Tue July 22nd 2014 at 1.38 PM

Class of 2014: 8 of the best from London College of Fashion

Posted by Bethan Holt
In fashion years, London College of Fashion’s BA fashion show took place many moons ago- it was actually in the middle of June. A month later and I have finally managed to gather up some gorgeous images and miniature interview with the grads whose collections I loved the most. There was an incredible variety of work on show this year, with students experimenting with every kind of fashion look from haute digressed street wear to modern, ladylike elegance and everything in between. These are the designer names to remember…

Victoria Smith and Hae Na Kim

This duo won the best collection award for their bold use of colour with Hae Na’s embroidery complementing Victoria’s incredible way with colour. Here Victoria explains the process.

Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?

My initial research began from observing tourists and the social stereotypes that they have. It became a humorous collection with silhouettes, movement and proportions. We also explored the theme of communication. I was using graphic text in my Final Major Project which I then developed into braille for the graduate collection. So each garment has a word or phrase written on it that is almost hidden, a secret message, as at first glance one would assume it’s a random polka dot. Colour is really important to me, it is the first visual impact that hits you as an observer. The bold colours again come from tourist images which were complemented against skin tones and tans.

Can you tell me about the fabrics and techniques you used?

I mainly used double silk organza for the collection. It’s very light and can still create a voluminous shape. I worked with the fabric to create a bounce and movement when the garments are being worn and still has a beautiful drape.

Who do you imagine wearing the collection?

A sophisticated yet fun confident women, someone who is not afraid of colour or shape. I’d love to see both an 18 year old and 80 year old wearing the collection.

How does it feel to win the award? How does it help you?

Quite overwhelming! I wasn’t expecting to win it at all! It’s a good platform to have – the publicity that was generated from the press show will hopefully help to start opening doors.

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria Smith portfolio

Victoria and Hae-Na's collection on the catwalk

Victoria and Hae-Na’s collection on the catwalk

Victoria and Hae-Na's collection on the catwalk

Victoria and Hae-Na’s collection on the catwalk

Luke Bullen and Jana Dahmen

Luke and Jana collaborated on a haunting collection which combined old and new, namely the dramatic life of Mary, Queen of Scots and futuristic acrylic sculpture.

Jana, Can you tell me some of the technicalities behind those sculptures- how do you make them and what materials do you use?
The sculptures were made out of extremely thin Perspex, as it was the most flexible and the most similar looking to glass. I lasered the pattern into Perspex first, then hand painted the sculptures, then heated up the material and afterwards draped the Perspex over moulds to create the right fit for a human being.
Were the clothes made to complement the sculptures? What was your process with those?
Jana: As this project was a collaboration we were chosen on our previous styles. In this case it means that Luke was already doing his flowy dresses with the big shoulders and I was mainly working in a quite conceptual way with plastics and high tech materials. Our creative director then chose the two of us to work together on something new and that’s how the process started!
Luke: The original starting point for this collaborative collection was a dress I made, for which the research had to evolve around the royal family- I chose Mary Queen of Scots. She was quite famously known as the White Queen as she wore a white mourning dress, which was and still to this day is extremely unconventional. I like how white chiffon plays with the contrast of being very angelic and puritan by covering a lot of the body but it’s also very translucent, even sexy. As part of the collaboration the acrylic perspex sculptures were added and the faces on the face masks were digitally further distorted by Jana with sublimation print, to create the illusion of the face and illustration just melting and dripping down and across the garments. This is how the theme of the collection turned into the early stages of decay of beauty.
What is it like collaborating? How long have you been working together?
Jana: Because the two of us were friends before collaborating was probably much easier than for other people. When things got stressful we could see the humour in it and since we both speak German as our mother tongue we could joke around. Other than that I would say that because we have completely different aesthetics and ways of working it can be a challenge to work as a team but since we are friends it was no problem to consider each other’s wishes.
What are your plans for the future?
Jana: I would like to work in the new technology branch of fashion or would like to work for more conceptual designers, as I am better at thinking abstractly rather than thinking of concrete clothing. If possible I would love to work in Tokyo for a brand with a very high tech and computer/internet/surreal aesthetic.
Luke's mood board

Luke’s mood board

Luke's sketches

Luke’s sketches

Jana and Luke's collection on the catwalk

Jana and Luke’s collection on the catwalk

Jana and Luke's collection on the catwalk

Jana and Luke’s collection on the catwalk

Jana's sculptures

Jana’s sculptures

Sofia Ilmonen, Jinhee Moon and Mengna  Ye

Sofia, Jinhee and Mengna won the Colour Award for their brilliantly bright and mad swashbuckling collaboration.

Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?
Sofia: The main idea in the collaboration was to put together three graduate collections in order to create garments full of colour, texture and layering. The driving idea came to be the concept of how the opposites attract. Curved lines meets angular, furry meets sleek and metallic meet matt textures. The collaboration gave us all a new kind of platform to show our creativity and the motto in the end was:  more is more!
Can you tell me about some of the techniques and fabrics you used?
Sofia:  All my fabrics were organic and hand dyed with natural dyes (vegetables, berries and plants) like strawberry, blueberry and carrot.  Those pastels tones combined with Jinhee’s metallics created unusual and fresh combinations.
Bindings played a big role in the collection. They were use to finish and highlight the edges as well as left loosely hanging.  They were also combined with metres and metres of frills for the ultimate layering.
Mengna, you did the hats. How did you find it fitting your vision and techniques with the clothes? Was there all overall mood your were aiming for?
I was really inspired by the massive Mexican sombrero hat. It’s  joyful and celebratory but also plays a role in their funeral ceremonies. I used the same method of cutting the straw hat to create a fabric hat,  deconstructing and reconstructing it into a garment. My aim was to emphasise the beautiful details which Sofia had created and underline the curves and ruffles of Jinhee’s work. My floppy fabric hat with tassels gives new shape to the body and blurs the boundaries between the accessories and the clothes.
Who do you imagine wearing the collection?
We can imagine someone with great sense of humour and confidence strolling around London’s streets with our garments on. We think Susie Bubble would look amazing wearing the collection!
What are your plans for the future?
Sofia: I aiming to get a job from a high end brand to learn from the best and maybe in the future have label of my own.
Jinhee: At this stage, I would like to find a job at a high-end brand to get more experience then I hope to have my label in the future.
Mengna: I am planning to launch my ready-to-wear womenswear brand, become an interior designer and own a stylish coffee/restaurant. I would also like to collaborate again.
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Mengha, Jinhee and Sofia’s work on the catwalk

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 18.53.42

Sofia's sketches

Sofia’s sketches

Sofia's sketches

Sofia’s sketches

Sofia's sketches

Sofia’s sketches

Sofia's sketches

Sofia’s sketches

Marta Cesaro and Shasha Wong

Marta and Shasha worked together on an awesome collection of sleek, off kilter tailoring complemented by enormous hats.

Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?
The inspiration started with the idea of mixing together different realities and work with undefined asymmetric lines and blurred colours and textures. Shasha was particularly inspired by the beautiful view of London’s skyline from her dormitory. The fuzzy clouds hung on the fading sky led to the creation of her soft knitwear pieces. By combining her knitwear pieces and the unconventional shapes of Marta’s tailoring and millinery, we wanted to represent a reality in movement, with an harmonic evolution of volumes and colours.
Can you tell me about the fabrics and techniques you used in the collection?

For the tailored garments, we chose solid pastels and traditional fabrics to accentuate the shapes and details. For the knitwear part, Shasha tried over 30 combinations both on colours and materials to get to the final sample. Brush was a major tool used during the production, which was fantastic to create the exact right fluffy tactile impression of our final garments.

Who do you imagine wearing the collection?

Women with an extreme interest in quality products and experimental design, mentally engaged with the design process or  the arts in general, looking for a unique and versatile look to represent them. Our collection can be worn either in casual or relatively formal circumstances.

What is it like collaborating? How long have you been working together?

Some say fashion design is like a one-man show, you got your ideas then apply it on reality then make your own work, and that’s yours. However, in our point of view, the recent trend for collaborations between artists in different areas had shown that co-operations sometimes generate more inspiration and possibilities for both parties.

That’s how we feel having worked together in these past six months. It was an exciting experience for both of us, as it gave us the opportunity to create a more detailed and mature collection. We have a similar aesthetic and we are both hard working so when the time came to sit down to create a collection we merged our strengths together to define a design direction and worked from there.

What are your plans for the future?

Thankfully, Shasha has been accepted by RCA for a Masters degree in Womenswear. She believes that as a knitwear graduate, experience in womenswear will be extremely beneficial for her career and development. Marta would like to keep learning, working in a womenswear design studio and will eventually take a master’s degree later on. We will definitely keep in touch and we don’t exclude the possibility of collaborating again soon.

Marta and Shasha's sketches

Marta and Shasha’s sketches

Marta and Shasha's sketches

Marta and Shasha’s sketches

Marta and Shasha's sketches

Marta and Shasha’s sketches

Marta and Shasha's sketches

Marta and Shasha’s sketches

Marta and Shasha's collection on the catwalk

Marta and Shasha’s collection on the catwalk

Marta and Shasha's collection on the catwalk

Marta and Shasha’s collection on the catwalk

Lucia Kelly and Inthira Tangjaronesuttihchai

Lucia and Inthira created boldly painted looks in cool shapes. Lucia, a womenswear graduate, talks us through.

Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?

Initially, I  wanted my collection to embody an element that women could relate to on a personal level, my whole collection is based on moods and emotions , so it was an exploration of love/hate and desire/disappointment, I knew that I wanted to use hearts from the very beginning , however I wanted to approach it in a more abstract manner so it wasn’t obvious. My first collection was quite clean then through the process of collaborating with Inthira the outcome became more vibrant, fun and playful.
Can you tell me some of the technical elements you used to create the fabrics?
The silhouettes came from draped scales of hearts and this was also emphasized with the rounded sleeves. The fabrics were an array of jerseys and patent leathers so that the body of the silhouette was more fluid to contrast with the “power woman” sleeves. The textiles applied to the fabric by Inthira  were all done by hand , some of the fabrics were dip dyed and layered with foils and glitter, making this collection very eye-catching and colourful, this again was done with the idea of the hearts in mind, canvasing the dresses and layering more paints and foils.
Who do you imagine wearing the collection?
I always imagined a really mussed up woman with ankle socks, crazy hair and last night’s make up and her outfit finishing of her party life look!
What are your plans for the future?
I have lots of plans at the moment but ideally I would like to work in-house for a designer for a few years to gain a bit more industry experience. I am currently looking at Italy and America.
Lucia Kelly portfolio

Lucia Kelly portfolio

Lucia Kelly portfolio

Lucia Kelly portfolio

Lucia and Indira's collection on the catwalk

Lucia and Indira’s collection on the catwalk

Lucia and Indira's collection on the catwalk

Lucia and Indira’s collection on the catwalk

Jesika July, Sunjung Park and Vivian Ng

Jesika, Sunjung and Vivian showed one of the evening’s sparkiest collections with their uber distressed denim, bold graffiti prints and anarchic jewellery. Here Jesika talks us through her role as print designer.

Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?

I wanted my print designs to be bold, chaotic, and rebellious; to have that ‘in your face’ factor to it. When working towards the collection I had a vision of a young woman who hid a rebellious adolescent alter-ego that was just bursting to come out. She wanted to be loud, she wanted to be heard, and most importantly she wanted to make a statement…”I’m here!”

Can you tell me some of the technical elements you used to create those effects with your denim?

Some pieces were screen printed but primarily most of them were printed free-hand, doing it that way meant that there was no limitation, no restriction with the freedom to be truly expressive and capture the energy, the essence of chaos. The motto was not to think but to simply do, not to be afraid of going crazy.

Who do you imagine wearing the collection?

I’ve always pictured this individual in particular wearing the collection; Barbadian pop singer Rihanna. The style of the collection would work with her bold edgy rebellious persona. Putting aside that she’s considered a fashion icon, I’ve always seen her as real risk taker when it comes to fashion. Whether it is a full jumpsuit with a pair of trainers or a see-through dress with lavish sandals to match, she’s not afraid to push the bar and oozes absolute confidence whilst doing it.

What is it like collaborating? How long were you working together?

We began working together between mid-January and the beginning of February, where we did a mini collection for the British Fashion Council which progressed onto our final collection seen at the press show. The experience was crazy yet exciting, definitely would do it again.

Collaborating, especially with people from a different practise and design background, was something completely new and exciting to me. We had our fair share of challenges but if I’m honest I kind of liked it simply because it forced us out of our comfort zone and really pushed each of our individual designs to complement one another to make that collection.

What are your plans for the future?

I definitely want to travel at the first given opportunity, luckily I’m fortunate enough to live close to London, the capital of fashion, but I would to explore different cultures through fashion, art and architecture to use them as inspiration to help me evolve as designer. In terms of my career I do have big dreams like most but at the same time I’m realistic and understand that this is a hard industry to break into. I plan to build up as much industry experience as I can and learn from the best by doing internships, hopefully landing design job out of it. Ultimately, I want to be my own boss and run my own company. One thing I know for certain, as long as I have a pencil and a piece of paper, I’ll never stop designing.

Jesika's artwork

Jesika’s artwork

Jesika's artwork

Jesika’s artwork

Close-up on Jesika's prints

Close-up on Jesika’s prints

Close-up on Jesika's prints

Close-up on Jesika’s prints

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Jesika, Sunjung and Vivian’s collection on the catwalk

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Jesika, Sunjung and Vivian’s collection on the catwalk

Youna Min

One of the few students not to be part of a collaboration, it’s mightily impressive that Youna created a series of intricately cool looks (including some brilliant glamorous scarecrow hats herself.
Can you tell me what you were thinking about when you created your collection?
The collection has been inspired from 1970s street gangsters and pimps fashion in America. I was trying to combine the bold shapes of the pimp’s suite with the graphic cross lines of the street wear.
I loved the hats which finished off all your looks, can you tell me a bit about them?
Basically, the idea of the hats came from the pimp’s look. It was easy to get the shapes of the big hats, however, I wanted to make the hats look really odd. Shiny and fringed textures helped to create the odd shapes, reducing the seams and simplyfing the patterns.
Can you tell me some of the technical elements you used to create the fabrics?
There are two main techniques that I have used to create the fabrics – tyvek with heat transfer film and fringe fabrics. Tyvek is a waterproof,  sort of papery fabric which helped me to create the massive bold silhouettes of the jackets. Then, I attached the transfer heat film on top of the surface and also between the seams which haven’t been pressed. In contrast, the other technique that I have used is fringing fabrics. Fringing helped me to create the softness in contrast to the solid tyvek. There are certain fabrics which can be beautifully fringed. The selection of the fringed fabrics was really important, combining with different weights and colours. This sort of techniques gave a lot of ideas for the patchwork of the dress.
What are your plans for the future?
I still want to develop some of the ideas of this collection and produce some more commercial garments- most of the looks in my collection were really show pieces. I am working at designer studio in London at the moment, however, I have some plans to study for an MA as well.
Youna Min's portfolio

Youna Min’s portfolio

Youna Min's portfolio

Youna Min’s portfolio

Youna Min's portfolio

Youna Min’s portfolio

Youna Min's portfolio

Youna Min’s portfolio

Youna Min's portfolio

Youna Min’s portfolio

Youna Min's collection on the catwalk

Youna Min’s collection on the catwalk

Charlotte Knowles

Charlotte closed the LCF show with a series of fascinating looks which chinked and clinked as the models walked. It looked almost like chain mail but I love the actual inspiration which draws on a very particular element of modern life.

What were you thinking about when you created your collection?
My research was predominantly based on cycling cultures. I was particularly inspired by bike couriering; the way of life, culture, clothing and bike-wear. I studied the women in these cultures and they became my muses. From this, I wanted to convey a feeling of strength and athleticism through the silhouettes and textures I developed, whilst maintaining femininity and a touch glamour.
Can you tell me about some of the techniques you used?
The textiles were incredibly specific and complicated in their manufacture, with a lot of stages, use of special machinery and bonding. By scanning in individual pattern pieces (on which the embellishments were to be placed) I created placements of patterns. The prints were developed on Illustrator. I created dot patterns which translated as tiny holes in the fabric when cut on the laser cutter. Into these the pins were pushed through, creating a dense, tough looking texture.  The inspiration of the prints was derived from bike tread markings.
Detail shot on Charlotte's collection

Detail shot on Charlotte’s collection

Charlotte's mood board

Charlotte’s mood board

Charlotte's sketches

Charlotte’s sketches

Charlotte's sketches

Charlotte’s sketches

Charlotte Knowles work on the catwalk

Charlotte Knowles work on the catwalk

Charlotte Knowles work on the catwalk

Charlotte Knowles work on the catwalk

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