BA (Hons) Fashion Contour student Georgina Lily Rouse spoke to us about her time at LCF for our Class of 2017 series. She told us about her final project and what inspires her, as well as her future plans.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the moment you knew you wanted to study fashion?

Art and Design have always been a huge part of my life from an early age. I started doing a lot of paintings, especially portraits with acrylic. In college I studied textiles and fashion design where I discovered the freedom of combining art with fashion. I wanted to apply the art of fabric manipulation to contour the female body in becoming a second skin of expressing inner beauty of femininity. This is where I was inspired to pursue my studies and future career path within fashion, studying Fashion Contour at LCF.

Talk us through your final project…

My final project is inspired by decay and decadence, designed for the Lily Rouse Autumn/Winter ’17/18 collection. My inspiration came from combining elements of the enchanted forest and the mystical ocean. Dark and mysterious fantasies of decay come back to life with the magic of decadence. The dreamlike power of nature is developed through fabric, movement and texture that illustrates the conflicting elements evolved through decay and decadence.

I have assembled sheer fabrics to create a mistiness, illustrating the contrast of decay and growth. I have also used fabric to create light and dark – shadow and sheen. Crawling bugs, slimy weed, downy flies come to life through heavy embellishment, layered upon the sheer mist. Textual fantasy and exclusive identity is purely assembled through the intricate detailing that evokes the essence of nature.

What is the story behind your final piece of work?

I wanted to create something beautiful, something that was striking and individual to me. Since the passing of my grandmother last year, I was inspired to use her fishing flies to embellish my garments. This created a unique edge to my collection along with the strong influence driven from my initial concept.

What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?  

I used a range of fabric manipulation techniques combined with intricate detail and embellishments. Frayed edges, pleats and braid formed the base of my final collection. Layering sheer fabrics using the art of manipulation formed depth and shadow, which I then embellished with fishing flies to form the concept of my collection.

Have you done any work experience whilst at LCF? 

I did a placement year where I worked at Coco de Mer as a design intern, and went on to work at Victoria Beckham where I undertook a studio internship within the design development team. It allowed me to experiment with fabric manipulation techniques and processes. I got my placement at Victoria Beckham by attending an interview, which I was put forward for by contacts within the industry.

Describe your work in five words…

Creative. Innovative. Artistic. Feminine. Sophisticated.

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

I am inspired by other creatives, especially photographer Tim Walker who held a strong influence upon my final collection. The combination of the female body and nature are the main two influences of my work. I am strongly inspired by shape, structure and texture that nature forms, which inspires my designs and the details created.

What are your plans for the future?

After graduating I want to pursue my ambition to launch my brand, Lily Rouse, London. I want to create feminine, sophisticated pieces along the concept of underwear as outerwear to be worn at events/eveningwear, particularly for creatives. I want to keep the brand exclusive, for each consumer to feel like they are buying a piece of couture that is unique to them.

Studying Fashion Contour at LCF has provided me with the technical knowledge and ability to create the designs I aspire to. The support from tutors and peers has given me the confidence and ambition to launch my own brand.

Have you heard that LCF is moving to east London? What do you think about the move?

I think it will be great for future students to have more space and facilities for their studies. However, I feel privileged to have studied at LCF whilst being based in central London. I feel that this forms a great inspiration and motivation to be surrounded and influenced by constantly.

What do you think Brexit means for the fashion industry and studying in London?

I feel that ‘open doors’ is more conducive to creativity and collaboration within the fashion industry. Brexit could potentially effect the costs of fabric and creative material, which could negatively impact students that already struggle with the expenses of creative materials, practically in London. However, I have full confidence in London’s ability to retain its status as a prominent fashion capital of the world.

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