MA Fashion Retail learn about manufacturing on John Smedley factory visit

Earlier this month the MA Fashion Retail Management cohort took a trip to the John Smedley factory based in Derbyshire, to find out about the manufacturing process and to get a behind the scenes look at what happens before the garments hit the shops.

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The Fashion Retail students were lucky enough to be taken through each and every step of the manufacturing process, the staff at the factory explaining where old and new technology collide, with updated and advanced machinery, to cutting and finishing done by hand running simultaneously, producing some of the world’s finest wool, cashmere and cotton knitwear.

Each of the LCF students’ questions was answered in detail, helping to put theory into context. They also got an insight into the company’s retail channels, strategy and planning, operations in a fashion retail business, raw material and inventory management, manufacturing and marketing, quality control, recycling and human resource.

Student ‪Baitoey Mekseepralard‬‬ said:

“It was a great opportunity to learn the process of making knitwear and also gain insight into how British textile manufacturer launched its own fashion brand”

Words by Ahera Mathew, MA Fashion Retail Management, 2014-15.

LCF Redesigns Fashion Jewellery Workshops at Mare Street

LCF has made a major investment in the BA Fashion Jewellery workshops at Mare Street.

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The much needed redesign and refit took place over the Christmas break, with students returning to a jubilant course team.

Staff, technical team, students, lectures and managers celebrated the refurbishment with a launch and get together event at Mare Street. The whole BA Fashion Jewellery course got involved in the event which included a peer presentation of year 1 and 2 students work in progress.

Fashion Jewellery is a newly developed subject area at LCF, and this is an exciting time for the course which is going from strength to strength.

The course encourages innovation within the subject and has developed a strong industry focus since launching in 2009. Year 1 students have just completed a project with Turbull and Asser and currently year 2 students are working with the Worshipful Company of Pewterers. Course Leader, Jane Francis said:

‘We are thrilled with the new 3D studio, specialist workbenches and redesign of the space. It is a functional and a bespoke new learning environment for our students to develop their skills and creative thinking’

Feedback from students about the new workshop space has also been very positive:

“It’s gorgeous!”

“Now I can study in a professional environment”

“It looks modern and professional. Its great knowing there is investment into the course’

“I find it very exciting. Having classes taught at the bench its easier to focus”

“It gives me more space for working and offers all of us the opportunity to achieve our ambitions”

How to thrive… Industry experts talk Positive Psychology

The second of LCF’s Better Lives seminars on Positive Psychology in Fashion saw Professor Helen Storey MBE and Dr. Linda Papadopoulos discussing the ways in which they, as professionals, are thriving within their respective industries.

After apologising for “being a bit Yorkshire” and keeping her coat on, Helen Storey went into detail about the success of her pioneering Catalytic Clothing project, before giving the audience an exclusive look at her future work.

For Helen, one of the key antidotes to discussing issues that people don’t want to discuss is by using the notion of beauty. The fully booked audience was swept away by the beauty of Helen’s dress, which aims to purify the air we breathe. From the light to dark ombré of the fabric to the pattern mimicking the passageway of the lungs, the dress is a true vision.

Often the issues surrounding climate change are a challenge: how do we make people care? Helen argues that we need to “capture and share the human ingenuity it takes to combat climate change.” After vividly mapping out the immense social response to the Catalytic Clothing project, it appears that Helen is achieving just that.

Achieving (and sometimes non-achieving) was a profound interest of yesterday evening’s second speaker, Dr. Linda Papadopoulos. Linda’s cousin has vitiligo, a condition that affects the pigmentation of the skin, which altered her ability to thrive and achieve. “She became withdrawn; she dropped out of gymnastics,” Linda explained.

Interviewed by MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion student Elena Mansilla, Linda spoke passionately about the pressures placed upon women to have it all.

“Your value lies in your youth and beauty,” Linda problematised, before explaining how the likes of Instagram and Facebook have brought new meaning to the concept of body image: “We’re defining our identity based on people who don’t know us, who don’t care.”

For Linda and Helen, the means to thriving is all about regaining control over your own mind and body. When questioned by one audience member about our tendency to be our own worst enemy, Linda noted:

“Defining a problem is fine but defining a solution is better.”

Helen added: “Without obstruction, there is no growth.”

After picking up a signed copy of Linda’s new book, and allowing the topics touched upon in the seminar to sink in, I left feeling empowered and refreshed. What’s to say that every single person in the audience couldn’t thrive?

Words by Nicole Mullen, BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism

 

Fashion Bags and Accessories students collaborate with local school

First year Fashion Bags and Accessories students from LCF were this month offered the exciting opportunity to collaborate on an accessories exercise with a class of 8 year olds at Prior Weston School, Golden Lane.

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Not only was this a good chance for the students to learn about designing for children, bit it was also a chance to foster community spirit in the Golden Lane locality.

