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Nathalie Ballout, LCF, BA graduate fashion
Nathalie Ballout backstage at LCF BA fashion 2015Photography Daisy Walker

The LCF fashion grads that tore up the catwalk

Peace signs, #freethenipple and going into battle: graduate show season comes to a close with the London College of Fashion

Yesterday, twenty graduates from the London College of Fashion exhibited their designs on a catwalk that led outside and on to the streets of Shoreditch. This year’s selection presented everything from awkward sex kittens to veiled innocents searching for a sense of identity. We select our top collections from the group below. 

KATE DONALD

Initial reaction: 

A ritual complete with face-covering veils, floral tributes and communion-style dresses. 

Ivory individuals

A procession of models dressed in enveloping ivory gowns – some with their faces obscured by structural veils. Mini bouquets formed a layer under tights, with flowers acting as a central motif to the collection. “I used flowers to cover the eyes on the veils to emphasise the theme of lost innocence,” said Donald. “The flowers representing the innocence and purity of children in contrast to the darkness of covering the face – symbolising momentary loss of individuality, whilst you decide who you want to be.” 

NATHALIE BALLOUT

Initial reaction: 

Ropey structures à la FKA twigs in her “Pendulum” music video. 

Ripped and rewired: 

Models made the peace sign gesture as they trailed down the runway, like provocative mermaids caught in elaborate fishing nets. Rope and wire structures snaked across bare breasts and looped around raised arms, whilst heavily ripped jeans and destroyed tights covered bottom halves. "I wanted to create a collection of worn installations that would raise awareness of the global issue of energy poverty. The wires represent a decentralised world free of rule and structure," explained Ballout.

MARIA GIANNAKAPOPOULOU

Initial reaction:

The deserted boys from William Golding's The Lord of the Flies, but older and more dishevelled. 

Ravaged renegades:

"I manipulated the fabric by deconstructing it and then reconstructing it with machine embroidery in specific areas,” explained Giannakapopoulou. By using techniques such as thread pulling and heat sublimation printing, the designer created knitted garments which appeared ravaged and shredded. Structures draped around the models’ bodies in strips, giving a destructive and yet delicate feel to the collection.

SEOKWOO LEE

Initial reaction:

A post-apocalyptic vision of Saville Row tropes. 

The White Ribbon: 

The traditional pinstripe suit was deconstructed and remixed with toile and chiffon. Inspired by Michael Haneke’s 2009 film The White RibbonLee attempted to show “the moderation and the madness” of Germany in the 1930s. The most obvious reference to this was the structural, high waisted skirts made up in a midnight coloured fabric. 

FANNI VARGA

Initial reaction:

Boobs, bondage and battle. 

Clumsy Sexiness

“I have always liked contradictions,” explained Vagra, whose collections combined the ethereal nature of chiffon with brash, black trimming. “I wanted to present a bad, clumsy imitation of being sexy,” said the designer, whose garments were modelled on the shape of negligees and cut-out bras, and accessorised with pierced bondage-style jewellery designed by fellow student Natalie Chan.