Jean Paul Gaultier visits London College of Fashion

Jean Paul Gaultier made a guest appearance at LCF last week, just before the opening of an exhibition of the iconic designer’s graphic works.

The designer had a look around the exhibition, reflecting on the designs he had created for invitations and ad campaigns over the past  thirty years.

Gaultier added his own flourish to the exhibition by signing the Fashion Space Gallery‘s wall with a message for LCF and its students. A fitting addition to an exhibition which showcases decades of the designer’s signature vision!

The tweet chat round-up: Why does fashion matter to the individual?

This month, Head of LCF Professor Frances Corner OBE has launched a new book, Why Fashion Matters. To celebrate, LCF has been asking fashion thinkers everywhere to talk to us about why fashion matters to them.

The first of the three tweet chats happened yesterday, and things quickly took off with questions, opinions and passionate responses flying onto the hashtag: #whyfashionmatters. So, why does fashion matter to the individual?

Conversations centred on how we express our inner self through the exterior clothes we wear, and how we can subvert people’s expectations by choosing to create our own style:

Tweeters also considered how we tell our personal story through our clothes – not just by choosing to wear them, but also in how they are crafted and where they come from:

The conversation turned to a tricky question – is fashion about showing your allegiance to a group, or is it about standing out from the crowd? This threw up all kinds of ethical dilemmas:

Tweeters also discussed their style icons, fashion and ageing, and how fashion can celebrate diversity. A massive thank you to all the passionate and insightful tweeters who joined LCF and Frances Corner yesterday.

Open Now – Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest


Jean Paul Gaultier: Be My Guest is now open at LCF’s Fashion Space Gallery, bringing together the fashion designer’s graphic design work for the first time.

Dating from the early 1980s to the present day, pieces include, the couturier’s unique designs for invitations to haute couture and prêt-à-porter, as well as his iconic advertising campaigns. Be My Guest reflects how Gaultier has shaped his image and translated his visionary catwalk collections into these graphic works.

The exhibition comes alongside The Barbican Art Gallery’s retrospective of the designer, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk.

  •  Photography: Katy Davies

Executive MBA students visit Holition

Students from LCF’s Executive MBA course embarked upon another successful industry site visit last week, gaining access to award winning augmented reality solutions company, Holition.

The students were shown into a room within Holition’s studio and demo lab in Holborn, where they listened to the expertise of CEO, Jonathan Chippindale, before engaging first hand with the technology the company has developed.

Jonathan started with an app demonstration that the company is currently working on for the L’Oreal group – one that allows consumers to ‘test’ out lipsticks and other make-up digitally.

 “Brands say that technology is an enabler to get a conversation going with the customer,”

Jonathan noted, later adding that a similar project Holition worked on with watch company, Tissot, resulted in an 84% sales increase for the brand.

Holition are selective over the brands they work with, opting for the luxury market. At Louis Vuitton, Jonathan and his team implemented the store’s first digital installation, which allows customers to select gift ideas, as well as learning about the history of the brand.

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Executive MBA students hear from Protein Agency

Jo Jackson from Protein Consultancy speaks to the Executive MBA students

Jo Jackson from Protein Consultancy speaks to the Executive MBA students

At the Hospital Club, students on LCF’s Executive MBA course received an industry talk from Jo Jackson, MD of the creative agency Protein and Practitioner in Residence for the School of Management and Science. Jo’s talk was part of the Executive MBA’s Strategic Branding and Marketing Management unit. Jo provided a talk balancing theory and case studies in order to keep the students in touch with, and aware of, what is currently happening within the fashion market.

Jo spoke about how brands have had to adapt the way they reach new, young consumers:

“People aren’t receiving advertisements in the same way they did before; it’s much more about the consumer being able to engage with the brand; Millennial’s don’t react to traditional banner displays, or advertorial content in magazines, they engage much more with the 24 hour ‘conversations’ they are able to have on social media platforms such as Twitter, blogs and Instagram.”

Jo suggested that brands engaging with creative agencies for social media presence is a new approach for  brands.

Afterwards, one of the students explained:

“This unit is really, really interesting but there’s so much to take in, however, having everything explained by industry experts means that we get an in depth understanding of the way the fashion world works.”

Fashion Innovation Agency launches at RADA

The Fashion Innovation Agency, which forms part of LCF’s Business and Innovation offering launched last night at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA).

The FIA focuses on collaboration – connecting brands with unrivalled access to unique talent in fashion, the arts and popular culture. One of the agency’s huge success stories includes the world’s first interactive skirt, designed by Fyodor Golan, in collaboration with Nokia and Kin.

The evening began with Wendy Malem, Director of the Centre for Fashion Enterprise, introducing the FIA.

“We started thinking about the business model we already had [at the CFE] and how we could help and support designers – not only monetising their business, but also in terms of collaboration,” Wendy explained. It was this thought process that sparked off the idea for the FIA.

The FIA’s Head, Matthew Drinkwater, talked about the importance of collaboration, both for the young designers coming out of college, and the businesses they are partnered with.

“There is an expectation from consumers for newness; collaboration enables this expectation by creating an exciting new product,”

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Fashion can be so much more says the Craft of Use project

Craft of Use exhibition at LCF featuring photography by Kerry Dean. Model: Jean Woods.

Craft of Use exhibition at LCF featuring photography by Kerry Dean. Centre model: Jean Woods.

