Yesterday marked the London College of Fashion’s second annual MA showcase, which featured collections by ten graduates selected by a panel of industry professionals. LCF alumni and world-renowned Fashion Director, Anders Sølvsten Thomsen was also on hand to style the collections, having worked closely with the students last year. The runway burst with creativity, offering inspiration as disparate as minimalism, break-ups and Tescos combined with fresh silhouettes, innovative tailoring and refined textiles. Here, we pull out four names to watch from the next-generation of talent.
One size fits all with Peng Chen, who designed unisex garments that can be adjusted to fit large and small sized bodies. As part of his research, Cheng generated 3D body scans to study form and various body shapes, focusing his methodology on combining both sizes through pattern cutting. The collection titled, Normal-In-Normal, featured giant quilted jackets worn over patterned nightwear made from Linton tweeds. Inspired by designers such as Alexander McQueen, he also created a range of large hats, some of which featured protruding horns. “I wanted to celebrated masculinity in all its different forms,” said Cheng. “For my hats, I got the inspiration from animal horns, like deers, because only male animals have horns.”
Inspired by the philosopher Jacques Rancière, Bethany Williams strives towards social change through fashion. “I want fashion to be beneficial and not taking advantage of people,” said Williams. “I have always worked with a charities and hope to give people a helping hand towards a new life by collaborating with communities.” Her collection, titled Breadline, was devised to highlight and find solutions for the “hidden hunger” crisis in the UK. Williams worked with Vauxhall Food Bank and supermarket giant Tesco, donating fresh fruits in exchange for their unwanted items of clothing – mainly denim and knitwear – and then used the fabrics to produce a completely recycled collection.
Some of the greatest art has come from pain and for Alexis Housden, the emotional turmoil he experienced after a breakup manifested itself into his final collection. It spawned research into depression, mourning and consequently the veil as funeral and wedding attire, which he developed into delicate pussy-bowed tulles pieces. “I didn’t want to just represent mourning and loss in my work,” said Housden. “After any hardship is a feeling of peace, acceptance and strength – hardship can bring strength. When someone leaves you, you think you are going to die but you don’t and life continues.”
Grant-James Povey stepped back in time to the voluminous fashions of the late 1500s via oversized shoulders, tudor style ruffs, puffy sleeves and period craft techniques such as smocking and quilting. “I have quite an interest in history and wanted to explore how volume worked within historical costume,” he told Dazed. Now a self-confessed smocking addict, Povey modernised the collection by combining his penchant for historical design with contemporary silhouettes inspired by designers such as Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons.