Ten MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear students showcased their unique and innovative collections for our annual LCF MA17 catwalk show last night, the first one ever to be streamed on Facebook Live. The collections looked far and wide for inspiration, from breaking free of the female stereotype portrayed in 1960s American advertising to African tribes and print.

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LCFMA17 Womenswear designers together for the finale of the show.

The show took place at Dutch Hall, City of London, between Bank and Liverpool Street. The show was styled by Anders Sølvsten Thomsen who worked closely with the students, helping them shape their collections. Makeup was provided by Claire Mulleady and the M∙A∙C PRO team and hair by Louis Ghewy from Management + Artists with the Kevin Murphys session styling team and using Dyson Supersonic™ Dryers. Liza Smith provided nails using CND and production was by creative agency Bacchus who also specialise in fashion and luxury events production.

London College of Fashion continued to champion live music at their MA shows using  Brighton-based pop musician and visual artist Bunty,  part of the Beatabet collective.

The show began with Italian graduate Lorenzo Buzzi and his collection The Story of Vanda. He wanted his collection to empower power who were traditionally stereotyped in 1960s American advertising. He aims was to convey this message through Vanda, a fictional character he created with his imagination, who is a traditional housewife of that era from Palm Springs, California. Vanda is an incredibly artistic person who is fond of Oriental culture, Lorenzi embedded both these likes into his designs.

Hew Wang was next out. His collection was inspired by feminism and feminist conceptual artist Hanna Wick. Most of Hanna’s work is based on her sculpture, drawings, and photography.  Hew started reading about the likes of Patti Smith and other feminists artists as well.  He also created the accessories, backpack, and shoes himself for the show.

Hew was followed by South Korean graduate Youngmi Kim. She told LCF News her collection was “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.” Her collection featured a mix of tailoring, embroidery and knit together. The garments were all different textiles and colours.

Mind Bending by Siyang Meng was next out. She told us the inspiration for the collection came from a photo series called, Two Girls in The Garden, which was a very moving image for her because it was taken by the girl’s mum at home. She told us during a Graduate Spotlight interview, “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.”

Antiquity and femininity were the focus for Gergei Erdei‘s collection. He was inspired by shellworks of the Victorian era – especially the miniature sculptures that they put under bell jars. The Hungarian womenswear graduates second point of inspiration was called Sailor’s Valentines. These were very small, sentimental shell images that sailors gave to their lovers in the 19th century. He told us, “I thought it interesting that a very tough segment of society was doing such an emotional thing. I thought it was really interesting compared to women and men nowadays, with apps and the new ways people find love today.”

Beijing-born graduate Yu Qing Lai was next out at last night’s show with her Mind The Gap collection. As you might have guessed, London’s famous Underground service was the source of her inspiration. She wanted to combine menswear with womenswear to represent both bodies. She told us, “I wanted to create a story for my collection. The story is about the women of the Underground and giving them an identity within their uniforms. I wanted to create a collection that shows the contrast between both genders, but also shows a women’s personality.”

Katrina Wilson‘s collection that explores colour and print, inspired by African tribes, was next out at LCF MA17 Womenswear show. She told us her “collection incorporated a lot of print and knotting. It was very spontaneous. Tribes had a practical and functional element, but they also painted their bodies because they wanted to show off and represent themselves with colour and drawings and it was very creative and inspired by nature. So that’s where the prints come from.”

“My collection is inspired by nocturnalism and that sleepwalking state where it is hard to distinguish reality from dreams.  I was also influenced by lingerie and vintage corsetry and used draping, suspenders, bra extenders throughout,” said Wendel Heung about his collection. The Chinese designer was the eighth out on the running order. He describes his work as nude, silent, philosophy, smooth and sensitive.

Wendel was followed by the colourful knitwear collection of Chen Zhi. She wanted to embed engineering background into her collection along with experience from LCF and Parsons. She describes her collection as, “Playground, an all-knitwear collection, conveys playfulness and lightness, it is underpinned by highly intricate and sophisticated structures. The elaborate patterns, rich colours and distinct textures are all knitted into one piece of seamless fabric.” She wanted her collection to balance creativity, practicality, and commerciality in one larger concept.

Closing the show was Vilu Dau with her final collection Feminine Power, which was inspired a group of female motorbike riders in America who called themselves the ‘motor maids’. They were fighting for equal rights for men and women and they would do these crazy tricks on their bikes. She told her collection “is all based on leather handcrafts with a mix of optic-fibre materials. The leather reflects power because it’s a really strong material and you can get so much out of it – it’s also all in silver shades to reflect the engines. The silhouette is between the 40s and 50s – it accentuates the female body shape and at the same time has volume, but what I was mainly focused on was the surface design.”

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