A cultural exchange between Helsinki and London makes for high style

Kerttuelina Clothes, photographed by Brandon Huang

Kerttuelina Clothes, photographed by Brandon Huang

A week of exciting cultural exchange culminated in a collaborative photo shoot organised by Aalto’s visiting MA students and LCF’s MA Fashion Photography and BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear students, which was displayed at the LCF Lime Grove site

MA students from the School of Arts, Design and Architecture from Helsinki’s Aalto University were invited to visit LCF. A week of workshops aimed to explore and engage with intercultural and international identities in terms of fashion, image and visual language across the two capital cities.

Students were given the opportunity to attend exhibitions, presentations and networking events and also had time to attend cultural activities such as the Gaultier and Beyond exhibition at the Barbican Centre, and its sister exhibition Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest at LCF’s Fashion Space Gallery.

The relationship between Aalto University and LCF is an ongoing exchange and students can look forward to further exciting collaborations in the future.

Sing Yu Chang clothing

Sing Yu Chang clothing

Sofia/Timo clothing, photography by  Man Fung Mak

Sofia/Timo clothing, photography by Man Fung Mak

Inside advice as LCF Careers hosts fashion networking day for new graduates

As part of the BA14 season, LCF Careers invited industry guests and students to meet one another at the BA14 Design Exhibition, allowing attendees to network and check out the work on show.

The event was a wonderful opportunity for students to network with some very exciting industry figures, some of which were also providing graduating students with mentoring sessions.

We took the opportunity to ask big industry names why they were keen to hire LCF graduates and for any top tips on getting hired after university. Here’s what they had to say…

Roxy Smith, ASOS

“LCF students and graduates are forward thinking, they think outside the box and are really innovative. I’d advise them to take any opportunity that comes along to break into the fashion industry and just go for it!”

Ann-Marie Crandley, Perry Ellis Europe

“LCF students and graduates are innovative and are not afraid to try something new and creative whilst also understanding the need to be commercial. We have taken on lots of interns from LCF and we work closely with LCF Careers. We get inundated with high quality applications!”

Laura Grangaud, Christian Dior

“Experience is key as it will open doors. Also, consider starting in retail and working your way up!

We also asked a few of our alumni in attendance how LCF gave them support after graduating…

Renée Lacroix , Alumni and Owner of Fashion Label ‘Antithesis’

“The networking events and opportunities for graduates are amazing. We also received great support from both LCF and UAL wide – from being promoted on the LCF Blog to receiving Seed funding from SEE for our fashion label”

Dave Shaw, Alumni and Marketing Manager at Company ‘Moss Bros’

“LCF supported us massively. Doing the placement year was key as we managed to get jobs straight away after graduating. LCF played a big part in helping us make connections which allowed us to take the next steps towards our career”

  • Photography: Nedim Nazerali

LCF Alumna designs costumes for English National Ballet

Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance

Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance

LCF Alumna Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance, recently designed costumes for Fabian Reimair’s, We Are Free, as part of the National Ballet’s choreographics series.

Every year the English National Ballet gives their dancers the opportunity to choreograph a short dance performance, and having worked for the English National Ballet before as a freelance costumier, Antonella was recommended by the wardrobe staff to produce the costumes for Fabian’s show.

Antonella spoke about the opportunity:

“I was very excited to work with the choreographer on his piece and about having my designs showcased by an internationally known company. I also felt very grateful for the support I received from the costume department staff to help create the costumes.”

Antonella was asked to plan the visual concept of the piece in accordance with the choreographer’s vision and physical requirements for the dancers. The job entailed designing and making costumes for 3 female and 2 male dancers.

The designer told LCF News about her passion for costume design:

“I absolutely love designing and creating for the body in movement. I like the challenge and to challenge the body in movement and that is what inspires me and keeps me going.”

Antonella now plans to forge ahead with her costume designing career, working for the National Ballet and the Royal Opera House.

LCF BA14 alumni selected for Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase

Recent LCF BA14 graduates, Charlotte KnowlesLuke Bullen and Jana Dahmen, all BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, have been selected for the Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase.

The Graduate Showcase returns this September for its fourth year, announcing the ten best fashion design graduates from the UK, scouted from over 300 collections viewed in February and June’s graduate shows.

Fresh out of university, this is a wonderful opportunity for Luke and Jana – whose collection is a collaboration – and for Charlotte, with each of them having the chance to present a selection of three looks from their final collections at London Fashion Week. The Showcase allows press, buyer and industry members attending the event to meet the graduates and discover their creative vision first hand.

Charlotte, Jana and Luke’s success comes on top of three LCF MA alumnae being selected for Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones To Watch’.

  • Image credits – Right & Left: Roger Dean – Centre: Photography, James Rees; Direction, Rob Phillips.

LCF alum Zhou Jun is named as a winner of Audi Star Creation 2014.

