Mentoring Award: Highly Commended, Lawanda Wallace Hilaire

It is our pleasure to announce our highly commended nominee for the Mentoring Award, Lawanda Wallace Hilaire!


Image: Katy Davies

Lawanda is an LCF alumna (Postgraduate Diploma in Buying and Merchandising, 2004) and Buyer for online brand Gift Library.

The LCF Careers team said of Lawanda:

“ Lawanda Hilaire, Buyer at, also an alumna of the university and a fully trained mentor, has been mentoring our students for over 2 years now. The feedback from students mentored by Lawanda has always been super positive. Her approach towards the students has really helped them gain confidence and given them a clearer idea on careers paths they can consider. She is very motivational and relates to students extremely well”.

Congratulations to Lawanda! We are very grateful for the wonderful support and guidance she has offered to LCF students over the years.

We will be announcing the well-deserved winners and runners up for each category here on the blog and across social media so stay tuned!

Read more…


COLLEGE SHOP – Meet the students behind the campaign

COLLEGE SHOP is back and you’ve no doubt seen the amazing campaign images which have been featured in Time Out, ES Magazine, Hunger and Wonderland amongst others.  The campaign was shot by two of LCF’s talented students as part of a competition set to the FdA Styling and Photography course. LCF News met stylist Saskia Cole and Photographer Eugene Shishkin who told us about how their collaboration came about, the inspiration behind the shoot and what advice they’d give to future students wanting to study at LCF.

LCF News: Tell us a bit about yourself?

Saskia Cole:  Well I have been doing styling for over 2 years now and I absolutely love it. The excitement of being on a shoot or even prepping is such a buzz! I currently live near London so am a commuter, I love being at home in the countryside but coming down to busy London for work. I have such love for British culture and I pride myself with being able to make cool edgy British looks.

Eugene Shishkin:  I am Russian who was born and raised in Kazakhstan. I came into photography 5 years ago, but before that I was doing maths and even started a course at a Russian university. Now I live in London and really enjoy this city and my course. Being in the field of fashion photography is very different to any other genre so I had to learn a lot about it.

LCF News: You are from different courses. How did you meet?

SC: Well I am a bit of a stalker and had been admiring Eugene’s work for sometime so when this competition came up I knew exactly who I wanted to ask… Eugene!

ES: We started on the FdA Fashion Styling and Photography course together, but I moved to the BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course after the 1st term but we knew each others work.

LCF News: What is the story behind the shoot? Read the rest of this entry »

LCF Students Pitch Their Volvo Vision to Professional Panel

Every year, students on part-time Fashion courses at LCF come together to collaborate on a project with a big name in industry. This year, the students have been challenged to come up with a marketing strategy for Swedish car manufacturer Volvo.

students present to Volvo

Students present to Volvo

Students from Fashion Business, Fashion DesignFashion Media and Fashion Branding and Visual Merchandising have worked in creative teams, gaining first-hand vocational experience of pitching ideas to a panel of industry professionals.

They have been set a brief by Volvo to create a ‘Volvo XC90 Road Map’, a new brand campaign(?) which brings together lifestyle, product innovation and brand intelligence.

The teams pitched their ideas to a panel of professionals and teachers, including Chris Mullord from Volvo; Jane Fearnley from Bell Potinger; Wiktor Skoog of Grey London; Rob Lakin, Creative Director for the School of Science and Management at LCF; and Jessica Saunders, Programme Director at LCF.

Before the excited teams began their pitches, Chris Mullord of Volvo spoke about why hearing from the next generation of fashion creatives is so key to the company:

“The company’s direction has shifted towards design, with radical overhauls of the aesthetic of the vehicles, which makes it really useful for me to see the way fashion students perceive and interpret the changes. It is exciting for the students because if their ideas are good and innovative enough, there is nothing stopping Volvo from working with them to develop them further, making this a fantastic opportunity for the students involved.”

A whole range of ideas and talents were presented to the judges. Here’s just a taster of what they came up with:

Team Two shared their vision of the Volvo Lifestyle and Family Unit: the Kvinna Concept. The team presented their research into the company, which identified women as key consumers. They suggested pop-up events that could simulate the experience of driving the car outdoors at country events like the Royal Berkshire Show, or International Women’s Day events. In addition, they visualised products that would complement their campaign: a boot box, a watch, gloves and a key ring. All of which can be made from leather off-cuts from the manufacture of the car, tying into the brand’s sustainable ideals by minimising waste.

Meanwhile, Team One centred their idea on their identified consumer group, the ‘Rural Vogue’. This demographic was described as being families who love the outdoors but with links in the city. Their proposed campaign emphasised Volvo’s unique brand, its safety features and Scandinavian roots in “bringing the inside of the XC90 out.” They suggested a Northern Lights theme snow festival which would allow potential customers to test drive the car in wintery conditions. The group decided to run with an art installation with the tag line “Volvo brings you the Northern Lights”. This, they said, would be the embodiment of Swedish heritage, while the combination of art, culture and the outdoors would appeal to their target demographic.

Students present to Volvo

Students present to Volvo

The teams also pitched sensory experiences for a youth market; a vision for ‘House of Volvo’, a hotel chain in different European cities that would emulate Swedish sustainable lifestyle; and a music app which selects playlists in response to the external environment of the car.

LCF Green Thoughts competition winner announced

Last month students were asked to share images on Instagram that they felt represented the subject of sustainability, using the hashtag #LCFGreenThoughts, for the chance to win a £50 voucher for Here Today Here Tomorrow.

We are pleased to announce that Hannah Britten who studies Post Graduate Diploma in Pattern Design and Garment Technology (now MA Pattern and Garment Technology) is the LCF Green Thoughts winner for her entry below.


Rosemary Willatt, Sustainability Coordinator at LCF said:

“We chose this entry as the winner because it showed how considering sustainability in the design process can help eliminate waste. This is one of the many ways that LCF students can reduce their impacts through the materials they use – by considering the impacts realised at the manufacturing process but built in beforehand through choice of pattern and layout. Well done Hannah!”

LCF News caught up with Hannah, who also runs pattern cutting company Sinbad and Sailor, to find out more about her ideas and why she thinks sustainable fashion is so important.

LCF News: Tell us a little bit about the image you submitted (what was it and why is it ‘green’)…

HB: My submission was a zero waste cropped top I created as part of a tutorial for the Fall For DIY blog, I’m always looking for ways to inspire people to make their own clothes and this tutorial is a simple guide to making an on-trend cropped top without any waste so I think that’s not only green but also pretty awesome!

LCF News: Tell us a bit about your website Sinbad and Sailor…

HB: Before starting at LCF I was running a sewing pattern company called Sinbad & Sailor which I started after a real ‘light bulb’ moment – realising that rather than complain about the dreadful instructions and lack of fashion forward sewing patterns on offer I could simply create my own. It’s a huge amount of work to produce a home sewing pattern, especially as a small business but seeing each new creation pop up around the world was an amazing feeling and I’m really proud to inspire people to make their own clothes and opt out of the fast fashion cycle.

Read the rest of this entry »

Diane Abbott MP Presents Awards at LCF Style Young Project

This month Diane Abbott, MP visited the launch of the Style Young exhibition, the end product of a collaborative project between LCF, Threads Youth Project and three Hackney Schools, to present awards to the young girls involved to celebrate their hard work.

The project participants were taught by local young designers Carrie Munden and Danielle Scutt who design under their own labels as well as working with designers like McQueen and Matthew Williamson. Their experience and fashion expertise helped the participants realise their skirts in an amazing presentation. The exhibition was attended by friends, family and teaching staff from local schools.

Peabody’s Director of Community Programmes, Veronica Kirwan said:

“The girls creations are nothing short of fantastic. The show was a great launch for the exhibition and showcases individual’s creative flare and skills they have learnt. It is a credit to the tutors and the girls that they are able to create garments of this calibre.”

London College of Fashion’s Outreach Coordinator, Carole Morrisson said:

“It is wonderful to harness their passion and build the girls’ awareness of the Fashion Industry – behind the scenes. Working alongside industry professionals we have also introduced the girls to the broader opportunities within the industry including visual merchandising, buying, styling, marketing and fashion business.”

Claire Swift, Director of Social Responsibility at London College of Fashion added:

“Working with the girls has been absolutely inspirational – we could not have hoped for a more enthusiastic and hard-working group of young people. From day one they showed huge dedication – not only attending all classes but also giving up their free time. I would love to see them apply for courses here at London College of Fashion.”