First year student Michelle Hampson said:

‘Working with the children was fun and their imagination is really out there.’

The collaboration allowed the children to learn all about fashion and design their own bags and hats. The LCF students introduced the accessories design process, talked about the work they do, and headed up teams to design a bag with the younger consumer in mind.

Fellow student Hsin-Bei Lee added:

‘It was a pleasure to join the collaboration, it was such a special experience’.

Annalise Tovey said:

“When it came to designing, the children had wild imaginations – whether it be a fridge inside a bag or a bullet proof rucksack they helped to loosen up our minds and have some fun. The children had the ability to believe in the extraordinary which in my eyes makes a good, innovative designer.”

At the end of the session each group presented their idea, or multiple ideas, to each other. The teachers at Prior Weston School invited the students back in February for the pupils’ fashion show so they can see the resulting designs.

MA Fashion Retail students take special tour of Jigsaw concept store

On the morning of November 27, students of the MA Fashion Retail Management course walked into Duke St. Emporium, Jigsaw’s concept store, for a special talk and tour with CEO Peter Ruis.

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We began by enjoying our morning coffee at the Fernandez & Wells café in the store, in a very relaxed environment, amidst books and some good jukebox music. We were then taken around by Peter Ruis, who explained the store’s concept in detail.

“It was really great to hear Peter. He answered all our questions honestly and gave us really valuable ‘no-nonsense’ business advice, which was quite refreshing! Definitely my favourite part of the visit,” one of the students commented.

What most surprised, and pleased, students was the overall non-digital atmosphere, which stretches throughout the three elements of the Duke St. Emporium – the café, The Shop at Bluebird, and the iconic brand Jigsaw. One student said,  “It’s not just a ‘stop n shop’, it’s an experience.”

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the store, which, as another student puts it, is a practical example of how a “retail space can create a platform for interaction and communication with its customers”, providing alternative experiences, by joining the fields of shopping, culture, and design.

Word by Inês Van Pinto

British Psychological Society recognises LCF’s MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion course

Naveeya Mongkoltanmakul, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration

Naveeya Mongkoltanmakul, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration

In recent months, the MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals and MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion have been celebrated by the British Psychology Society, with the MSc course and students from both courses winning recognition for their work.

The MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion has been awarded accredited status by the British Psychological Society (BPS). BPS accreditation is a high-quality benchmarking process that prospective students and employers understand and value and is important for a number of reasons.

For one, it enables graduates to have the opportunity to gain Graduate or Chartered membership of the Society. What’s more, accreditation is evidence that the course meets BPS requirements in covering and assessing learning on core areas of psychology through promoting psychology as a science.

On top of this, three students from both courses have had their abstracts selected for presentation at the 2015 British Psychological Society Annual Conbference – a highly competitive forum!

Students Nida Ehsan and Joel Masson, MSc Applied Psychology in Fashion will present papers on the topics of vanity sizing and androgyny in fashion, whilst Becka Fleetwood-Smith, currently studying MA Psychology for Fashion Professionals, will present her paper on attachment theory applied to clothing.

Course leader, Dr Carolyn Mair, will also be taking part in the conference, running a workshop on how psychology can enhance well-being in the context of fashion and Dr Soljana Cili, Postdoc in Psychology at LCF will presenting her paper on the impact of online exposure to adverse experiences on memory.

This week sees Carolyn bring her expertise to Twitter for the LCF Better Lives tweet chat. Drawing on the theme of the 2015 Better Lives seminars, experts and those interested in psychology and fashion will have a chance to discuss Positive Psychology in fashion. Use #LCFBetterLives to join in, ask your questions and share your thoughts.

Not just another fashion commercial

On Saturday January 10, the London Short Film Festival presented its fashion film strand Transgression & Convention in Fashion Film in collaboration with London College of Fashion, University of the Art’s Graduate School at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London.

Brand new work from MA Fashion Media Production, MA Fashion Photography and from independent filmmakers was showcased.

MA Fashion Media Production and MA Fashion Photography at London Short Film Festival

MA Fashion Media Production and MA Fashion Photography at London Short Film Festival

Creative, emotionally engaging and thought-provoking, are not words that the uninitiated might associate with fashion film, but this is exactly what the audience experienced on Saturday. The Convention and Transgression screening was as diverse as the fashion industry itself. The fashion films covered topics as varied as transgender identity, dysfunctional relationships, oppression, hyper-reality, self-revelation and Alzheimer’s disease.

Atmospheric and haunting was the story of a toxic relationship in Folie a Deux by MA Fashion Media Production graduate Poon Sap, shot on the white cliffs of Dover. Release by MA Fashion Media Production graduate Raki Cheng was a poetic and visually compelling fashion film that conveyed the loss of childhood.

