Ahead of our LCFMA18 womenswear show we caught up with Vicky Leung whose final collection will be on the catwalk (live streamed here) on 15 February. Originally from Hong Kong, Vicky talks to us about the inspiration behind her work and plans for the future.
Tell us about your final collection…
When you open your wardrobe, sometimes everything inside there can be so messy, two jackets hanging on the same hanger; a skirt hanging inside out; a garment bag partly covers the clothes. I thought it could be fun to put that complete outfit on bodies, and make even the hanger-cover an accessory to a look! In the last year, “ugly fashion” has become a huge thing in the fashion industry, which aims to inspire people to question what beauty is. My womenswear collection looks to inspire people to define their own aesthetic or point of view of fashion and clothing, but not just to follow a trend without thinking about it.
Talk us through any specific techniques you used
I used pattern cutting as a way to imply the look of hanging several garments in the same outfit. I used the pattern to extend one more dress or jacket in either front or back. A range of unique silhouettes such as double pairs of armholes, for example, are presented. I also used embroidery to show the traditional tailoring pattern – glen plaid check as well as the tuck stitches. Creating the whole atmosphere of a messy wardrobe, some PVC and polythene are used for making garment bags covering the clothes, so as to deliver the mood of the theme.
What influenced your final collection?
England has the most traditional and famous tailoring knowledge and technique, and I have been fascinated by this delicate and professional tailoring since I moved to London for my studies. I researched a lot and looked into all the details on a suit to try to think about how to combine this traditional element with something fresh or unexpected. I became more interested in this topic along with the research and eventually took it as the main component, combining with the previous inspiration for my collection.
What would be your top tips to new students?
London is a great city. I think it is important to explore the city instead of just staying at the studio. Try to get different experiences like an internship – all of this will help you a lot on your design path.
Describe your work in 3 words…
DEFINE OWN STYLE!
What made you choose LCF and London?
London and Europe are places that encourage creativity and critical thinking development in education, which might be slightly different from the practice-oriented education in America. With the undergraduate experience in Hong Kong, I learnt various practical skills and knowledge, so for my future studies I would love to focus on design theory or thinking. LCF strikes a balance between innovation and commercial which is suitable for me in both self-development as well as future career.
What were the highlights and biggest challenges of your course?
Networking is definitely the first thing to cope with after moving to a new place, producing a collection consists of many steps and parties. After the design stage, manufacturing stage is always the most challenge part because I had to research different companies or professionals for help to achieve my ideal results and effects. Fortunately, I have built up own network for producing my collection, which might be useful in future too.
Have you been on a work placement or internship?
I did an internship with a local British designer brand for 3 months during my studies. It was a fabulous experience for me to get an understanding of how fashion brands run in London and gain a general insight of the fashion industry here because designer work experience in Hong Kong is quite different from the one in London.
My biggest inspirations and muses are…
For me, inspiration is never fixed in a place or form. Inspiration can be an exhibition, a movie, a restaurant. Therefore, I always walked around the city when I had no inspiration or ideas, and I would be suddenly stimulated by something around me.
What are your plans for life after your MA?
I would like a chance to work here after graduating, so I am now preparing a portfolio for job applications. I would also like to get some experience with designer brands and after I have an all-round understanding of how the fashion world runs, I might launch my own brand and try to deliver my thoughts to others, through my brand.