Regular readers of Rarely Wears Lipstick will know how much I love discovering new lingerie designers, so you can imagine how pleased I was when I got an email from a group of 2014 graduates who are showcasing their work next month. 20 BA Fashion Contour students and 6 BA Fashion Sportswear students from London College of Fashion have got together to stage their own exhibition of their graduate collections. Named Collective 205 – after the Contour room at LCF where they pretty much lived over the past year! – they decided that an exhibition “would be a great way to promote ourselves and our courses to the industry.”
The students have collaborated on the exhibition as a supplement to the BA14 activities organised by LCF, and have worked on it independently with only a small amount of sponsorship from the SUARTS Student Initiative Fund. Pretty impressive stuff! The venue they’ve chosen is only minutes away from LCF’s Curtain Road site, which is where both courses are based, as they “really wanted to exhibit in East London and keep it local to our uni stomping grounds!” As a taster of what’s in store at the Collective205 exhibition, the designers have sent me a few profiles to share with you.
Intimates Designer Sophie Chessher takes insight into the restricted life of female prisoners and their reflections on religion. This unique inspiration is contrasted with architectural lines, creating a strong look. Her collection consists of unconventional lingerie which branches away from the classic lingerie fabrics and, as a result, can also be worn as outerwear. The silhouettes range from longline, full cup and halter neck bras (see top image), structured bodies and waspies, as well as thigh skimming pencil skirts. Luxury French heavy corded Lace is hand-cut and intricately hand appliqued onto Melton Mowbray Wool and Calfskin Leather. The designs render visually dramatic yet contemporary looks through applique and strong structures. The colour palette comprises of a minimal combination with a simple contrast of Terracotta pink and black, finished with hints of copper hardware.
Becky Olley is a creative and innovative lingerie designer, interested in using new techniques and unusual fabrics to push the limits of lingerie design. Over the past few years she has worked with a number of lingerie labels, including interning with Lascivious, and working as the Design Assistant for M&S Limited Collection at Courtaulds UK. Her graduate collection reflects the modern, minimalist style that Becky loves (see above) and explores the boundaries between lingerie and womenswear. Becky feels that the relationship between lingerie and womenswear is becoming closer and closer, and wanted to examine how designing lingerie with a womenswear approach could produce exciting, trend-focused garments.
ZoŽ Greening is an enthusiastic and naturally creative lingerie designer, passionate about fit and construction with an eye for detail. With previous experience as a Lingerie Design Assistant at Marks and Spencer, Sample Room Assistant at Jenny Packham and Production Intern at Bordelle – whilst working in the Selfridges Lingerie Department – she has a wide understanding of the lingerie industry and its consumers. Her graduate collection, “The Girl” (see above) is inspired by the ultimate 60’s blonde bombshell, Jayne Mansfield, and her flamboyant pink palace where she lived in Hollywood. The collection draws further inspiration from 1950s and 1960s lingerie found in Playboy editorials of the time.
Maria Tokmakova is BA Fashion Sportswear graduate who was born in Moscow and grew up in Italy, resulting in work which is influenced by diverse and, at times, contrasting inputs. Reinterpretation and re-contextualisation are the central themes to Maria’s philosophy and aesthetic. Viewing objects and garments from different perspectives gives them different meanings and creates new inputs. “Prululla” is a capsule collection designed for performing ‘French Skipping’ (see left), but can be also worn just for fun, far from the playground. Inspired by the work of photographers Alex Prager and Petra Collins and from motion pictures Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders) and Badlands (Terrence Malick), the collection is expression of a pop dream and focuses on the contrast between the perfect surface and the intangible and hidden and often sinister essence.
The Collective 205 exhibition private view will take place on Monday 7th July 2014, from 6-10pm, and then the exhibition will be open to the public on Tuesday 8th July, 10am-5pm. The venue is Blackall Studios, 73 Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 4QS. Follow Collective205 on Twitter and Instagram for more details.