Most buzzed about was the prize-winning short film Blackened Wings (Miami and Chicago Fashion Film Festival) by Josh Brandão, alumni of MA Fashion Photography. Using motifs of Russian Constructivism and elements of Film Noir, this powerful theatrical production presents the story of a young bullied man who emerges triumphant in flames, wearing amazing designs by Vivienne Westwood, Armani, Givenchy and Tiger of Sweden.

Presenting candid documentary approaches to questions of gender identity were Larissa de Filippo, alumna of MA Fashion Media Production and Harun Güler, current student of MA Fashion Photography with All Eyes on Me; and Saskia Reis, alumna of MA Fashion Media Production and founder of THE LOVESTREET with her 2011 video portrait Rose in London.

The screening was followed by a panel discussion with Nilgin Yusuf, Programme Director of the Media Graduate School and Course Leader of MA Fashion Media Production; Paul Bevan, Course Leader of MA Fashion Photography; Andy Lee, Subject Leader of Fashion Film Practice; and filmmaker Josh Brandão.

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According to Nilgin Yusuf, transgression and fashion film could be as simple as presenting the flawed, the imperfect, the unclean, and the emotional. These were no slick fashion commercials but ground-breaking short films that the market is longing for.

Paul Bevan saw transgression in the diversity of work. None of them were typical fashion films and many had non-linear approaches.

Meanwhile, Josh Brandõ was inspired by the anti-commercial and sees fashion film as a form of art. As film is an expensive medium he advices current and future LCF students to gather as much as possible from the amazing facilities on offer.

Although his films are sophisticated productions he reveals they were low-budget productions based on favours and his time experimenting in the studios at LCF.

“Having a clear vision of your film in mind is what helps you to get people on board”, says Andy Lee.

Although he cannot predict where the future of fashion film is going, it is clear that it is a growing force. With a huge number of fashion films internationally, there is also growing interest from established short film festivals. In November the LCF Graduate School sponsored the first fashion film strands at Aesthetica Short Film Festival, as well as this recent collaboration with London Short Film Festival.

Fashion film enthusiasts are invited to discover the next generation of film making talent at the MA15 Exhibition, 18 – 22 Feb, where they can see new work from graduates of MA Fashion Media Production and MA Fashion Photography, alongside other creative disciplines.

Written by Helen Woltering, MA Fashion Media Production, fashion-bakery.blogspot.com

MA Fashion Retail students inspired by Burberry flagship

The Burberry Regent Store visit organised early November, for the MA Fashion Retail Management cohort was an entry into the threshold of a luxury ‘phygital’ world.

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The visit was a true understanding and viewing of how the luxury brand incorporates technology into the retail store to make the shopping experience not just a process of buying a product, but a real experience of connecting with the brand.

Known to be among the best multichannel brands in the world, the Burberry store visit encompassed all the areas of the store, ready to wear, accessories, shoes, beauty and fragrances.

The private client section of the store, was particularly eye-catching, with the plush ambience and the elevated entry for the select few, directly into the area, from the side entrance of the store. What intrigued the entire group was the clever use of mirrors that turn into screens with runway footage and exclusive video content relevant to the brand and its products, along with a specifically designed area that narrates the history of a product.

“It was a never before, never again experience, ” said one of the MA students. “Burberry, Regent Store makes sure that it provides a seamless approach, thus creating a desire for their clientele to return,” said another, expressing her fascination from the visit.

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The visit threw light on the theoretical concepts and frameworks of experiential retailing along with highlighting the future of fashion retailing, i.e. omnichannel retailing and use of technology in visual and sensory design, not to forget mentioning within the supply chain too, reflected by the use of ipads by the Burberry staff.

Through this store Burberry keeps the tradition of London, Britain, alive through original features that allow in natural light and the sound of rain to let consumers see, hear and feel the energy of weather and the role it plays in Burberry’s heritage.

Words by Shruti Jaipuria

LCF alumna works on new Star Wars movie

Suzi Battersby, LCF alumna from the BA (Hons) 3D Effects for Performance and Fashion course, recently worked in the Creature Department for the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Suzi worked at Pinewood studios alongside 8 other LCF students and graduates.

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LCF News caught up with Suzi to try and get the inside scoop on what it was like to work on such an iconic film franchise (not easy when she has been sworn to secrecy), and to find out what inspires her creatively…

LCF news: What have you been up to since you graduated in 2013? We hear you’ve been getting up to a great variety of projects for some major brands and films?

I have been very lucky to work pretty much back to back on projects since I graduated. My first job was on a Norwegian zombie film called Dead Snow: Red Vs. Dead making prosthetics which was great fun as the film is full of gore effects. After that, I spent 5 months working for English National Opera in their props workshop.

