Thursday, 19 July 2012

LCF graduate show.

Waiting for the live streaming of London College of Fashion's BA catwalk show, the sound of Jamaican drumming echoed around the mirrored room; at one point a similar melody to the 'Bear's Necessities' (as featured in The Jungle Book) sounded through the space. Held at Hackney House which is going to be one of the media centres for the Olympics later this year - as announced by Frances Corner, Head of LCF, at the end of the show. There was an electric atmosphere as guests continued to be seated; the models were glacially walking in and out of floor length mirrors whilst lights remained low, creating a mystic sense of anxiety.

The show starts: flashing lights bounce off the mirrors, rock-electrica riffs fill the air and the first model emerges...

Menswear: Rory Parnell Mooney
Womenswear: Loko Yu 
Jewellery: Claire Pugh

Both collections by Mooney and Yu took on a Gothic front with oversize black nose rings and metallic black body paint used to create the illusion of clothing: t-shirt in menswear and high socks in womenswear. Rucksacks, draped jackets and layering reigned supreme in Rory Parnell Mooney's men's collection with black puff jackets, oversized knit scarves and fur panels also making an appearance.

Whilst Loko Yu lead her womenswear collection with exaggerated shoulders, barely-there shorts and heavy jackets. She juxtaposed contrasting shapes by teaming together strong shouldered black jackets with protrusions on the sleeves and simple shorts which exposed the lean legs of the street cast models; along with the heavy boots and black lipstick a hint of gothic androgyny is embodied within this striking collection that in many ways subverts the expectations of a women's collection.

Androgyny could be found within Mooney's collection in almost an opposing way to that of Yu: he experimented with layering using different textures and softer shapes whereas womenswear was tougher and more aggressive. By layering soft draped skirts and wide leg trousers with tougher leathers, inviting furs and warming knitted accessories, Rooney created an innovative menswear collection for the modern man who isn't afraid to show off his dark side. 

Womenswear: Isabell Yalda Hellysaz

With a touch of masculinity, mixed with the feminine softness of a white palette and an experimental use of textures and shapes, Hellysaz created a womenswear collection that challenged the conformity of women's tailoring by concentrating on fabrics, techniques and detailing.

Heavy knitwear, crafted shirts and the layering of fabrics took a leading role in the collection: tasseled skirts covered tailored cigarette trousers, whilst pointed shouldered sleeveless jackets were layered over cropped knits and shirts. Accessories were kept minimal with the addition of thick white wrapped belts and clear plastic visors with white edging - giving each look a marine like feel. Draped fabric covered each of the models head along with the masking of the face allowed the femininity of the collection to continue to be distorted; allowing Hellysaz to be creative with her tailoring. White patent panels, bobbled knits and slit trousers expressed the graduates craftsmanship, whilst the tasseled arms and legs  added a hint of feminine elegance to the collection.

The collection appeared to be a contradiction in itself: simple yet busy, masculine yet with feminine touches, tailored yet in shapes that subvert expectations. The looks that the were donned in the mirrored space of Hackney House may not be as ensembles day-to-today wearable, but the separates pieces make created the collection are staples which could add a touch of edgy tailoring to any wardrobe.

Menswear: John Alexander Skelton 

Skelton stated that he wanted to evaluate the social problems that are embodied within the 'chav' caricature by "embody[ing] the scally/chav style in a more refined and revered for my AW/12 collection". The burglar style beanie hats and oversize backpacks connoted the 'chav' stimulus whilst the tailored 80s inspired ankle grazer trousers, and crafted coats with sharp silhouettes reflected the fashion context of his aim. Hues of royal blue, tangerine and navy excited a simple palette of black and white creating a colour block effect which adhered to the conventions of a 'chav's' tracksuit uniform.

Overall the collection was tailored, structured and- with the layering of different fabrics, garments and colours-playful. The 80s 'skinhead' connotations of the collection reflected the modern 'chav' of today whilst revealing its fashion context and history; with this mature and almost political approach to fashion-along with his clean lines and strong distinct silhouettes-it proves that Skelton is one to watch 
in the future.

Surface Textiles: Stephanie Ghoussain

Ghoussain boasts impressive skills in digital printed textiles and CAD/CAM embroidery techniques; also with internships at Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane under her belt this young designer's future aspects look promising. Ghoussain's collection focuses on womenswear; by using distinct patterns and prints her cocoon shaped tunics took on a playful form that reflected her stimulus of stereotypical middle eastern identities in the western media.

The collection possessed a free aesthetic with fluid lines and curved oversize silhouettes, which were excited with shades of turquoise, duck egg and sky blue, tangerine and summer yellow. Accessories were minimal with a squared or rounded hat-of matching print to the look-fitted on top of the models unruly hair. The surface designs took on a 3D effect with Ghoussain's drawing and redrawing from photographic manipulations being integral to her design process. The collection definitely boasted an artistic flair through the collage of geometric prints; whilst the middle eastern inspiration conveyed the context behind the designs. 

images from each student's showtime LCF profile.

1 comment:

  1. The first collection reminds me of the minotaur, or of the Max Ernst painting 'Celebes' x

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