We catch up with seven of the designers we are looking forward to most ahead of tomorrow’s LCF BA14 graduate showcaseWomenswear by Ruri Watanabe, Model Rose Elston @ Select, Photography by James Rees


Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear

Have you always been interested in fashion, where did your love for it come from?

I have been dreaming to become a fashion designer since I was five. It stemmed from Disney World, Florida, I saw a fashion studio for Disney characters and since that moment I have aimed to be a designer. I wanted to be a designer for Mickey Mouse until I knew about the fashion industry! I have never changed my aim to be a fashion designer.

You’ve worked a lot with denim, why do you think denim is always so relevant in fashion?

Working with denim stemmed from research about a uniform that is a keepsake from my grandfather. It is very old, but not damaged at all and I like how denim is very strong material that changes the shapes depending on the owner. So even though there’s a mass production of denim products, it could be only one product for the owner. As a result, denim never becomes boring to wear.

Which designers inspire you the most?

I would like to point out someone I have met. I am inspired by the designer Daniel Roseberry who is a top designer for Thom Browne. He does both womenswear and menswear along with any designs that Browne wants. I think it is very hard to reply to the requests every time. However, he does that through visualising his idea with amazing drawings. I respect him as a fashion designer but I also admire his personality.

Legwarmer knitted by Hattie Buzzard. 

Womenswear by Lauren Pigreen & Fiona Barnes, Headpiece by Nicole Paskauskas, Model Rose Elston @ Select, Photography James Rees


Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear

Where does your interest in fashion stem from? 

When I was four or five years old in a kids’ clothing store, I picked up the most expensive, ridiculous dress in there and threw a tantrum until my mother was forced to buy it for me out of sheer embarrassment. I started designing when I was thirteen but I’ve been interested in clothing for as long as I can remember. I think my interest came from the clothing that my mother and aunt dressed me in as a small child. The floral Doc Martens, shiny denim vests, frilly socks, and slogan tee shirts. Funky clothing and art was always a large part of my life therefore fashion was the natural path for me to pursue.

Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from?

Botched art restoration. The initial inspiration came from the restoration of “Ecce Homo”, a Jesus Christ Fresco in Spain, by an unprofessional woman in her eighties. She destroyed something of great history and sentimental value and replaced it by something she thought looked better than the water damage on the original painting. The idea is that the process of restoration (airbrushing) destroys the original identity yet it is a practice that is commonly accepted in advertising and the fashion industry today. The fear is that we will continue to retouch iconic art works and airbrush our image until our history and image no longer exists.

You seem to focus a lot on colour and deconstruction are these reoccurring themes for you, if not what are?

Colour is a new direction for me, one I’m quite pleased with. I often play with deconstruction because I like to show a visual thought process or transformation. Physical deconstruction highlights the importance of each fibre, detail, and the history behind an object. I think the impact of the message or process is stronger when you get to watch it develop and unravel before your eyes. Satire is a reoccurring theme for me too. I’ve recently started developing my political cartoons/defaced artwork into prints which is an avenue to be developed much further in the future.

What would your dream collaboration be?

Environmental artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude and fashion satirist and illustrator George Cruikshank! (But obviously that’s not possible for two of three). Or Moschino and illustrator James Gillray for political cartoon garments (again, highly unlikely). Or photographer Nobuyoshi Araki and Nicola Formichetti for an anti-advertising campaign. Maybe photographer Jan Saudek. Actually I’d love to collaborate with photojournalists to create social protest prints/large scale artwork. The World Press Photo archives is probably the most useful site on the internet.

Designed in collaboration with Fiona Barnes, headpiece by Nicole Paskauskas. 

Millinery & Womenswear by Youna Min, Model Gemma Steel @ Select, Photography James Rees



Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear
Have you always been interested in fashion since a young age? 
Yes, i was very interested in fashion from early childhood. I have acquired my sense of fashion from looking at my mom dressing up beautifully. 
Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from? 
The collection was inspired from 1970’s American gangsters and hipsters. 
What are the reoccurring themes in your work?
I had an interest in the Black American cultures of 1970’s. The items that they wear gave me ideas for designing. Baseball jumpers and pimp’s suits were great reference for the shape and texture.
How did you decide on the colour theme?
The colours came from the bold colours of baseball uniforms and gloves. The element of cross lines can be shown graphically with using black and white as the main colour.
Womenswear by Charlotte Knowles Model Lucy Evans at Select photographer James Rees 2


Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear

How did you come to pursue the fashion path? 

