As LCFMA17  MA Womenswear catwalk show fast approaches, we speak to MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear graduate Lorenzo Buzzi who told us about his collection The Story of Vanda, which will be appearing at the show on Thursday 16 February (watch it live streamed here).

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MA Womenswear graduate Lorenzo Buzzi. Photography by Felix Cooper, styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen.

Where did you study prior to your MA at LCF?

Before LCF I did studied at Instituto Marangoni, Milano Fashion School, and before that, I studied Interior Design in Italy.

Tell us about your collection?

My collection is called The Story of Vanda. I was inspired by a book that explores the role of women in 1920-60s American society. The book talked about women in advertising campaigns and the way males created this perception of what women had to be at that time. The book discusses how traditional American’s saw women as housewives who only stayed at home and looked after children. This was one starting point for my collection. The other inspiration behind the collection was George Melies film from 1902, A Trip to the Moon. This French film was very inspiring because of the colours, embroidery, and costumes. I used both of the starting points to create my narrative for The Story of Vanda, who is a traditional housewife of that era from Palm Springs, California. The idea was to empower her so she could break free from tradition and how men in advertising portrayed women. Vanda uses art and Oriental culture to translate a new image of herself different to the mainstream. The collection is a mix of shapes and style that represent Vanda breaking away from conformity and how advertising campaigns told women to dress.

Describe your style in five words…

Ironic, opulent, contemporary, Oriental and Hollywood.

Why did you choose LCF and MA Womenswear?

Studying in London was my dream since I was about 12! I studied at a classical high school and never really did art, so my design skills weren’t very strong. I wanted to learn art and design in Italy before applying for an MA in London. The approach to work here and the way people think about fashion is completely different to the Italian perspective, so I needed to learn the necessary before coming here, but I came to learn a new approach to work and fashion. I applied to MA Womenswear because I wanted to learn something new and see fashion from a fresh pair of eyes. For example, Italians are very strong when it comes to commercial stuff like selling, but your whole experience is on your laptop. The research, designing and creating is all done on your laptop. Your knowledge about fabrics and how to construct a garment by hand is very limited, while here it is the complete opposite and that’s what I love about it. This course is amazing because it makes you produce something unique which isn’t referenced by laptop research or design.

Reflecting back on your MA, and thinking of any prospective students thinking about starting an MA, what would be your top three tips/bits of advice to them?

  • Get some work experience before starting an MA. It is important to face this course with experience because it is very demanding and you need to know about fabrics and techniques.
  • Believe in yourself! Be bold and brave in every single occasion. That’s how you should build your collection. You have to be selfish to look after yourself and the idea.
  • This is more like a job than an education, you really need to step everything up and take it very seriously.

What have you found the most enjoyable and interesting part of your course? And what have you found the most challenging?

The most interesting part of the course happened in February during my Collaborative Unit project. First I went to Paris and attended Première Vision, which was amazing seeing all the fabrics and patterns. Then I was selected for the Saga Furs collaborative unit project and went to Denmark for a week. That project was a big change in my life, I got to experience how a big company works and it was really interesting.

The most challenging part was creating the collection but it was also the most fun. This summer I travelled to a lot of find different sponsors to help me with my collection. I spent a lot of time sourcing and collaborating. But it was fun because I travelled by myself for a lot of the time and this helped me focus on my idea and vision.

What was your favourite thing about studying in London?

I love London because it is a big city that is so traditionally British but also not very British at the same time. It’s a big melting pot for everyone and an incredible place to feel inspired. It’s the best place in the world for designers!

Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?

My 86-year-old grandmother is my muse. We worked together during my BA and she does a lot of modelling for my garments. She is really fun to be around. She reminds me of the colourful Hello Kitty in her crown –  the diva of the setting.

What are your future plans and how do you think the course will help you realise these plans?

I’d really like to stay in London for a few more years and then maybe move back to Italy. I would love to carry on with my collection but now is not the right time, hopefully in the future. I really want to gain some experience at a dream job like Tom Ford or Celine before creating my own thing.

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