Brogan Kelly studied BA (Hons) Footwear Design and Development at LCF and is graduating as part of our class of 2017. We spoke to her to find out about her time at LCF her final footwear project and what her plans for the future are.

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

Fashion wasn’t my first career choice. Originally, I was planning on applying for architecture courses as I was really into maths and science at school and I thought it would combine those subjects with being creative. However, after realising it wasn’t as creative as I wanted it to be and being told that I wasn’t passionate enough, I went away and had a meltdown and a rethink. Mid-cry I realised the only thing that I was passionate about was shoes. I have always been interested in fashion, but up until that moment I hadn’t considered it as a career. I love drawing and I love colour and fashion allows me to do what I love every day.

Talk us through your final collection…..

My final project is a collaboration with my twin sister Shannon as the brand TWIN 3. TWIN 3 is a streetwear brand for men who aren’t afraid to stand out. The Colour and Vision exhibition at the National History Museum was pivotal in deciding the concept for our first season, which is called Light Manipulation and is for AW17. Light Manipulation is the name we gave to the interference of light with everything you see. The straight lines and angles created when light reflects and refracts, helped generate the geometric upper shapes and silhouettes for the range. The shiny surfaces that create these interferences influenced the material choices too. The footwear range has a strong athletic feel with chunky sole units and architectural rubber pieces.

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

I wanted to create a collection that represented me. I’m a little bit crazy, often shiny and almost always colourful. The collection couldn’t have any black in it. In the terms of light manipulation, black kills it. Black absorbs light which is the polar opposite of what I wanted to achieve with Light Manipulation. So by putting this together, I have managed to create a range of shoes that is light-hearted and celebrates the joy I get out of colour.

Hand carving and laser cutting were the most interesting techniques that I used in my final collection. I made multiple sole unit experiments in the hope that I would perfect a signature style. The chiselled effect from quickly carving EVA foam on a sanding machine lent itself perfectly to the collection, as the small surfaces at different angles catch and reflect the light as the foot moves. For my PRISM shoe, I carved a model for the back part out of cork and used a rubber paint to mimic the appearance of being real rubber. Once this was sanded to perfection it looks and feels like the rubber bumper used on the KALEIDOSCOPE boot. Sand paper has been my best friend! As my sole units were made out of EVA foam, it was important to add some grip so I laser cut a tread pattern into Perspex to use as a mould for pouring rubber into. This was a great opportunity to play around with print and branding and I came up with a  signature tread pattern that is used on all the shoes in the range.

Have you undertaken any work experience or done a placement whilst at LCF? 

Yes, I managed to secure a year placement working at John Lewis on their childrenswear design team. After doing a children’s collection as part of an industry project for H&M in year 2, I thought it would be worth considering as a potential career path. Little did I know I would have the best year and want to work in childrenswear once I graduate. I think the design team wanted someone who would fit it on a personal level as well as professional and be willing to learn quickly. So I don’t think its solely about your portfolio in interviews, you have to be the best version of yourself that you can be. My designs from my placement year at John Lewis also got into store. It is still a novelty going into a massive department store and seeing your designs being bought by customers.

Have you met or been inspired by any speakers from the industry whilst at LCF?

Personally, I find the most inspirational speakers we have had are the tutors, they have been there and done it and their experience is invaluable.

Describe your work and aesthetic in five words…..

Colourful, casual, playful, youthful and adaptable.

What influences your style and work?

Getting out and about provides the best inspiration for me, and London is such a great place for this as there is always something fun going on.

What are your plans for the future?

My next step is to find a job, hopefully in childrenswear design. I know this is a bit of a step away from my footwear course but I just love how much fun you can have designing tiny clothes because everything is so much more playful than most adults clothing. Maybe in the future I would start my own children’s brand but right now I need to get out there and keep learning.

How do you think your course and LCF will help you achieve this?

Being on a sandwich course meant that I had the opportunity to take a whole year out to work in industry, these chances aren’t as easy to get hold of once you graduate. I think that this should be an option for every course as more and more companies are offering placements that are only open to students who are currently studying. So, with a years experience under my belt, I am hoping this will help me secure a permanent job.

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

I think it is very exciting for prospective students, they will have to opportunity to work alongside all the courses and not just a few like it currently is as there are so many campuses. Although they will miss out on getting to know loads of different areas of London, they will be able to hop between lectures, workshops and the library far easier.

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

I like to think that not much will change but at the moment we just don’t know. It would be a terrible shame if the fashion industry is negatively affected, but we just have to stay positive and work hard to protect what we have

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