As a child i loved painting, sculpting and working with materials – this love for making developed into an interest in fashion and textiles due to my grandmother’s influence. She owned a fashion boutique which was filled with beautiful designer clothing and magazines. Her, and her own sense of style, has always been an inspiration to me

Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from?

My main inspiration for my Final major project came from strong women; physicality and inner strength. My initial concept stemmed from renunciation and withdrawal from consumerism, initially looking at monastic culture and dress – but it really evolved from there. I was looking at cycling cultures in cities all over the world that reject aspects of modern day life, predominantly in New York and Toronto where bike messengering and cycling are prevalent. I studied the women bike couriers and tried to design from their life styles and found textural inspiration from their bikes and metal wear. This, I combined with my own vision of elegance and drama. 

Talk me through the process applying pins to wool as we see in your work, where did this concept come from?

I was inspired by the metal wear prevalent in cycling culture; frames and spokes, keys, chains, bike locks, studs, bolts and so on. I also found inspiration in the metal wear that hangs from the messenger bag straps on the couriers. My prints were inspired by bike tread markings. I wanted to replicate this somehow, but create my own interpretation of it. Each pattern piece with the textiles on it has a bike tread print placement – the prints are formed with 1mm (in diameter) holes cut out on the laser cutter – after cut, the pins are pushed through. I found that by creating these dense patterns, a dramatic, almost fluid effect was created, and although the graphic pattern is perhaps lost a bit within the pins, it still shows through subtly and reflects light beautifully.

Millinery & Tailoring by Marta Cesaro, Model Fern Thomas @ Select, Photography James Rees


Where did your interest in fashion stem from?

It was definitely related to my passion for drawing and illustration and then it developed into fashion.

What made you decide to work with bespoke tailoring?

I have always had an interest in haute couture, but I wasn’t sure if that’s what I wanted to do. I thought that taking that as a first step, I could then learn how to construct and sew garments in a fine way. I thought bespoke tailoring would offer me that knowledge.

Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from?

It started with the Sophia Coppola movie Lost in Translation and developed into the investigation and discovery of the different layers of reality and the many perspectives that an individual can use to look at things.

Which designers inspire you the most?

I really admire Phoebe Philo’s work and her ability to redefine modern in every collection through her use of fabric and design of details.

Womenswear & Millinery by Sofia Ilmonen, Model Ameenah Bakht @ LCF Streetcasting, Photographer James Rees


Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear
Have you always been interested in fashion, where did your love for it come from?  
When I was young my mum used to make clothes for my siblings and I. I was fascinated how a piece of a flat fabric can turn into a wearable shape. And so I started to make my own clothes and get interested in fashion.
Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from?

The inspiration came from the idea of verisimilitude in photography and how people can create image of them selves through a photo. I’m fascinated about the fact how different realities can be created though images; beautiful can be seen in ruins and vice versa.

What are the reoccurring themes in your work?
My themes are quite a mix of sources as my research just took me into different places. I looked into some old photo books, imaginary of ’50s style and adverts, and notice boards which were organically ripped. The latter came to play a big part in my work as I used ripping and tearing to create collages that gave me ideas for silhouettes and shapes.
Womenswear by Rachel O'Mahony  Textiles by Harry Harvey Model, Miranda Gosling at Select photographer James Rees 2.tif



Fashion Textiles

How did fashion come into your life?

I have always liked clothes and this probably comes from living with my mum and gran who are both very fashionable. I was about 12 and my mum took me to the Zandra Rhodes exhibition at the fashion and textile museum and thats when I thought I want to do this when i grow up!

Where did the inspiration for your graduate collection come from?

My inspiration was my mum! The collection was based around being an only child and how that has made our relationship stronger and closer. My colours came from her pink lipstick and purple hair as well as her clothing and jewellery.

Your work has this amazing raw hand-made quality to it, is this something you use as a reoccurring theme?

Sort of. Im not a messy person but my work does have a very sketchy, rough feel to it. Its always had this!! I think this comes from experimenting and playing around with different mediums. A lot of my textile work is done by hand and this naturally has a raw quality to it.

There is also a lot of detail in your work, how do you begin the design process?

I aways start by drawing. I love drawing! I then paint, photograph and scan images and eventually they turn into textiles. I love hand sewing and beading, this is almost like drawing for me.

What would your dream collaboration be?

I would love to work with a band or musician and create pieces for them to wear on stage. I like creating pieces that are fun and maybe not so practical!

See more on the LCF fashion live stream.


Creative Direction: Rob Phillips

Photography: James Rees

Beauty: Melissa Wong



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