Rong Xia’s MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear final collection will be on the catwalk on 15 February and you can watch the livestream at 6.30pm GMT. We caught up to discuss the influences behind Rong’s collection, the experience of being at LCF and in London as well as plans for the future.

Photographer: Alyssa Boni Stylist: Adele Cany

Tell us about your final collection…

My final collection is a summary of finding and defining my personal aesthetics in MA course. Because of the different education and life experiences in China, Japan and London, my personal aesthetics cannot be built without the conflict of multiple cultures. My collection started from the Japanese traditional aesthetic Wabi-Sabi and Chinese culture of Zen, combined with perfectionism of tailoring in Western fashion world. I think It is quite interesting to combine these diametrically opposite Aesthetic taste. I want to give these traditional aesthetics more modern and new interpretations.

‘In the realm of the senses’ is the theme of my final collection. Sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch are the five traditionally recognised senses. In my opinion, mind is also included as a sense organ. The reason for choosing such a theme is that ‘Wabi-Sabi’, an aesthetic which influenced me a lot, emphasising the essence of things and I think the discovery of the essence of things comes from human senses. It’s a process from five traditional senses to mind and perception. As a result, the whole collection developed from human different senses. For expressing specifically of these abstract senses, I set up a jungle scene where the rain is getting stopped at first. I brought senses of human into this scene, developing according to the senses level of strength in different periods of this scene. Different outfits represent different senses.

Talk us through any specific techniques you used

I focus on tailoring and draping in my final collection. However, being distinct from traditional tailoring, I combined different cutting ways to develop, such as subtraction cutting and bias cut. In addition, many fabrics for this collection are made by myself. For example, I bonded light chiffon and nylon together to make a new light and stiff fabric. This kind of fabric is suitable for creating silhouette and it is more practical because of light weight.

What influenced your final collection?

Different culture and aesthetics from Asian and Western countries influenced my personal aesthetic. However, ‘Wabi-Sabi’ from Japan aesthetics is the deepest influence for me, not only my final collection but also my life attitude.

Describe your work in 3 words…

Freedom, nothingness, poetic.

What would be your top tips to new students…

Just be yourself.

What made you chose LCF and London…

I think LCF focuses on marketing. which is important for a fashion designer (at least for me). I chose London because I think it has more open space and environment for me to create and do my works. There are also a lot of amazing museums, galleries, exhibitions, shows and some interesting places here, that were very attractive to me.

What were the highlights and biggest challenges of your course…

I consider that the biggest challenge of this course is that we have to have many other different skills, as well as designing or making clothes. For example, we have to make a mature magazine about our project in a short time.

My biggest inspirations and muses are…

Women who are independent, individualised, romantic, longing for freedom and be themselves.

What are your plans for life after your MA…

I think I will work firstly. I have to study more and get more experience and money, and then maybe in 5-10 years, I will build my personal brand.