in a fresh, raw and direct way. I created a collection to highlight both the strengths and weaknesses of a woman, and the beauty of her. Womenswear garments are mixed with elements from menswear in order to create stronger silhouettes,” says Nina Galbe-Delord from Toulouse, France. Find out more about her work and design process.
Next out was designer Ran Seo’s collection for her brand The Ran. She told us, “My final collection is called Romantic Boho: The Moments of Naturalness. It is mainly designed with a combination of natural fabrication and modern hand-craftsmanship. The collection is based on using new natural materials, especially natural hemp cord.” Read how Ran’s fashion illustration passion grew into designing clothes.
This was followed by Rong Xia from China. “My collection started from the Japanese traditional aesthetic Wabi-Sabi and Chinese culture of Zen, combined with perfectionism of tailoring in the Western fashion world. I think It is quite interesting to combine these diametrically opposite Aesthetic taste. I want to give these traditional aesthetics more modern and new interpretations.” Read her full story here.
Russian designer Dmitry Gotsfrid was next with his ‘Femme Fatale’ collection – a combination of femininity, glamour and class of the past with a twist of modernity that places it in contemporary society. He used the ‘Golden Age of Couture’ during 1940-50s France and Britain as the starting point of inspiration for his collection. Read his story and winning a British Fashion Council x Emporio Armani competition.
Taiwan-native Juneyen Chen has created a collection focused on gender neutrality looking at finding a new way for women to dress. She told us, “I wanted to explore the possibility of gender-neutral dressing by changing the form and identifying a way to balance masculinity and femininity, and combine them to obtain a new way of expression by dressing women.” Explore the ideas behind her LCFMA18 collection.
Eren Hayashi closed the show with her mind-bending collection, which explored the fourth dimension and twisted space. Made up of coats, skirts and even bras, Eren has produced a distorted and unique collection of intertwined garments that set out to traverse the outer edges of the universe. Read the Japanese designer’s journey at London College of Fashion.
All images were taken by Roger Dean
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