As the LCFMA17 Womenswear catwalk show fast approaches, we spoke to MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear student Youngmi Kim who told us about her very personal final collection, which will be appearing at the show on Thursday 16 February (watch it live streamed here).

Photography: Felix Cooper

Photography by Felix Cooper, styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen, hair Roxy Attard, make-up artist Celia Burton; model, Tschan Andrews.

My final collection… is about a vision and an idea of a little girl who can’t travel. She always creates her own version of the world, and every night she travels by herself and becomes friends with the stars, the sea, the forest and  nature. She has never been far away – she has stayed in her own room.

It is a very textiles based and colourful collection, but not too pretty. I tried really hard to express different types of work like tailoring, embroidery, knitting – by hand and with machinery. All of these techniques are in my final collection within six outfits, which is not an easy thing to do because you have to think about balance. I wanted to experiment as much as I possibly could because there’s only this one chance so you have to just do it!

Before LCF… I did a BA in Art and Design in South Korea and I got a job as a junior designer before doing my MA.

My advice to new students…

  • Believe in your gut and your talent.
  • Trust yourself – do whatever you want to do and never ever compromise – just do it!
  • Dont get yourself down, it’s not helpful.

I chose MA Womenswear at LCF… because it’s a very practical course. You are able to go through a lot of different units to find out what you love to do, and what you are really good at. It’s not just about the final collection it’s all about yourself, which is a really good thing.

One of the most enjoyable things about the course… is that it allowed me to do a lot of experimentation through the different units. Even though there’s never enough time, you still get to do lots of different things – before you start to make your final collection, the course allows you to have a moment to try things out. It gives you time to think about what your strengths are and what you want to do for the final collection, which is very positive and interesting, because not many MA courses allow this – they are purely focused on the final collection.

The most challenging thing… is that you can sometimes find yourself doubting your own talent and wondering whether you are good enough. It wasn’t the course itself – I would just love to be confident in my own work all the time.

The best thing about London… I come from South Korea and this is my very first time living in Western culture and it is totally different. There is so much going on in London – it’s not just the capital city of one nation, it’s considered as the most fashionable cities in the world along with Milan, New York and Paris. London is very energetic and there are so many people with totally different points of view to me, so I have learnt a lot from so many people and things.

My work in a few words… colourful, full, textile.

My muse… for my final collection was myself and my two best friends. As a little girl I was stuck in my own room with very few friends but suddenly I was rescued by these two beautiful living creatures, so it’s a very personal collection. I always find that my work is quite personal and I like to reinterpret how I’m feeling and what I’m doing.

My plans for the future.. At the moment I am focused on this amazing opportunity, of being in the final show. After I might do some work or internships for different companies – if it’s possible I will stay in London but if not, then I would like to go to Paris because there is lots going on there, especially in terms of hand-craftsmanship. I am personally very interested in textiles, embroidery, and surface detail development but I would love to explore other work too. I think my MA will definitely help me get ahead in my career – I’ve experienced a wonderful year here with amazing tutors.