London College of Fashion BA Fashion 2014

PJ Harvey in her knickers, mythical hybrid pegasuses and art class prom dates: editor Isabella Burley selects her favourite LCF graduates

Fashion Show
Fiona Barnes, Lauren Pilgreen and Nicole Paskauskas
Fiona Barnes, Lauren Pilgreen and Nicole Paskauskas Photography by Jamie Stoker

The London College of Fashion graduate show saw 26 collections close the student show season in a mash-up of collaborations from milliners, embroiderers and contour designers. The student collections drew references everywhere from Aboriginal bark art to PJ Harvey in her negligee in an array of bold prints, experimental techniques and master tailoring. Here, Dazed editor Isabella Burley selects of favourite students from the graduating class of 2014.

FIONA BARNES (WOMENSWEAR), LAUREN PILGREEN (WOMENSWEAR) AND NICOLE PASKAUSKAS (HEADPIECES AND ACCESSORIES)

Fiona Barnes, Lauren Pilgreen and Nicole Paskauskas
Fiona Barnes, Lauren Pilgreen and Nicole Paskauskas Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction: 

Half-human, half mythical pegasus, models trotted with manes of grey and black hair layered over their faces, knotted down the garments or choking at their necks.

Inspiration:

"The idea for the collection came around obsolescence; if you stay in one place long enough you begin to incorporate what is around you, grow feelings. In a sense, after a while you become the furniture, ingrained in the walls," offered Barnes, "We were inspired initially by photographers such as Daido Moriyama and Nobuyoshi Araki, and the skeletal clothing in the Capuchin Monasteries, alongside, rope-tying, gathering, knotting and the use of hair and water".

Innovation:

Barnes and Pilgreen stitched para-cord – an extremely tough rope used for parachuting – into natural lines like the flow of water. The pair also explored dying techniques such as dip-dye and light tie-dying effects. For the masks, accessories collaborator Nicole Paskauskas harked back to her school days of customising her look, pitting organics such as cotton and lambswool yarns against synthetic hair; dying, dreading and manipulating it with knots to create the masks.

CLARISSA KANG (WOMENSWEAR) AND UMME SALMA (EMBROIDERY)

Clarissa Kang and Umme Salma
Clarissa Kang and Umme Salma Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction:

Modern day Russian folklore meets abstract as opulent straps of scarlett, royal blue, cyan and cream are patched together with lashings of dyed embroidery, courtesy of collaborator Umme Salma.

How they wore it:

With highlights of haphazard stitching and structural, stiff-looking ribbon streams trailing behind.

Inspiration:

Influenced by the music of John Cage – namely, his approach to creating music and his ideas about chance and indeterminacy – Kang embraced these uncertainties, designing the pattern as opposed to the garment itself. She explained, "I endeavoured to take myself out of the designing process and not let my perceived ideas of taste and beauty stand in my way of creating the garment, and instead embraced the outcome of 'what-could-be'".

CHARLOTTE KNOWLES

Charlotte Knowles
Charlotte Knowles Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction: 

Goth-style girls playing with 80s toy phenomenon Pin Art.

How they wore it:

Basic black tailoring gave way to pricked pin embellishment. Mermaid-style swish skirts peeped out from heavy trenchcoats, weighted down with some serious metal hardware – not even paper bag waists, belts and arm warmers were spared from the piercings.

Stand out look:

A sheer grey, mesh floor-length dress, the arms lined and waist cinched with pins. It gave a sense of ultra-tough femininity to a heavy looking collection.

LUCIA KELLY

Lucia Kelly
Lucia Kelly Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction:

80s prom dates in art class slicing up their dresses; glittered knees, taffeta volumes and oil slick surfaces were tied, finger painted and spliced together, exposing a breast here, a shoulder there...

Inspiration:

Primarily, Kelly explored the relationship between love and hate, desire and disappointment, as well as taking inspiration from art school zines. Interested in the different ways of breaking hearts, Kelly also looked towards Serbian-born performance artist Marina Abramović and Ulay's early performance Rest Energy, where Ulay points a bow and arrow at Abramović's heart.

Innovation: 

"The silhouette was made to fit with heart shapes but in a more abstract manner. The collection was mainly made out of silk jerseys so that the shape of the sleeve would be quite bold and the rest would be fluid alongside patent leathers. This was then layered with lots of foils and glitters to again enhance the abstract hearts with art school vibes," said Kelly.

GUYHYUN JEE

Guyhyun Jee
Guyhyun Jee Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction:

A trilogy of the past, present and future; Jee designs for the hybrid human.

How they wore it:

Fur on metallic: furry brimmed hats gave way to a 90s industrial edge of metallic silver leather accents, high-tech bonded fabrics, exposed stitching and zips, and wool fabric drawings using a Tanaka machine that Jee explained were emulative of Aboriginal bark art.

Inspiration:

Looking towards historical tribal art for new design and texture developments, Jee explained that his BA collection – titled ‘Fragment’ – was about “representing an incomplete human development and fragmented memories of human history, through different texture, fabric and diagonal pattern cutting.”

FAYE VAN ANDEL (WOMENSWEAR) AND ZOË GREENING (CONTOUR)

Faye Van Andel and Zoe Greening
Faye Van Andel and Zoe Greening Photography by Jamie Stoker

Initial reaction:

Poor little rich girl.

How they wore it:

A light palette of golden fur gilets, baby pink and Prince of Wales check morphed into black lurex-like tweed, mesh and skin-tone coats with fur hanging at the elbows like a slinking boa; indulgent glamour and peeping lace lingerie. 

Inspiration:

Ever wondered what American socialite Lee Radziwill would wear if she were in her 20's today? Van Andel looked towards imagining her style in furs and silk lingerie, taking heed from the excessive nature of today's consumer, "I was thinking about how people seem to want more and more; more clothes, more luxury – we don't need any of it but it never seems to be enough," explained Van Andel. Collaborating with contour graduate Zoë Greening to create the lingerie that hangs underneath the opulent furs, Greening was inspired by PJ Harvey's "C'mon Billy" film clip, which sees the singer writhing around in a black chemise and fishnets, yearning for a lost lover to come home and meet their child.

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