Conversations on alternative forms of fashion have flowed from the success of Craft of Use hosted by LCF and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, and led by researcher Kate Fletcher.

The event, which saw artists, academics and fashion designers come together to discuss fashion beyond consumerism, generated lively thoughts and stories online and on site.

As Kate writes,

“Fashion is seen as the poster child of consumerism, but it can be so much more.”

Pattern Cutting students create ethical fashion with Sue Ryder

First year FdA Designer Pattern Cutter students (now BA (Hons) Fashion Pattern Cutting) have kicked off an industry collaboration with the charity Sue Ryder.

With a brief set by the charity which asks the student to recycle and upcycle in order to create innovative fashion pieces, the students were guided by ethical fashion entrepreneur Nin Castle.

Nin is founder of ethical fashion label, Good One, which specialises in upcycling to create cutting edge design.

Working with Sue Ryder and Nin, the students have begun experimenting with second hand garments from the charity, which sells second hand clothing in its fundraising stores across the UK. The project is called ‘Saved’.

Michelle Watton , Business Development Co-ordinator at Sue Ryder, spoke about her excitement at working with the LCF students on ‘Saved’, adding:

“Nin’s experience of using recycled textiles whilst still creating excellently designed clothes clearly inspired the students.”

The project will continue over the summer term with students realising their upcycled designs.

Join the discussion on Why Fashion Matters


Starting Monday and running until 7th May, to celebrate the launch of Head of College Prof Frances Corner OBE’s new book Why Fashion Matters we will be discussing why fashion matters across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Join in the conversation and tell us why fashion matters to you.

In the book, Professor Corner explores the intricacies and contradictions of the fashion industry, looking at its impact on the economy, society and the individual and we will be showcasing the eclectic and exciting work produced by LCF and its students.

We will also be hosting tweet chats from @LCFLondon throughout the month of April asking why fashion matters to the individual (16th April), the economy (23rd April) and to society (30th April).

Submit your questions and thoughts on why fashion matters using the twitter hash tag #whyfashionmatters. To find out more click here.

The best tweet from each chat will win two tickets to Professor Corner’s official press and industry book launch at the Café Royal on Wednesday 7th May.

Big data company EDITD heralds fashion sportswear revolution


Jordanna Rae Andrews – BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear, 2013

Fashion sportswear is big business and growing, according to a recent report by ‘big data’ company EDITD. The company trawls through vast quantities of data from retail websites to track product performance and trends by analysing stock levels, prices, replenishments and discounts, as well as mentions of key phrases across social media channels.

Hot on the heels of Topshop’s high-profile collaboration with Adidas Originals, EDITD compiled a succinct, publicly available report on the sector, with a range of statistical data to support the ‘sportswear revolution’ claim. The report points to the growing popularity of exercise classes – “in the US, there has been 29% increase in yoga practice since 2008″ – and the emergence of high-end sportswear labels and collaborations:

“Premium sportswear brands like Lululemon have made it perfectly acceptable to wear activewear in day-to-day life, Stella McCartney’s involvement with Adidas has given designer kudos and the catwalk is mimicking with sports luxe being rehashed season after season.”

This is evidenced by statistics about sales and stock increases: sales of women’s activewear increased 9% in 2013, compared to 2012; in the first quarter of 2014 there has been “a 38% increase in the number of new activewear leggings arriving at online retailers globally, compared to the same period one year ago”.

LCF offer a range of courses that will equip students to take advantage of the fashion sportswear revolution. BA (Hons) Fashion Sportswear is one of the only courses of its kind in the UK, training the sportswear design stars of the future. We also offer a wide array of business, management, marketing and retail courses to get those designs sprinting off the shelves; view a full list on our Fashion Means Business page.

Top public speaking tips for fashion careers from industry experts

Kelly Walker-Duncalf presents for 'pitch perfect'.

Kelly Walker-Duncalf presents for ‘pitch perfect’ at LCF

LCF Careers hosted two industry experts to give students an insight into how to succeed at public speaking.

Kelly Walker-Duncalf, Director at KWD Solutions and former Head of Concession Recruitment at Harrods, was joined by Tim Awan, owner of luxury jewellery house, MAWI.

Each polished presenter gave their top tips on how to pitch and present to the audience, giving them some of the skills they would need to start their own enterprises or enter the fashion industry with confidence.

Check out Kelly and Tim’s top tips… Read the rest of this entry »

LCF footwear and accessories students design new collections for Tommy Hilfiger


Kay Whitehouse, BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation

Last week, Tommy Hilfiger visited LCF to announce three student winners of their ‘Heartland’ brief which asked the young designers to create footwear and accessories collections for SS15.

The second year students worked for a term on the industry brief, with the winners securing internships with the renowned fashion label in Amsterdam.

Kay Whitehouse and Laura Thomas, BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation, were joint winners with their footwear collections. Louise Mahoney, BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Bags and Accessories: Product Design and Innovation, clinched the prize with her ready to wear accessories collection.

The Tommy Hilfiger team spoke about the high standard of work produced by all the students, commenting that the competition had presented them with a tough choice when trying to find a winner.

Students responded to themes drawn out of American landscapes – the lakes of Michigan, the deserts of Texas and the pastures of Colorado – in order to create sketchbooks, designs, product strategies, and prototypes.