Last week I had the pleasure of attending the open studio event for this year’s graduates of the BA (Hons) Fashion Contour course at London College of Fashion. I recently gave a talk to students on all years of this course about using social media (including blogs and bloggers!) to promote their work, so the final year students didn’t hesitate to send me an invitation to their show and I was very excited to see what they’ve been working on.
It was a very hot day and I was exhausted by the time I arrived at their studios in Shoreditch, but I was greeted with smiles and a much needed ice cold drink and so swiftly cooled back down as I flicked through the catalogue of this year’s final collections. The students were very friendly and eager to chat to me about their inspiration, designs and what they’re planning to do in the future, so I quickly got stuck into looking at what was there.
In the first room, I discovered the gorgeous shapewear designs of Sirarin Akharapornkullawat, inspired by Thai basketry, before speaking to Alice-Elizabeth Crozier about her bondage inspired Alice Elizabeth Intimates range featuring black lace and straps with gold hardware. Her model was definitely appropriately dressed for the weather (see image on the right)! Cheryl Wells shared some of the inspiration behind her luxurious Alyssum Lingerie collection, and I also spoke to Serina Alayed about her beautiful lingerie and body jewellery collection, branded S… RINA. The simple yet elegant loungewear from Tedi Logan Basham, stunning soft romantic designs by Natalie Balfe in luxurious silk and lace (see below), ‘dirty flirty’ lingerie from Victoria Ridge, plus light and sporty designs from Lily Branfield completed a wonderful first impression of this talented cohort.
In the next room, I was greeted by the stunningly simple surfwear of Emily Pettman, before looking at Millie Matic’s lasercut sporty lingerie and Sarah Vyse‘s striking designs that were fit for a burlesque queen. Next I chatted to Lulu Pettinger on how she developed the beautiful print on her final collection, then Ellen Goldie filled me in on the inspiration for her mastectomy brand Hummingbird before I spoke to Ffion Way about fashionable full bust lingerie (you may remember that I tweeted one of her fantastic images a couple of months ago). Sian O’Neill showed me her rodeo inspired final collection (see below) and also the lingerie she created for the LCF press show, plus I chatted to Amelia Firth-Waugh about her bold sculptural all white collection (see final image below). The dance and movement inspired designs from Chloe Louise Davis rounded off a wonderful afternoon of exciting new underwear discoveries for me.
There are definitely some names to watch in this group, so I hope that those who aren’t already planning on launching their own brands get snapped up quick for industry jobs. I think you’ll be hearing more from these talented designers in the future!