Last night I went to the private view of the London College of Fashion MA15 Exhibition, featuring work from graduates in a diverse range of postgraduate fashion specialisms, including: womenswear, menswear, accessories, footwear, curation, costume for performance, photography and media production. This annual exhibition is a fantastic showcase for the diversity of LCF’s Graduate School courses and the skill of their students so I would have been keen to attend anyway, but this year I had an extra special reason to go along.
As regular readers will know, I have spent the past two years working part-time towards an MA at LCF and, having recently been awarded a distinction for my efforts, was keen to attend the MA15 private view with my graduating cohort in order to celebrate our achievements. When I completed my first degree in textile design, we had an ‘open studio’ style exhibition to showcase our work to friends, family and industry. It was a lovely way to end the time I spent there and, to be perfectly honest, a more than adequate way to celebrate the work I did on my final major project. As an undergraduate I was still getting used to life away from home and lacked focus and direction, even by the time I graduated. I enjoyed my time on that course and everything I learnt along the way, but it took another 15 years before I started to find anything that I might be able to consider my ‘calling’. I started my MA course extremely excited at the journey ahead but terrified that I might not be up to it, and I finished it more proud of what I’d achieved than I ever thought I could be.
As my course was entirely academic – with the only output being an 18,000 word dissertation – it hadn’t really occurred to me that we might be able to take part in an exhibition, so being given the chance to have our own space was extremely exciting. Our course leader explained the possible options to us and, as a group, we decided that we’d like to have a small publication featuring essays on our research topics plus a short video with some of us talking about the course, our work and plans for the future. A couple of my course mates volunteered to coordinate this and plans have been in motion since the start of January, so it was lovely to arrive at Victoria House Basement yesterday evening and see a small section of the exhibition devoted to my graduating cohort from MA History and Culture of Fashion, and those from MA Fashion and Film. From next academic year, these two courses will combine to form a new course – MA Fashion Cultures – with two pathways, one in history and one in film. Hopefully what we have produced for this exhibition will inspire anyone thinking about enrolling on the course in the future!
After chatting to colleagues and course mates, plus having my photo taken next to my on screen self, I explored the rest of the space with a celebratory glass of bubbly. The work of the MA Fashion Artefact (see right) and MA Fashion Footwear students was as beautiful and eyecatching as ever, and the work of the MA Fashion Photography students is pleasingly striking and diverse. I also looked at fascinating displays of work from MA Fashion Curation (see top photo), MA Costume for Performance and MA Fashion Futures which are all part of the same programme of courses as my own. Having only a short time to spend browsing and mingling before I had to head off, I didn’t get time to look more closely at the garments or watch the films, let alone read any of the wall text, so I’ll be heading back for another visit very soon. The exhibition is far more exciting than my swiftly snapped smartphone photos could ever illustrate, so please do pop along in person if you get the chance.
The exhibition is free and open to all from today until Sunday 22nd February. Venue: Victoria House Basement, Bloomsbury Place, London WC1B 4DA (entrance on Southampton Row). Opening Times: Wednesday to Saturday: 12 – 7pm Sunday: 12 – 4pm. Closest Tube: Holborn.