As LCFMA17 MA Womenswear catwalk show approaches, we speak to MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear graduate Siyang Meng who told us about her collection Mind Bending, which will be appearing at the show on Thursday 16 February (watch it live streamed here).

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MA Womenswear graduate Siyang Meng. Photography by Felix Cooper, styling by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen.

Tell us about your collection?

My collection is called Mind Bending. The first inspiration for the collection came from a photo series called, Two Girls in The Garden, which was moving for me because the images were taken by their mums. The images were taken at home. They (the girls) are both dressed very relaxed and doing things without paying much attention. It feels like they are on another planet and are so carefree. They inspired me because I wanted to create something that didn’t feel part of reality like those girls. I wanted my collection to feel very futuristic and glossy. The images aren’t famous, nor is the photographer, but the images stuck with me. My collection is like another space for people to imagine different things.

Where did you study prior to your MA at LCF?

I studied at a comprehensive university in China and studied several basis fashion courses. I then interned for a while as a fashion writer for several publications, including Ruili Magazine.

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?

  • Offer something new to fashion. You need to find your voice and volume, then stick with it.
  • Be prepared for a culture change and possible language barrier. Studying here is very different so make you are prepared for it.
  • Work experience is very important! You need to know about the industry and whatever you create needs to have a deeper meaning.
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MA Womenswear graduate Siyang Meng from showtime.arts.ac.uk

Why did you choose LCF and MA Womenswear?

LCF is a world-famous university and I always wanted to study here. The course is also more related to my design style in the sense it is more commercial instead of art. But the course is also great at combining creative design with a commercial aspect so it’s ready for people to wear. This is the most important thing for young designers trying to break into the industry.

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

The most enjoyable part of the course was working on the collaborative unit. Our course leader Nigel Luck secured placements for us on projects with Saga Furs and Fendi. We went to Denmark for a week and got to experience how some of the industry’s biggest labels work. I also enjoyed the atmosphere of the course, there wasn’t competition between us, instead we all worked together and helped one-another.

The beginning of the course was very difficult for me. I was quite shy and sometimes found it difficult to translate my idea and vision to Nigel. I found it hard to represent myself and what I wanted to create, but my classmates really helped me figure out what I wanted to say and create.

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What was your favourite thing about studying in London?

I love London! I joined a language school to improve my English and we always explored the city. Going to all the cultural events in London is what I love the most. There are so many new opportunities for designers and creative people here, and fabric shops across the city to help you research ideas. The fabric shops are also very welcoming and they let you see everything – this makes me really happy.

Describe your style in five words…

Futuristic, sculptural, bold, minimal and gender-neutral.

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

I don’t have a muse, instead an idea of who I am trying to create for. I want to create garments for a young teenage girl who is pure. I’m really inspired by the work of brands like Acne, Vetements and CDG.

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

After graduating I hope to start an internship and gain some experience. The dream job would be Celine or Armani. I would love to stay in London, or maybe move to New York if that’s an option. I would like to build a brand in the future, hopefully I’ll have enough experience to do so at some point.

Alumni can connect with LCF in the following ways: