Monday, 2 July 2012

London College of Fashion BA Season 2012

The London College of Fashion put on a great catwalk performance last week under a Big Top setting at Shoreditch’s Hackney House. Unlike the usual runways, a circus ring was the catwalk with the exit and entrance a maze of giant mirrored columns - a sophisticated take on the funfair’s House of Mirrors. It set the scene and anticipation for the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’.

‘Acts’ entered the arena thick and fast – 25 in all totalling 36 designers of menswear, womenswear, jewellery, accessories and sportswear.

The first act was a combination of menswear by Rory Parnell-Mooney, womenswear by Loko Yu and jewellery by Claire Pugh.

Rory’s collection titled 20XX had a feel of samurai warrior meets urban inner city. Although rich fabrics of leather and furs were used next to the less refined raw edged denims and cottons, the collection had a sense of minimalism as these luxury fabrics were used in a way that spoke of necessity against harsh elements rather than as an adornment. Colour palette serious taking no prisoners black.

Loko’s collection had a 3D dimension with the jackets and leotards being larger than life.  Shoulders on both were extremely wide from the straight sharp edged to the soft curved which undulated down the sleeves creating an hour glass silhouette. The collection mirrored body art growing out from the wearer as spiky beading sprang out of waistbands; tattoo patterns engraved the leather and piercings adorned the seams. 

Claire’s jewellery collection based on sustainable up-cycling was worn by both the male and female models. Although it had been created from old TV parts, it had a futuristic savage look with necklaces including shoulder pieces and nose rings covering mouths.

At the end of the show three awards were presented. Ashleigh Downer won the Barnett Lawson Award for the Best Use of Trimmings. Titled Crystallography embellishments took the form of rock crystals. Blood red crystals dripped from snow white faux fur garments singed with pink sending an anti fur message. Test-tubes with milky water hung off sleeves and adorned skirts like tassels. As though frozen in time under layers of ice, clusters of embellishments were trapped in the diaphanous white gauze fabrics. Strips of metallics glistened on jackets like the multi coloured layers of rocks with patches akin to moss and algae - all made magical in candy colours.

Rose Irwin for fashion design technology (womenswear), Diana Auria Harris for fashion contour (swimwear) and Lili Colley for fashion jewellery were awarded the Fashion Innovation for a United Vision.

Rose Irwin - A patchwork of thin rectangular strips on trousers and tops are offset from each other bringing an illusion of the bright colours bleeding in to each other like a hazy mirage. Sport orientated with boxer shorts, track suits, t-shirts and knee length ski suit. All worn with matching visors or coloured scarves also designed by Rose. Colours were eye popping shades of lime, orange and bright blues. Fabrics used silk and cotton.

Diana - Swimwear with retro silhouettes of high waist bikini bottoms and cut out sections were modernised with the use of clear PVC. Pop graphic prints designed by Margot Bowman

Lili - Jewellery of Deco and spiralling geometric shapes in neon fluorescent LED colours

The Collection of the Year was the most coveted award and went to Sebastiaan Pieter Groenen for his Bespoke Tailoring menswear collection.

Here sharp structured tailoring juxtaposed with the fluidity and femininity of the knee length chiffon vests.  Suit jackets gave the impression of being in the final stages of completion with lapels, collars and sometimes sleeves missing. Raw edged gaps around the waist or down the front of the jackets exposed the contrasting coloured diaphanous vests underneath. Black was matched with pastel pinks and blues.

After leaving the Big Top the entertainment didn’t stop as we all moved to the atmospheric exhibition area for the private viewing  of footwear, accessories, jewellery and more clothing collections. 

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

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