Photo: Zhou Jun, Red Construction, Audi Star Creation 2014

Photo: Zhou Jun, Red Construction, Audi Star Creation 2014

LCF MA Fashion Design Technology (Menswear) 2014 graduate Zhou Jun has been named as one of three winners of the Audi Star Creation 2014 prize in Singapore. He will take home a cash prize of $10,000, a year-long internship with F J Benjamin and a chance to develop his own capsule collection for the Audi Fashion Festival 2015 show.

The three winners this year were picked from 418 hopefuls from 14 countries, and each of the 12 finalists, accompanied by a model, presented their respective collections to the judging panel. The designs revolved around the concepts of religion, history, culture, flora and fauna, and even protective body armour, all embodying this year’s theme of ‘The Asian Perspective’.

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MA Fashion Photography graduate wins at major European photography competition.

Eliska Kyselkova, MA Fashion Photography

Eliska Kyselkova, MA Fashion Photography

MA Fashion Photography graduate, Eliska Kyselkova, has won a selection of prizes at the Prix de la Photographie PX3 competition.

The Prix de la Photographie, Paris (PX3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging new talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Since it was founded in 2008, PX3 has become one of the most important European Photography competitions.

Eliska, whose work focuses on fashion and portraiture, entered three of her photographic series’ into the student category of the competition. Her Circo medrano series was awarded with two gold prizes in the People/Personality category and Portraiture/Personality category. She was also awarded with a silver prize in the Finer Art/ People category for Scopophilia: Pleasure in looking, and both silver and bronze in Press/Fashion for her fashion editorial Sinner.

Star LCF trio selected as Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch

Not one, but three LCF alumnae have been announced as amongst Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch.

Min Wu, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear 2013, has been selected for her flowing designs, whilst her classmate Keiko Nishiyama brings her intricate floral patterns to the showcase.

Finally, Youjia Jin who graduated from MA Womenswear in 2014, and whose work was seen on the LCF MA14 Catwalk, has been selected for her intriguing collection which mixes masculine and feminine elements.

Their SS15 collections will be shown as part of London Fashion Week this September, 12th to 16th.

LCF Embroidery students reach finals in international award

Fashion by Ana Maria Restrepo Gutierrez

Fashion by Ana Maria Restrepo Gutierrez, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery

Two of the students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Embroidery course have reached the final of the Hand & Lock international Embroidery Prize 2014.

Hand & Lock, whose embroidery featured in Mary Katrantzou’s London Fashion Week AW14 collection, award the prestigious £26,000 prize to exceptional work by students from 1000 universities across the globe. Umme Salma and Ana Maria Restrepo Gutierrez are both on the embroidery pathway of the BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles, which will become a stand-alone degree this September.

Mary Katrantzou AW14 collection

Mary Katrantzou AW14 collection

Embroidery and embellishment was a theme across many of the other AW14 collections, including intricate handwork on Alexander McQueen’s moon and star dress worn later by Elle Fanning, and beadwork featuring prominently at Dolce & Gabbana. ‘Even casual sporty pieces carry some embellishment now, giving a whole new slant on day-to-night dressing,’ says Vogue.co.uk editor Dolly Jones.

The competition brief for 2014 submissions is Floral: Pattern and Geometry, and asks competitors to re-examine the enduring theme of floral combinations in their work. The award will be announced at a prize giving ceremony in November.

Hand & Lock embroidery for Mary Katrantzou. Photo: Saoirse Crean

Hand & Lock embroidery for Mary Katrantzou. Photo: Saoirse Crean

Hand & Lock also run one day workshops and weekend classes for those who are deciding on embroidery as a speciality.

Where art and science converge: Exposing malaria through costume for performance

LCF News caught up with 2014 graduate, Katie-May Boyd, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance, after discovering her intriguing costumes at the BA14 Performance Exhibition. If you are looking for art that explores scientific fact in an intriguing way, her costumes are it.

LCF News: Tells us about your final project – what did you set out to achieve?

Katie: The project illustrates the microscopic relationship between Malaria and its Human host in two costumes that focus on different stages in the life cycle of the disease. The costumes and performance aim to teach about malaria in an alternative way and also to highlight the cross fertilisation between Art and Science.

LCF News: And we hear that you really have taken the work into the scientific realm; speaking at the Wellcome Trust?

KMB: Yes, I took my work to the yearly conference of the ‘Wellcome Trust Centre of Molecular Parasitology’ (WTCMP) whose scientists I had collaborated with during the project. This was a really interesting experience for me as I presented my work to 80 parasitologists who had a completely different stand point from anyone else I had shown the project to. Their feedback was really helpful and a few people were keen to collaborate on different parasites as well!

LCF News: What inspires you about the work you do?

KMB: I love creating things, I think the moment a 2D pattern transforms into a 3D object on the body is just sublime. Working with science and art, the thing that I get most out of it is translating something that is very factual and theoretical into a tangible and visual piece that changes the way you understand a thing.

Looking at Katie’s work, you can certainly see how a complex scientific story is brought to life with vivid visual detail. Her costumes take the viewer from the initial stages of the virus to the moment when it overcomes the host’s body.

With such a unique take on costume, art and science, we wondered why Katie was drawn to study BA (Hons) Costume for Performance and whether the course resonated with her experimental take on things. Katie told us:

I was drawn to the course because of the prestige of the college and once I found out more about it I thought it was much better than the courses offered by different universities because it seemed to be a lot more creative and open – more cutting edge and experimental as opposed to some that were a lot more traditional and theatre based.

Katie has since found herself interviewed by Scottish TV and has already taken internships with Alice Temperley, Madame Tussauds and the Royal Opera House. We’ll be intrigued to see where her insightful mixture of art and science turns up next.

Josh Brandao wins top prize Coupe D’Or at the Fashion Film Festival Chicago, 2014

Last month, MA Fashion Photography graduate Josh Brandao claimed first place at the The Fashion Film Festival Chicago (FFFC).

The FFFC is an annual festival and competition which aims to celebrate the beauty and art of fashion as captured through the filmmakers’ lens. Josh was announced as one of the FFFC winners for his film Blackened Wings from a healthy array of submissions that reflect the bold cross-section encompassed by this expanding art. Inspired by the greek legend of the Phoenix and by Russian Constructivism/Propaganda Posters, Blackened Wings tells the tale of a young boy fighting to overcome bullying and oppression.

Josh explains his inspiration in more detail below;

“Set in a place in Soviet/Military world, Blackened Wings tells the tale of a young boy fighting to overcome bullying and oppression. The film showcases a collection of accessories and fashion artefacts by London College Of Fashion Graduate Chiara Pavan, as well as pieces by Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, amongst others.”

Josh’s winning video will be screened during fall fashion week and on FFFC media sources.

Read more…

Executive MBA takes a trip to Paris for Haute Couture Fashion Week

EMBA students with Wendy Malem at the Dior store in Paris

A group of Executive MBA (Fashion) and postgraduate students explored new trends in retail management during a two day trip to Paris with Wendy Malem, Dean of the Graduate School. The visit was organised and accompanied by author of Luxury Fashion Branding, Luxe Corp’s Executive Director & Founder, Uché Okonkwo.

‘Looking back to look forward’ was a theme brought to life by Raf Simons, Artistic Director of Dior in his recent Haute Couture collection. Throughout a private visit to the Rue Royale Dior Boutique, the group explored what it means to be ‘modern’ in the contemporary luxury world. A detailed review of the product portfolio revealed how Simons constantly references and reinterprets Christian Dior’s passion for his garden in Granville, his love of roses and the signature cannage motif, originating in the weave of the couture chairs.

Stylist at Galeries Lafayette VIP lounge

Stylist at Galeries Lafayette VIP lounge

After marvelling at the glories of Paris Art Nouveau in Galeries Lafayette, the group visited the VIP penthouse suite, designed as a contemporary Parisian apartment, to learn how personal shopping has been taken to new heights. The Galeries Lafayette Foundation building will open next year in the heart of the Marais district dedicated to art, fashion and design. The organisation will commission new work and organise exhibitions from different artist movements.

The links between creativity, art and fashion were explored further during visits to Colette, L’Eclaireur and Merci, stimulating ideas on how concept stores might evolve. With the explosion of e-commerce, consumers are looking for more memorable and enriching shopping experiences. A visit to Jovoy, a beautiful contemporary Rare Perfume concept store, which brings back rare scents and limited editions, confirmed this view.

In her stylish office on Rue Cambon, Uché Okonkwo shared a presentation which she had recently given to 80 luxury brands during the 2014 Club e-Luxe International Summit. Outlining seven trends for virtual and physical luxury, she highlighted ways in which digital media, technology and innovation are being seamlessly integrated into every facet of people’s lives.

In the nostalgic surroundings of Le Grand Colbert restaurant the group enjoyed dinner with fashion stylist and consultant, Erik Raynal, Ellen Scherer, Account Executive at Lambert & Associates Global Luxury Retail Network and Rafael Jimenez, CEO & Founder of Plan 8 Consulting. The wide ranging and stimulating discussions led the group to believe that Paris will continue to be a vibrant centre of the fashion industry.

MA Costume alumna designs for Kylie Minogue at the Commonwealth Games

MA Costume Design for Performance alumna Lara Jensen has designed the headpieces for Kylie Minogue and her dancers at the closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.

Lara attended the MA course after the then course leader Donatella Barbieri (now Senior Research Fellow in Design for Performance, jointly at the V&A Museum and LCF) spotted her drawings when she came to LCF to meet a friend, and as a Harold Tillman scholar she was the first ever MA Costume student to gain a scholarship in the history of the course. She designed and made her first showgirl outfit as part of her film project, and went on to get early work experience with wigmaker Charlie Mindu, which confirmed her interest in millinery.

Since graduating in 2009, she has created work for Lady Gaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Jessie J and London Fashion Week, as well as being included Leanne Wierzba’s Head On exhibition at Fashion Space Gallery.

Read more on the Harold Tillman scholarships part of the Fashion Matters LCF fundraising campaign.