Threads member and designer extraordinaire, Kiah aged 14, said:

“We learnt about research and design and using a muse to create our skirts.  We learnt a lot at LCF and I really enjoyed it and would like to do more.”

Fatim Gaye Diop (14) added:

“My aspiration is to carry on doing fashion and I would love to do something that includes textiles.”

Talking about what Style Young means to her Latifa Njie (14) said:

“It helps me express myself through Creativity.”

Diane Abbott MP said:

“Hackney is a fashion hub and has been a centre for garment manufacturing for a century. More recently there has been an explosion of young fashion designers based in Hackney and I have done some work with young people in Hackney and with the British fashion council… I’m keen to explore more opportunities in fashion for people in Hackney.  It is also important to understand that it’s not all about fashion – it’s about skills like pattern making and this project is really important for improving access.”

The Style Young Exhibition showcases the work created by members of Threads during a three month project managed by London College of Fashion which is available to view, for free until Tuesday 16 December, at London College of Fashion’s site at Mare Street.

This has been a collaborative project between LCF and Peabody, funded by Children in Need and the Drapers’ Company.

Public Opening Times:

Monday 8 December – Tuesday 16 December

London College of Fashion, 182 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 3RE

Monday: 12pm – 7.00 pm
Tues – Fri: 10 am -7 pm
Sat: 10 am – 4 pm (closed Sunday)


COLLEGE SHOP is officially open!

On the 11th day of Christmas LCF gave to me… #LCFCOLLEGESHOP, and it’s now officially open!

front of college shop

Photography: Emmi Hyyppä, MA Fashion Photography,

The little store is filled to the brim with amazing one-off items, from bespoke jewellery and garments, to shoes and handbags, to zines and wall art. It’s amazing we managed to get away without maxing out our credit cards and extending our overdraft. A message to plastic happy students… beware!

LCF News took a trip to the store this morning, where students, alumni, and industry guests were all in attendance for the launch.

We spotted Natalia Zawada, BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring alumna and Founder of clothing brand, Nevada, and stopped her for a chat…

LCF News: Could you talk us through the designs you have on sale?

NZ: The garments I make are a mixture between baggy and sexy. They are all about complimenting a woman’s body shape and deciding what to cover and what to show. Above all, all of my clothes are made to work on a woman’s body, rather than on the hanger.

LCF News: What is the main inspiration behind your designs?

NZ: It is actually men’s tailoring because I am a tailoring graduate. But I am also very inspired by underwater movement.”

Read the rest of this entry »

LCF student named as finalist at the World of Wearable Art Awards

Final year BA (Hons) Costume for Performance student Sanya Torkmorad-Jozavi was selected as a finalist in the World of Wearable Arts Awards (WOW) and the young designer saw her work come to life on stage at the WOW Awards show in New Zealand earlier this year.

Sanya Torkmorad-Jozavi was a finalist at the World of Wearable Art Awards (‘WOW’) in New Zealand this September

Sanya Torkmorad-Jozavi was a finalist at the World of Wearable Art Awards (‘WOW’) in New Zealand this September

The WOW Awards is a theatrical spectacle with an audience of nearly 50,000 and Sanya was supported by the college to go to New Zealand and see it all happen. The young artist told us about her trip…

LCF News: Tell us about your design…

STJ: The costume I made, Modern Persian Woman, was in response to the WETA Workshop (a design studio which makes incredible pieces for the entertainment industry worldwide), “Costume & Film Kingdoms of the East”. I stretched the title a bit further than East, looking at Middle Eastern Kingdoms but it seemed to work!

It was inspired by my own Persian heritage, and I wanted to create a female warrior, instead of the usual male one. My concept was to explore the way the rich culture and power of the Persian empire was overshadowed by the corruption of the Iranian Revolution and how Iran’s glory days have been forgotten due to the Islamic rule that came from the revolution. My character is presented as a woman trying to fight against the current struggles inflicted on her.

LCF News: What opportunities did being a finalist at the awards give you?

STJ: It offered me the chance to speak to designers from around the world, from USA to India to Europe. I saw my work on stage for the first time and WOW want to keep it to display in exhibition –  it all gets my name out as a young designer amongst working professionals. It was so exciting seeing my piece in the program. It’s such a celebrated awards that I hear is touring USA soon.

LCF News: What were your highlights of the trip to New Zealand?

STJ: New Zealand itself! I spent the summer traveling and so to be able to finish it off with a trip to Wellington, NZ was the best. I got invited to a few events, met some really great people, and enjoyed a sexy dominatrix drag performance on the side! The art culture is so vibrant. Downside was being jet-lagged the whole time!

LCF News: How did LCF support you? Who helped you make it to the finals?

STJ: Being granted the Travel Award to go and represent this university where I’ve been taught the skills needed to design and make my piece in the first place was great. I felt really supported by LCF.

Read the rest of this entry »

LCF and CSM Alumni and founders of Olivia Burton win Natwest everywoman Award

LCF alumna Jemma Fennings, BA Fashion Management, and CSM alumna Lesa Bennett, founders of watch brand Olivia Burton, have been selected as winners in the Demeter Award category in the NatWest everywoman Awards.


Having met on their first day at university, Lesa and Jemma went on to enjoy successful careers in buying for companies like Selfridges and ASOS before joining forces in business. When they couldn’t find a watch that fulfilled their need for style, they decided to design their own brand Olivia Burton, taking inspiration from vintage and the catwalk to create a collection described as “distinctive, contemporary and fun”.

Both were selected as the winners in the Demeter Award category for women running a business aged 26-35. The everywoman Awards recognise and celebrate the achievements of the UK’s most successful women in business. They uncover role models and mentors for the next generation, inspire ambition and raise the profile of the winners, finalists and their organisations. Read the rest of this entry »

International Partner Award: Winner! H&M

We are pleased to announce that H&M is the winner of the International Partner category as part of LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards, which celebrates all the amazing work businesses and industry people have done with LCF students.


H&M has been selected as the winner thanks to their ongoing enthusiasm for LCF students, whether its hiring them or working with them on projects. Despite their head office being based in Stockholm, Sweden, the brand has continually provided time and resources to the development of LCF talent within their business.

In addition H&M always promoted their design competitions to our students and have a presence whenever possible at the Careers Fair and all our other Careers talks and events.

LCF News caught up with two people from the company – someone from the top and someone new, to give you a feel of how a career at H&M could progress.

First up is third year student Lydia Watkins, BA Fashion Design and Development, currently on placement with H&M in Sweden…

I get up… around half 7, get ready and head to work.

To get to work… I take the tunnelbanna/subway to work and get in for 9. One ritual I have is planning what I’m going to wear the night before, so I can mindlessly get ready in the morning.

The first thing I do when I get in to work… is head straight for the coffee machine

What I’m working on… varies from day to day, sometimes I’m working on new styles, other days I might be updating styles with changes we’ve made from a fitting.

I have lunch… around 12, sometimes I bring my own lunch in but mostly I buy lunch from the H&M canteen as it’s so good, I usually eat and hang out with my friends.


In the afternoon… sometimes we have a fitting where we fit new styles to our models, then after I will make alterations to the designs and art works and send them out to the pattern cutters. Or we might be working on new designs, or having meetings about collections we’re developing.

I finish work… around 6, and I usually have a quick browse around the shops then head home.


Read the rest of this entry »

MA15 Costume Design for Performance final showcase captivates audience

Last week LCF News were lucky enough to get a front row seat at the MA15 Costume Design for Performance final showcase, where talented graduates from the course showed off their designs and concepts.

As we entered the theatre space at Lillian Baylis Studio in Sadler’s Wells, we were unsure what to expect, sitting in the pitch black with no clues other than what looked like a large pomegranate hanging from the ceiling.

'The Love of the Three Pomegranates' by Martina Montorfani, performed by Emma Fegan

‘The Love of the Three Pomegranates’ by Martina Montorfani, performed by Emma Fegan

But as the music started and beautiful colours lit up the stage, we were immediately transported into a playful and beautiful circus scene, and as the pomegranate slowly turned, it was soon clear that all was not as it seemed. To the audience’s surprise and delight, a woman encapsulated inside began to unwrap herself from within, transforming her former cocoon into a long and flowing, beautiful dress.

‘The Love of the Three Pomegranates’ by MA15 graduate Martina Montorfani, was based on the folk tale by Italo Calvino where a girl appears from within a pomegranate and passes through several stages of metamorphoses until she gets married and becomes a princess.

