The next graduate spotlight, ahead of this month’s LCFMA18 Womenswear Show, which will be live streamed on Thursday 15 February here, is Chinese-designer Feiyi Shuai, who created a ‘Fun To Wear’ womenswear collection that draws inspiration from fashion photographer Mark Borthwick. The MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear graduate used niche Japanese fabrics and print techniques to put her collection together.

MA Womenswear Design Technology graduate Feiyi Shuai. Photographer Alyssa Boni and Stylist Adele Cany.

MA Womenswear Design Technology graduate Feiyi Shuai. Photographer by Alyssa Boni and Styling by Adele Cany.

Tell us about your final collection…

The concept for my final collection is turning ready-to-wear into ‘Fun To Wear.’ The garments were created, assessed and judged on the merit of their constructution or where they would be fun to wear. To me, this is the essence of fashion that lies at the heart of dressing. The inspiration came from ‘All Events Are Even’ by fashion photography Mark Borthwick. This book was also turned into an exhibition by Mark, he set up a small studio in a section of the gallery where visitors could stand to be photographed. The only instruction he gave to the particapants was to rummage through the heap of clothing and put together outfits based on how they felt creatively. This was an interesting concept for me, especially in this modern world where there is so much emphasis on the labels and brands you wear. Here Mark managed to create an environment where none of that mattered. He said his inspiration for the project was watching people rummaging through Parisian flea markets and second-hand cloth stores. This act of dressing and rummaging is the essence of fashion to Mark and I, so this is why I wanted to use this concept as the inspiration for my final collection.

I was also inspired by other dressing image books and archives that challenged the common preconception of garments. Another book that inspired my final collection was, ‘A, B, C Dictionary Definitions.’ I found this inspirational because dictionary definition of garments are constructured as factual and rational, showing no reference to their ephemeral or immatieral character of fashion. I believe there are many interpretations of what a garment can be, its function and how it can work as a non-clothing object. For me, this book was like a method book to change my thinking of design.

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What would be your top tips for new students?

Time is really precious, so just create something you really want to do.

What techniques did you use for your final major project?

I did a lot of ‘print’ during the collection, sourcing a lot of print fabrics to create floral designs. I used Boro fabrics which are from Japan for my collection and this was very inspirational.

MA Womenswear Design Technology graduate Feiyi Shuai. Photographer Alyssa Boni and Stylist Adele Cany.

MA Womenswear Design Technology graduate Feiyi Shuai. Photographer by Alyssa Boni and Styling by Adele Cany.

What were the highlights and biggest challenges of your course?

I think LCF is a traditional fashion technology university, which means it has always had a high standard of clothes designing. For me, the biggest challenge was mastering design and its techniques.

What song or album are you currently listening to?

MANDALA!

Have you been on a work placement or internship…

Yes, I worked at ROBERTS | WOOD for 3 months. She is a really good fashion designer focusing on textile.

#besttime

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My biggest inspirations and muses are…

I think life in general is an inspiration.

What are your plans for life after your MA…

I really want to work in London for one or two years after graduating.

Alumni can connect with LCF in the following ways: