The short-run display will run only until February third, but its talented participants are certain to make a long-term impact on the fashion industry. Dynamic new courses such as Fashion Media Production showed the very contemporary cross-pollination developing in fashion between the web, film, styling and illustration through arresting video shorts. More traditional techniques like pattern cutting and fashion design were challenged in the respective courses and the results are as seemingly straightforward as they are ingeniously innovative.
The print is the main focal point of the collection and was my starting point. The idea of taking traditional menswear and distorting the silhouette through the digitally printed hand-drawn illustrations seemed to be the perfect way of challenging traditional menswear
The group of mannequins draped in, amongst others, Alexander McQueen and Comme des Garçons interpretations, display a high level of expertise and precision – a mastery of craftsmanship seen across the board at this impressive exhibition, necessary to overturn and push forward fashion from within. Dazed Digital went over to have a look and talked to three promising graduates: Christina Hamilton of MA Fashion Artefact, Ross Barber of MA Fashion Footwear and Joseph Turvey of MA Fashion Design Technology.
Dazed Digital: What was the biggest challenge while creating this collection?
Joseph Turvey: The biggest challenge for me was creating a collection that was original. I would like to think I have achieved this with my hand-illustrated portraits of mens’ faces that have been digitally printed, onto silks and cottons, that change the silhouette and explore the idea of illusion.
DD: What did you want to convey?
Joseph Turvey: I wanted to challenge the conformity of traditional menswear. By taking classic menswear shapes and tailoring techniques and then transferring them into unconventional fabrics such as lace, silk and knit. I think menswear needs to “lighten up” and take itself so seriously.
DD: In what ways have you used the medium of digital print for that purpose?
Joseph Turvey: The print is the main focal point of the collection and was my starting point. The idea of taking traditional menswear and distorting the silhouette through the digitally printed hand-drawn illustrations seemed to be the perfect way of challenging traditional menswear.
Dazed Digital: Tell us about the material you used and why?
Ross Barber: The lattice enveloping the shoes is made out of 3D printed nylon. Both the technique and the material are commercially not very viable, but it was about exploring a concept.
DD: What was the challenge about it?
Ross Barber: The thing was that it was not so much a challenge as it was about finding a less restrictive medium. From the start I wanted to throw out a conventional way of designing, and go toward a technique driven approach. The lattice is functionality becoming the aesthetic.
DD: How did you want to convey with your work?
Ross Barber: I try to show a metamorphosis of the design. The lattice can be seen as a kind of disease which pulls the skin apart and takes over the leather, showing a struggle between the two after which the disease takes over.
Dazed Digital: What made you want to create these objects?
Christina Hamilton: I started off in saddlery but my tutors encouraged me to start sketching handbags. They applied for me to do this MA and I got a place here, where I began to mix disciplines and make accessories.
DD: What is the biggest challenge about it?
Christina Hamilton: The material I work with and the cost. Leather used for saddlery is much thicker and difficult to work with without butchering it in the process. Saddlery is the oldest leather trade in the world – houses like Hermès made saddles first, then handbags – so the challenge is also to keep the authenticity of the craft.
DD: How have you made it contemporary?
Christina Hamilton: The unique element about my pieces is that they are created to fit the authentic pre-WWII bikes that I found. They are detachable and can be used on their own, but other bags can also be attached to them.
MA_12: Victoria House Basement, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London WC1B 4DA, Wednesday 1-Friday 3 February 2012, from 12.00-19.00