MA Fashion Artefact alumna Dagmar Kestner curates art installation for Worth Exhibition Project

The Worth Project culminates with an exhibition on Tuesday 10 November. LCF’s MA Fashion Artefact alumna Dagmar Kestner collaborated with Copenhagen-based contemporary design duo Overgaard + Dyrman to produce an art installation for the exhibition. We caught up with alumna Dagmar Kestner before the exhibition to talk about the project, why she decided to study in London, and how different Berlin’s art and fashion scene is.

dagmar portrait

What were the most interesting things about LCF and London to you?

To me, the most interesting thing about London was my MA course at LCF and the people I met throughout it. London was an interesting challenge for me, it was always hard to stick to the original plan – at the same time it provided a lot more resources and options (e.g. places to source materials from, do research at, interesting people to reach out to) than any other place I stayed before. This made me learn and grow, despite it feeling very difficult and hard at times.

I learnt some very important life lessons at LCF, when to stick to the brief, or when to switch things around and take on interesting input from others. I found it essential to make my work both interesting and genuine, to stay true to my roots and connected with the world.


You studied your BA in Germany, and completed MA Fashion Artefact at LCF. Why did you choose to study a postgraduate at LCF?

I felt that the broad-minded setup of the course allowed students to expand their own field and at the same time encouraged them to start out by specialising in certain areas or topics. This helped me determine what I wanted to specialise in professionally. The course helped me understand what directions to go in, whom to work together with and how to work on my own. This I hope can make for an interesting and sustainable process for my work, and hopefully create an engaging outcome.

We hear you’re based in Berlin, how does fashion and art differ in London to mainland Europe and Berlin?

Berlin has a stronger profile in art than fashion. Although the fashion scene is rather small, there are a few very interesting local fashion brands that managed to uphold their genuine and interesting take on fashion. I have been here for 18 months and most of the projects/work relations that I am involved with, are still based abroad. So for me there is actually still lots of things to discover and learn about the circumstances in Berlin, so it’s hard for me to comment while I’m still relatively new to the city.

Can you tell us what you did for the Worth exhibition?

I collaborated with the furniture company Overgaard + Dyrman in designing and producing a lounge chair made from leather and steel. We mainly worked with leather material left overs and off-cuts from their main line, while adopting the braiding, weaving, knotting techniques styles that I developed during my MA.

Did you enjoy working together with the Danish design duo Overgaard + Dyrman?

Immensely! It was fantastic to work together, Overgaard + Dyrman are some of the most wonderful people to learn from.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learn since graduating, and what’s plan for the next five years?

The most important thing is to stay focused and not lose belief in yourself and the people you work with. My tutor Dai Rees told me this right after graduating, but now I understand the difficulties of being in the real world. The idea of working towards one plan is nice, but unrealistic, you learn to work on several plans and develop some of those ideas simultaneously. I guess the plan is to keep on going.

Tuesday’s exhibition is free and open to the public. The Worth Project specialises in cross border designer and manufacturer collaborations, aiming to innovate new fashion and lifestyle products in order to maximise assets derived from the resource and skills base in Europe. It is is funded by the European Commission in order to develop competitiveness in small and medium creative businesses

LCF’s Centre for Fashion Enterprise is one of the partners chosen by the Worth project.  Six artists from UAL collaborated with different small and medium size creative businesses across Europe to produce installations for Tuesday’s exhibition.

Alumni can connect with LCF in the following ways: