Archive for the ‘London College of Fashion’ category

Professor Reina Lewis interviewed by Islam Channel to give commentary on the growing spending power of the Muslim consumer


Reina Lewis, Artscom Centenary Professor of Cultural Studies, London College of Fashion, was interviewed by the Islam Channel for a documentary about the Islamic economy to give commentary on the growing sector of fashion in the Islamic world.

The documentary will be repeated on the Islam Channel (Sky 806) on Friday 22nd August at 9pm (originally aired on Wednesday 30th July, 2014).

It is also now on YouTube and you can watch it via this link:

The Islamic Economy

Professor Reina Lewis’ research profile

LCF Alumna designs costumes for English National Ballet

Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance

Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance

LCF Alumna Antonella Petraccaro, MA Costume Design for Performance, recently designed costumes for Fabian Reimair’s, We Are Free, as part of the National Ballet’s choreographics series.

Every year the English National Ballet gives their dancers the opportunity to choreograph a short dance performance, and having worked for the English National Ballet before as a freelance costumier, Antonella was recommended by the wardrobe staff to produce the costumes for Fabian’s show.

Antonella spoke about the opportunity:

“I was very excited to work with the choreographer on his piece and about having my designs showcased by an internationally known company. I also felt very grateful for the support I received from the costume department staff to help create the costumes.”

Antonella was asked to plan the visual concept of the piece in accordance with the choreographer’s vision and physical requirements for the dancers. The job entailed designing and making costumes for 3 female and 2 male dancers.

The designer told LCF News about her passion for costume design:

“I absolutely love designing and creating for the body in movement. I like the challenge and to challenge the body in movement and that is what inspires me and keeps me going.”

Antonella now plans to forge ahead with her costume designing career, working for the National Ballet and the Royal Opera House.

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LCF BA14 alumni selected for Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase

Luke Bullen and Jana Dahmen, both BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear (2014) Charlotte Knowles, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear (2014) Charlotte Knowles, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear (2014)

Recent LCF BA14 graduates, Charlotte KnowlesLuke Bullen and Jana Dahmen, all BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, have been selected for the Fashion Scout Graduate Showcase.

The Graduate Showcase returns this September for its fourth year, announcing the ten best fashion design graduates from the UK, scouted from over 300 collections viewed in February and June’s graduate shows.

Fresh out of university, this is a wonderful opportunity for Luke and Jana – whose collection is a collaboration – and for Charlotte, with each of them having the chance to present a selection of three looks from their final collections at London Fashion Week. The Showcase allows press, buyer and industry members attending the event to meet the graduates and discover their creative vision first hand.

Charlotte, Jana and Luke’s success comes on top of three LCF MA alumnae being selected for Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones To Watch’.

  • Image credits – Right & Left: Roger Dean – Centre: Photography, James Rees; Direction, Rob Phillips.

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Star LCF trio selected as Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch

Youjia Jin, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear Min Wu, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear Keiko Nishiyama, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear

Not one, but three LCF alumnae have been announced as amongst Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch.

Min Wu, MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear 2013, has been selected for her flowing designs, whilst her classmate Keiko Nishiyama brings her intricate floral patterns to the showcase.

Finally, Youjia Jin who graduated from MA Womenswear in 2014, and whose work was seen on the LCF MA14 Catwalk, has been selected for her intriguing collection which mixes masculine and feminine elements.

Their SS15 collections will be shown as part of London Fashion Week this September, 12th to 16th.

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Where art and science converge: Exposing malaria through costume for performance

LCF News caught up with 2014 graduate, Katie-May Boyd, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance, after discovering her intriguing costumes at the BA14 Performance Exhibition. If you are looking for art that explores scientific fact in an intriguing way, her costumes are it.

LCF News: Tells us about your final project – what did you set out to achieve?

Katie: The project illustrates the microscopic relationship between Malaria and its Human host in two costumes that focus on different stages in the life cycle of the disease. The costumes and performance aim to teach about malaria in an alternative way and also to highlight the cross fertilisation between Art and Science.

LCF News: And we hear that you really have taken the work into the scientific realm; speaking at the Wellcome Trust?

KMB: Yes, I took my work to the yearly conference of the ‘Wellcome Trust Centre of Molecular Parasitology’ (WTCMP) whose scientists I had collaborated with during the project. This was a really interesting experience for me as I presented my work to 80 parasitologists who had a completely different stand point from anyone else I had shown the project to. Their feedback was really helpful and a few people were keen to collaborate on different parasites as well!

LCF News: What inspires you about the work you do?

KMB: I love creating things, I think the moment a 2D pattern transforms into a 3D object on the body is just sublime. Working with science and art, the thing that I get most out of it is translating something that is very factual and theoretical into a tangible and visual piece that changes the way you understand a thing.

Looking at Katie’s work, you can certainly see how a complex scientific story is brought to life with vivid visual detail. Her costumes take the viewer from the initial stages of the virus to the moment when it overcomes the host’s body.

Katie-May Boyd, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance - 'Rupture of the Liver Cells' Katie-May Boyd, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance - 'Merozoites in the Bloodstream' Katie-May Boyd, BA (Hons) Costume for Performance - 'Gametocytogenisis'

With such a unique take on costume, art and science, we wondered why Katie was drawn to study BA (Hons) Costume for Performance and whether the course resonated with her experimental take on things. Katie told us:

I was drawn to the course because of the prestige of the college and once I found out more about it I thought it was much better than the courses offered by different universities because it seemed to be a lot more creative and open – more cutting edge and experimental as opposed to some that were a lot more traditional and theatre based.

Katie has since found herself interviewed by Scottish TV and has already taken internships with Alice Temperley, Madame Tussauds and the Royal Opera House. We’ll be intrigued to see where her insightful mixture of art and science turns up next.

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Josh Brandao wins top prize Coupe D’Or at the Fashion Film Festival Chicago, 2014

Last month, MA Fashion Photography graduate Josh Brandao claimed first place at the The Fashion Film Festival Chicago (FFFC).

The FFFC is an annual festival and competition which aims to celebrate the beauty and art of fashion as captured through the filmmakers’ lens. Josh was announced as one of the FFFC winners for his film Blackened Wings from a healthy array of submissions that reflect the bold cross-section encompassed by this expanding art. Inspired by the greek legend of the Phoenix and by Russian Constructivism/Propaganda Posters, Blackened Wings tells the tale of a young boy fighting to overcome bullying and oppression.

Josh explains his inspiration in more detail below;

“Set in a place in Soviet/Military world, Blackened Wings tells the tale of a young boy fighting to overcome bullying and oppression. The film showcases a collection of accessories and fashion artefacts by London College Of Fashion Graduate Chiara Pavan, as well as pieces by Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, Armani, amongst others.”

Josh’s winning video will be screened during fall fashion week and on FFFC media sources.

Read more…

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MA Costume alumna designs for Kylie Minogue at the Commonwealth Games

MA Costume Design for Performance alumna Lara Jensen has designed the headpieces for Kylie Minogue and her dancers at the closing ceremonies of the Commonwealth Games.

Lara attended the MA course after the then course leader Donatella Barbieri (now Senior Research Fellow in Design for Performance, jointly at the V&A Museum and LCF) spotted her drawings when she came to LCF to meet a friend, and as a Harold Tillman scholar she was the first ever MA Costume student to gain a scholarship in the history of the course. She designed and made her first showgirl outfit as part of her film project, and went on to get early work experience with wigmaker Charlie Mindu, which confirmed her interest in millinery.

Since graduating in 2009, she has created work for Lady Gaga, Karl Lagerfeld, Jessie J and London Fashion Week, as well as being included Leanne Wierzba’s Head On exhibition at Fashion Space Gallery.

Read more on the Harold Tillman scholarships part of the Fashion Matters LCF fundraising campaign.

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LCF hosts series of talks at Edinburgh International Fashion Festival


July saw LCF’s School of Media and Communication take part in the third annual Edinburgh International Fashion Festival (EIFF), hosting a series of talks curated by BA (Hons) Fashion Styling and Production course leader Clare Buckley.

The talks, held in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms, focused on the subject of luxury high fashion, bespoke and artisan brands, with relation to contemporary fashion. The day started with Vincent Maxwell co-founder James JW Macleod discussing artisan skills and custom production. Johannes Reponen, course leader of the newly founded MA Fashion Media Practice and Criticism, then lead a discussion on the most innovative and exiting examples of approaches to fashion and design, and issues and ideas affecting the culture industry as a whole as part of his talk, New Horizons: Design Thinking Now & Next.  LCF’s Sophia Plessas, course leader for BA (Hons) Strategic Communication for Fashion, closed the event with Bespoke in the New Millennia which discussed the brands reinventing bespoke for today’s customers.  The audience was comprised of industry, students and Scotland’s burgeoning fashion community.

The EIFF, now in its third year, is growing in popularity and attracted an illustrious group of speakers and exhibitors including photographers Helena Christensen and Rankin,who both showcased new work, designer Gareth Pugh, fashion mother and daughter duo Amanda and Tallulah Harlech and artist and model Saskia de Brauw.

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Call for papers for a symposium to be held at the London College of Fashion in January 2015

London College of Fashion Archive Symposium 2015

A call for papers for a symposium to be held at the London College of Fashion in January 2015

Subject: Hidden in the Archive

Lobb uppers

LCF Archives: Unfinished shoe uppers: Lobb Shoemakers c1950s

London College of Fashion Archives invites proposals for papers around the theme of things hidden, lost, undiscovered, disposed of, discarded, edited and missing in archives (personal collections, ‘wardrobes’, design collections, museums, libraries, etc).  The Symposium is open to UAL staff and postgraduate and research students.

Themes could include:

  • Losing/lost things.
  • Editing a wardrobe or collection.
  • Hidden on purpose – magic, superstition, tradition
  • Hidden stories: oral histories and testimony
  • Curating loss
  • Things broken or destroyed
  • Missing narratives.
  • Discarded/ing things
  • Immateriality
  • Finding/found things

Proposals are welcome for 20 minute papers (each followed by 10 minute discussion).

To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of about 300 words to Jane Holt at by Monday 22 September 2014.

London College of Fashion and Centre for Sustainable Fashion nominated for six Green Gown Awards

LCF Nominated for 6 Green Gown 2014 Awards

LCF Nominated for 6 Green Gown 2014 Awards

LCF and CSF have been nominated for an incredible six awards at this year’s Green Gown Awards.

Now in their 10th year, the Green Gown Awards 2014, recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.  With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have established themselves as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within Higher Education.

Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the EAUC who run the awards, commented,

It is fantastic to see more institutions than ever being finalists – the strength and quality of applications is truly inspiring. The breadth of activity within the sector shows that sustainability really does bring positive impacts, both on the institution, their staff and students and the wider community.”

The impressive list of LCF’s projects that have made the cut include a collaboration with Nike, a clever technical solution to reduce the electrical consumption of one of LCF’s most important pieces of equipment – the humble iron and a brilliant embroidery technician who has been nominated for being a sustainability champion.

Huge congratulations to all involved and we’re keeping our fingers crossed for the awards ceremony which takes place on Monday 3 November 2014 at the stunning Whitworth Hall, The University of Manchester.

Read on to find out more about each of the projects and their nominated category:

Nominated in the category for Courses and Learning “Weaving sustainability through flexible learning fashion courses” was developed by LCF Programme Director Jessica Saunders who has woven her passion and knowledge of sustainable fashion through the flexible (part time) courses in Fashion Media, Design & Realisation, Business, Branding and Visual Merchandising. Students tackle realistic sustainability briefs and study issues of human rights, farming, manufacturing and the retail environment; graduates leave with the skills to change the fashion industry from within.

In the Enterprise category Centre for Sustainable Fashion has been nominated for their collaborative project with global giants Nike. “The Making Project” brought together designers, scientists, coders, academics and students to explore the challenge of how to de-couple successful design from the degradation of nature. The collaboration between Nike, CSF and LCF students and staff helped developed a digital tool to drive innovation, reform design thinking and inform choices for a better world. It developed skills and networks across industry and academia, towards more sustainable business.

In the Research and Development category, Centre for Sustainable Fashion was nominated for “Local Wisdom and Craft of Use” a project led by Professor Kate Fletcher, which explores the ‘craft’ of using garments in resourceful and satisfying ways.The very act of consumption is bound up with our desire for satisfaction – but many people are now questioning whether the act of buying more and more is actually making us happy.Local Wisdom has shown that well-being is enhanced through a re-balancing of our relationship with fashion and encourages us to question our behaviour and find alternatives.  Through the stories of over 500 people, in seven cities, Local Wisdom is revealing the hundreds of ways in which this is possible.  By thinking about fashion differently it can engender confidence and a real sense of self that reflects personality and enhances individuality. The challenge explored by Local Wisdom is how to pace consumption rather than maximise it.

In the Social Responsibility category London College of Fashion is nominated for “Crafting partnership with St Joseph’s Hospice.” The Widening Participation Unit at London College of Fashion has set up a partnership with St Joseph’s Hospice. LCF staff, students and alumni lead crafting workshops with patients, carers, staff, local residents and schools. Activities include making bags, scarves and jewellery.  Pieces made during the workshops have been exhibited at multiple events and are sold to raise money for the hospice.

For Technical Innovation for Sustainability London College of Fashion has been nominated for “Not too many irons in the fire” an innovative new timer switch that reduces electricity consumption through limiting the time irons are left on. This technological solution is paired with an LCF-designed printed ironing board cover to raise awareness of energy consumption in students and staff using the equipment. The project has encouraged dialogue about energy saving and has prompted some staff to recommend that interventions are made regarding other equipment.  This initiative is now being considered by other colleges within UAL.

The final nomination is for Sustainability Champion which goes to Rachel Clowes, an Embroidery Technician at London College of Fashion. Rachel champions sustainability through highly visible interventions that are pertinent to a creative university. From saving electricity to increasing biodiversity and pioneering the use of organic calico, she engages community members, students and staff from diverse disciplines. Working with the estates team, for example, resulted in a reduction in electricity consumption at our west London site of 78,000 kWh and 39,000 kg of CO2 over the last 11 months. Rachel’s involvement growing flax and natural dyes with neighbourhood groups instills robust local links, whilst replacing over 2,000m of conventional calico with organic decreases insecticide use in our global society. Both initiatives encourage better-informed students who can positively influence the future of fashion.

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