All photographs by Milan Mosna
There was an impressive array of design flair, organisational wizardry and interesting pattern design on show at the London College of Fashion last Wednseday, especially considering the majority of the designs were from 2nd year BA students, and that many of these hold down jobs as well as studying. As the press release was at pains to point out, these are challenging times for budding creatives and it’s good to see the sheer bloody-mindedness that it takes to put on this sort of event still going strong in the student body.
I’m only sorry I can’t point you to more information about some of these “potential fashion leaders of tomorrow” on the web as, busy and second year as they are, they don’t seem to have sorted blogs or portfolios that I can find online, though they are obviously at least halfway to realising that promotion is nine tenths of success because the reception space was full to the brim.
The small space we were all crammed in also featured a display on widescreen tvs of the work from the Fashion Media course, although it was soon too busy to see the screens properly, let alone make one’s way to the supply of Cava and biscuits. obviously I contrived to do both; had lots of Cava and biscuits and managed to note down at least the name of Leah Patel whose highly saturated promo shots I loved.
Clear flowing lines from Taj Chelvaiyah
Exciting moth-like scultural prints from Nicole Quadrio
Once we got into the show space I nabbed a space on the floor; annoying the photographers with my novelty oversized briefcase (I came from school) as I like to do. The high tech addition of twin powerpoint presentations of the students’ pattern designs and inspirations was cute, especially the classic marbling shot and messed up fashion collage. But the obvious inspiration and skill in many of the garments themselves was anything but cute.
More highly evocative designs from Taj Chelvaiyah as illustrated by June Sees
I don’t know what second year fashion student’s work usually looks like, but I overheard some front row LCF old hats saying what a quality group it was, not to mention having ‘a good dynamic‘, and being ‘much better than last year‘. Sorry if you were in last year’s cohort (presumably graduating this year), I can’t personally comment. Some definite highlights for me were Hope Freeman‘s lasercut ‘Full Circle‘ collection, especially the full length black dress (below).
She calls this technique ‘a new lace for the 21st Century‘ and talks about the circle as a reflection of eternity. Bumf aside, this piece was a crowd pleaser, and would be a definite head turner on a red carpet, managing to be sleek and simple in a very pretty intricate way, so 21st Century lace seems a fitting description. I also loved the interplay of nostalgia and modern associations in Sunny De Las Alas (yes, she has a twitter)’s lamp-post print dress, which at the time I thought was the main thing I liked about the dress, but looking at the images now it’s clear in both these pieces that the drapery is equally important, showing great interplay of shape and shine.
Dress by Sunny De Las Alas and the print designs on their own.
Joanna Michalska was a guest contributor from the Third year Design programme, but her work fitted well into the show and I very much enjoyed the denim sunset flag effect of this dress.
Exemplifying the digital print brief, Angela Cote‘s work was inspired by toy kaleidoscope’s view of the world, refracting colour into a million repeated shapes. The designs were made with minimal wastage, employing techniques of edge to edge cutting and using as few seams as possible. Her pieces were as seductive as they were unsettling, like looking through a kaleidoscope is.
Another favourite for me was this fabulously colourful piece by Qimei Gai, evoking images of a lost Chinese childhood (above).
Finally these more subtly hued pieces from Min Jugovic made me a bit nostalgic: there was a lot of serious-faced playfulness in the show as a whole that I liked, perhaps reflecting the central idea of paradise lost – a determined dedication to beauty and opulence in austere times.
Here are my sketches:
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