The balletic performance used costume in a wonderful way to show connotations of birth and transformation. What a way to open the show!

The show continued with costume concepts expressing themes of childhood naivity, such as Pallavi Patel’s, ‘When Wishes Come True’, sadness and longing, as seen in ‘At his Daughter’s Wedding’ by Maria Costa, and branching out of comfort zones, such as Xinyu Zhang’s ‘The Little Mermaid’, a highlight of which was a white, coral covered swimming cap.

Read the rest of this entry »

What’s it like on work placement at Tommy Hilfiger?

BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Development placement student Kay Whitehouse, is currently spending her year in industry at Tommy Hilfiger.

The company won our Project Collaboration category in the LCF Careers Industry Partner Awards so we wanted to speak to Kay and find out why they have been so good for students at LCF.

LCF News: Hi Kay! Tell us about about your current placement and what you have been up to?

KW: I am completing a 6 month internship at Tommy Hilfiger in the footwear design department in Amsterdam. The placement has been an amazing experience for me, it has been intense and busy at times yet I have loved every minute. I admit I was very nervous about moving country as I have lived in London my whole life, however after the first week I felt right at home here!

Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. At PVH (the company behind Tommy Hilfiger) there is a large number of interns and the company do a good job of helping you meet people and make friends. I live with 3 other interns in the Jordaan in Amsterdam (the most beautiful part of the city), I couldn’t quite believe it when I arrived at the intern house! From it being such an international company I have met people from all different backgrounds and countries, and I have learnt so much from them.

LCF News: What skills have you learnt from your placement so far that you can carry over into your future career?

KW: The internship itself has provided me with a great opportunity to get an insight into a global fashion company.  My Adobe photoshop/ illustrator skills and my knowledge of the footwear industry have improved tremendously. I admire my team as they are always busy and travel so much, yet they still manage to give me responsibilities and help me learn.

During my time here I have been helping out with many aspects of design including, research trends for upcoming seasons, creating the colour cards, creating specifications to be sent to factories and drawing up the designs on illustrator.

LCF News: How would you sum up your experience?

KW: All in all I have learnt a great deal during my time here and I really love the way of life in Amsterdam, when I move back to London in December I will most definitely miss the city and my bike!

Be sure to keep track of our Industry Partner Awards on LCF News as next week we will be announcing the winners of our International Partner Award!

Read more…

Alexander McQueen illustration competition

Calling all LCF undergraduate students! This is your chance to get involved in an amazing competition and product collaboration between LCF,the V&A Museum, Alexander McQueen, and participating colleges within UAL.

Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers, Alexander McQueen Widows of Culloden, A/W 2006–07. Raquel Zimmerman, VIVA London, Image: firstVIEW

Tulle and lace dress with veil and antlers, Alexander McQueen Widows of Culloden, A/W 2006–07. Raquel Zimmerman, VIVA London, Image: firstVIEW

This exciting competition will celebrate the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A, recognising the continuing influence of Alexander McQueen on current and future fashion creatives and professionals.

To enter, students must create a drawing, inspired by an Alexander McQueen collection, moment, or specific outfit. 4-6 drawings will then be selected by a panel of judges and reproduced as open edition colour prints that will then be sold in the V&A shop online. The competition is open to all undergraduates from all courses, so don’t be shy to enter!

A final selection will be made by Claire Wilcox, LCF Chair in Fashion Curation and V&A Curator for Alexander McQueen exhibition, Annabelle Dodds, V&A Buyer for the Shop and Ligaya Salazar, Director of the Fashion Space Gallery at LCF.

The award to the winners will be £250 and professional and public exposure, as every submitted entry will be seen by V&A Curatorial and Commercial teams, Alexander McQueen creative and commercial teams, then sold in the V&A shop and viewed by all shop visitors. The student’s name will appear on the print.

The competition will be open until 16 January and you can find out more information by going to MyArts > Careers and Employability > LCF Careers > Competitions.

The winners will be notified at the end of December and the prints will be made in time for the exhibition opening on 14 March. They will be sold throughout the duration of the show.

  • We just can’t wait to see your work so Instagram us your preliminary sketches using the hashtag #SavageBeautyIllustrated
  • Follow the V&A Shop on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
  • Please note: Instagram accounts must be public in order for us to view your #SavageBeautyIllustrated uploads