I’ve also done a variety of independent commissions both on my own and with other LCF graduates. The most exciting client among these commissions has to be Selfridges. They had hired Danny Hyland, who was also in my class at LCF, to design props for their instore Christmas displays. A group of us from LCF then started making the pieces he had designed for the London store and Selfridges liked them so much, they expanded the project to all stores nationwide!

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Most recently, I have been working at Creatures Inc, a studio run by Conor O’Sullivan who is a very inspirational guy to be around. Mostly known for prosthetics, he has been Oscar-nominated twice and is responsible for Heath Ledger’s infamous Joker makeup.

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LCF Course Leader awarded prestigious title of UAL Teaching Scholar

We would like to say a huge congratulations to Dr Natascha Radclyffe-ThomasCourse Leader for BA Fashion Marketing, who has been awarded to prestigious title of UAL Teaching Scholar. Natascha was given the award for demonstrating excellence in teaching and support.

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The awards were presented at the 2015 Learning and Teaching Day, by professor Susan Orr, Dean of Learning, Teaching and Enhancement.

Natascha said: “This award comes 20 years since my first part-time teaching experience as an Associate Lecturer at LCF and I am extremely proud to be honoured by my peers and students in this way and to receive such a positive endorsement of my teaching philosophies and practice.”

Natascha will use her award to further her work on internationalism of the curriculum and e-learning. Well done to Natascha on her achievement.

LCF Alumni shine through at London Collections: Men AW15 shows

Baartmans & Siegel AW15 Collections. Graduates of the BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology: Menswear and MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear

Baartmans & Siegel AW15 London Collections: Men. Image: Sane Communications

Last week the AW15 edition of London Collections: Men emphasised both the creative and commercial importance of British brands and emerging talent in the menswear industry and we were pleased to spot more than a few LCF alumni on the bill.

Not only did we fly the LCF flag at the Former Welsh Chapel on Friday morning for the MA15 Menswear show, we also had an array of talented LCF alumni showcasing their collections at some of the most exclusive events in town.

Since 2012, LC:M has been capitalising on the booming British menswear market which grew by 18% between 2008 and 2013 and is now worth £12.9 billion. The event, now in its sixth season, serves as a major pull to menswear aficionados who look to London’s designers for their ability to combine Great British tailoring traditions with international innovation.

On Friday afternoon, just after the MA15 menswear catwalk show, LCF was represented by Rory Parnell-Mooney who showed his debut collection at the Topman MAN show held at the Old Sorting Factory. His collection explored the ritual art of dressing with striking ecclesiastical shapes in minimal designs in black, white and blue. It featured shapes reminiscent of priest’s cassocks with long scarves and collar bibs as well as images of black-clad European rioters.

“It was partly inspired by habits with a real expanse of fabric, a luxury excess of fabrics,” said Rory, who studied the BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Menswear course.

Elsewhere, fellow BA & MA Design Technology Menswear graduates Baartmans and Siegel saw their Autumn/Winter collection impress, as they featured, for the first time, a capsule collection of women’s outerwear. The genesis of their collection came from  European active-wear and Ski-utility clothes. They combined this aesthetic with the brash and exhilarating Dutch gabber scene. The design duo wished to conjure up the sense of focused pursuit, action and journey, propelling the collection beyond the roots of wistful adventure.

Over at Somerset House, five of the world’s leading young menswear designers competed for the inaugural International Woolmark prize menswear award, including LCF graduate and European heat winner Asger Juel Larsen ( BA & MA Fashion Design Technology: Menswear), who was selected as runner up!

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LCF Alumnus selected as Gen Next Designer at Lakmé Fashion Week

LCF Alumnus of MA Fashion Design Technology: Menswear, Manish Bansal, has been selected as one of 6 designers to showcase their collections at the Lakmé Fashion Week Gen Next show. The Gen Next show is one of the most anticipated shows of the week, showcasing bright new talent to the fashion world.

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Designer: Manish Bansal

Manish launched his own lable, Manish Bansal, in 2012 and focuses his design philosophy around social economic view points that have the potential to start dialogues.

LCF News caught up with Manish to find out more…

LCF News: Tell us a bit about your designs…

MB: “My collection suggests a pun on the term ‘Suits’ – deriving reference from a suit of cards or as a suit worn by the influential and important person.”

LCF News: What inspires you about what you do?

MB: “The creative process keeps me inspired all the time. Never knowing what may inspire you and what could be the outcome keeps me interested.”

LCF News: How did your MA help you?

MB: “I started my MA with a clear goal in mind to set up my label. I had worked in design before joining the course. However, the MA helped me in refining my research and design methodology; it made me more aware of my own skills-set and helped me in defining my design philosophy.”

LCF news: What does it mean to you to be shortlisted for the Gen Next award?

MB: “It’s a great start to the New Year! In a country where creativity is thriving, it’s exhilarating to learn that my work is being recognised as the next egneration of designers. I am excited and thrilled with the opportunity and to see the support of friends, family and colleagues.”