LCF’s Royal Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex visited our Curtain Road and Golden Lane campuses this week, and spent time meeting staff and students from across a range of courses. The visit was part of her patronage of the college and aimed to introduce The Countess to the varied creative work produced here at LCF from the School of Design & Technology.
The Countess was welcomed to Curtain Road by Professor Frances Corner OBE, Head of London College of Fashion and Pro-Vice Chancellor of University of the Arts London, and Jose Teunisson, Dean of the School of Design & Technology. The tour began on the ground floor of Curtain Road with a visit to final year BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear students, who were working on their final collections.
The Countess took time to speak to each student, asking them about their work and commenting on how impressed she was with the designs that were on display. Commenting on student Abigail Garbett’s skirt design “I could see this in Topshop” as well as highlighting how the design by Andreas Bucher would totally echo the form of the body, “You should have my job!” quipped Course Tutor James Pegg.
Next, The Countess visited a technical garment construction workshop with students on the BA (Hons) Fashion Pattern Cutting course. The students, who are all in their first year, were constructing a half scale standard shirt in the session taught by Course Tutor Hilary Thomson.
The final visit at Curtain Road saw The Countess meet with first year BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Menswear students, who were working on a tailoring project. The Countess took a great interest asking each student about their work and future plans to work in the industry, with student Olivia Bloodworth-Howson commenting that she would love to launch her own brand, after understanding every element of designing and garment construction whilst on her course at LCF.
The next stage in the visit saw The Countess visit the LCF Golden Lane site, the home of Cordwainers at London College of Fashion, where she was greeted by John Lau, Associate Dean of the School of Design & Technology.
The first stop at Golden Lane was a demonstration of machinery by Footwear Lecturer Ian Goff, who showed The Countess how some of the specialist machinery is used to create footwear, including the back part of a shoe, as well as how to attach a heel. Next up was a visit to first year students on the BA (Hons) Cordwainers Fashion Bags & Accessories: Product course, who showed off their designs from a recent project looking at designing accessories for customers with disabilities. The Countess was impressed by the work on display commenting that the students ‘had really thought about the design and functionality of the consumer they were designing specifically for’.
HRH was also given a demonstration of machinery by Specialist Technician Jenny Parker and visited students from MA Fashion Artefact and BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery who showed their work using CAD/CAM technology and traditional casting and mould making. Second year BA (Hons) Fashion Jewellery student Anton Wiltshire gifted The Countess with one of his laser cut designs in a moulded wooden box. The Countess was delighted with her gift, saying “it goes with what I am wearing today!”
The tour concluded with a visit to students on the BA (Hons) Cordwainers Footwear: Product Design and Innovation. The students, all in their third year, were working on their final year footwear collections with Course Leader Sarah Day explaining that the students had just over a month left on the course. A selection of work was shown, with The Countess commenting on the high standard of work from students including Ally Thomson, whose fluffy pink court shoes impressed The Countess, as well as Kay Whitehouse, who discussed how she had considered comfort as well as design aesthetic in her final collection and Simone Platt, who was busy working on her fuchsia pink pony skin boots, of which the Countess commented ‘I’ll be back for a pair of those!’.
Finally, Footwear Tutor Nafi Mustafa showed The Countess how to use the leather splitting machine. The visit was a resounding success with staff and students being wowed by The Countess’ warmth and the genuine interest she took in all of the College’s activities from the School of Design & technology. HRH The Countess of Wessex was appointed Royal Patron of LCF in March 2013. During the patronage The Countess will support all aspects of LCF life including championing the college’s commitment to Better Lives where fashion is used to drive change, build a sustainable future and improve well-being. The visit to Curtain Road and Golden Lane campuses was the third time The Countess had visited LCF and she intends to visit each of the college’s six campuses during her patronage in order to understand and support the vast range of courses and talent at LCF.