Work from Nikon prize winner Sharon Lee
Work from Harry Handelsman prize winner Alexander Petch
Alex Petch by Hannah Young
Gallery Exterior by Hannah young
The judges by Hannah Young
Alex Petch and Richard Young by Hannah Young

Last night, the Richard Young Gallery premiered Capsule #4, a showcase of work from LCF’s BA (Hons) Fashion Photography graduating class. Fifteen students had their work on display.

Sharon Lee was announced this year’s winner – she was deemed, by a panel which included Richard himself, to have displayed the most creative potential. Although she wasn’t present to receive her new Nikon D7000 camera and 18-105mm lens (provided by event sponsor Nikon), 2nd prize winner Alexander Petch was on hand to receive the Manhattan Loft Corporation £500 cash prize.

About his series of photographs he said:

The idea came from a piece I was writing about how the perception of glamour had changed the Hollywood star system until now. I spent months thinking about what I could do with a series of portraits and then came the idea of older glamorous women. Old isn’t a bad word.

Richard Young on what he enjoyed about the winners:

Sharon’s work is so colourful, bright, and animated. I like what Alexander did because it was like age-chic and it showed what can be done with a matured person if the right concept is put together with passion.

Pauline Franckel, Dean of the School of Media and Communication at LCF said:

Tonight we are recognising not only academic achievement but also young photographers launching their careers. The quality of the work is great and it feels very diverse. When the recession began we did wonder what would happen to fashion and creativity but the work seems to be celebrating human identity in a really exuberant way.

The students who were there to support their work all had strong statements to make within the context of fashion photography.

Kevin Jude Walters said about his images featuring bags by Ally Capellino:

The project revolves around meeting rooms in different church basements around London where Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held. It’s a commentary on fashion’s love affair with substance abuse and how damaging it can be.

Janay Bailey explains her impetus:

I got a little frustrated looking at fashion magazines and not seeing a variety of women of colour. If black women are show it’s usually in a negative way, animalistic or sexualised. I think we need to move away from those stereotypes into something more modern.

Ge Zhang on the key role his subjects play in his images:

The series focuses on people over 55 from working class backgrounds, with occupations that include musician, shoemaker, and fisherman. I think now people in fashion just focus on the young; handsome boys and beautiful girls. I really wanted to present something special. What I noticed are the older people around England who are really cool, each with their own signature style.

Following the presentation of the top prize, Richard gave a heartening speech to the fledging photographers with one prevailing message “Keep taking pictures!”

The show will run at Richard Young Gallery from Thursday 14 – Saturday 30 June. The full BA (Hons) Fashion Photography course will be exhibited at Londonewcastle Project Space from Wednesday 4 – Tuesday 10 July.