Archive for the ‘London College of Fashion’ category

The Art of Dress, a fashion film

LCF alumnus, Gsus Lopez, has created a fashion film for LCF’s Art of Dress exhibition. The exhibition, which is currently touring five international cities of style, celebrates that iconic item, the dress.

LCF talent in the form of both alumni and academics are involved in every stage of the exhibition as it visits New York, Dubai, Shanghai, Florence and London.

Gsus’ Art of Dress film stars Holly Weston, Keira Duffy and Jose Wickert and features some of the incredible dresses from the exhibition. Keira, as the lady in waiting wears a dress from Casey Gan (BA Hons Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear 2012)  whilst Jose as footman wears both Alexis Housden‘s (BA Hons Fashion Design Technology: Menswear 2013) pink menswear and Harriet O’Connor’s dress. Holly as queen wear’s Rachel O’Mahoney‘s ‘Elizabeth’ dress.

Gsus graduated from part-time BA (Hons) Fashion Media this year and has since gone on to create a successful kickstarter project, the film OUT.

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Inside set design with Simon Costin and Gary Card

Inside the Industry with Simon Costin and Gary Card

Inside the Industry with Simon Costin and Gary Card

Last week Inside the Industry welcomed two of set design’s biggest stars – Simon Costin and Gary Card. The designers were invited by Fashion Space Gallery’s Director Ligaya Salazar, as part of the events programme accompanying Simon Costin’s Impossible Catwalk Shows.

Simon opened by considering the art of set design and how he started out:

“There’s a thin line between presenting what’s in the collection and overpowering it.”

Simon started out by working with Gareth Pugh, assisting him when he was just out of college. As budgets were tight, Simon would have to come up with simple and effective set designs – one was a piece of material loosely pinned to the floor with a wind machine causing it to billow up. Simon said:

“It was a simple idea that was so effective – we had to teach the models how to ponystep down the catwalk.”

Next the pair got stuck into talking about their mutual passion. Here’s the lowdown:

What do you do on a shoot?

GC: “Stand next to the chaise longue and say it needs to be moved 2mm? I’ve never know what I should do!”

SC: “I generally look busy in the corner and wait to be called over! But really there is no rule book.”

How do you feel about taking down the sets after the event/show?

SC: “It’s very intense – it’s like a butterfly, it glitters for that moment and then it’s gone. I used to hate it at the end of the event – when all of the lights go up – as that’s when the magic goes. It’s all about the moment; it’s ephemeral.”

GC: “I find it very cathartic to throw it in the skip!”

What’s the hardest and most important lesson you’ve learnt from working in the industry?

GC: “Don’t turn up to the job drunk or stinking of booze!”

SC: “Creativity is a huge part of this job but building up client skills is really important. It’s important to recognise when someone might be out of their depth and to be able to manage them well – but this is something that comes over time. You can’t learn it all from a book.”

Inside the Industry with Simon Costin and Gary Card Inside the Industry with Simon Costin and Gary Card Inside the Industry with Simon Costin and Gary Card

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Mare Street hosts Advanced Style film screening as part of London Fields Free Film Festival

Students and local residents visit Mare Street site for London Fields Film Festival screening.

Students plus local residents visit Mare Street for Film Festival screening.

On Thursday 23rd October, our Mare Street doors opened to local E8 residents and LCF students to take part in the London Fields Free Film Festival, bringing together fashion and film.

The evening, which was a part of a week long film line up in the local area, showcased five fantastic shorts made by alumni from the MA Fashion Media Production and MA in Fashion Photography courses. After an interesting Q+A session with some of the young filmmakers, the evening concluded with a screening of the fashion documentary ‘Advanced Style’, which left the audience in both tears of laughter, and at times, sadness.

Once the pop-up cinema was packed out, the lights were turned off and proceedings began with our 5 student shorts. From documentary to experimental, the five short films dealt with a range of subjects related to fashion including identity, gender and mental health, showing that fashion is more than surface and can touch on many aspects of our lives and experience.

Question & Answer session with our 3 student filmmakers.

Question & Answer session with our 3 student filmmakers.

Below you can watch one of the fashion film shorts shown at the event, Rose in London (2012), a style portrait by LCF Alumna Saskia Reis of transgender performing artist Rose, who lives and works in Soho, London.

Nilgin Yusuf, Graduate School Programme Director in Media and Communications at London College of Fashion said:

“This video portrait features Rose, a transgender performance artist in Soho and is one of the many video portraits made by the filmmaker for her streetstyle blog THE LOVESTREET. Intimacy and authenticity characterise the filmmaking technique that attempts to penetrate the mask and reveal something of the individual beneath the construct and costume.”

Other students films shown include Josh Brandão & his international award winning film Blackened Wings (2014), plus our three LCF Alumas who gave up their free time to come to answer audience questions. You can find links to their films below;

Tereza Bila
The Act Of Time (2013)

Karoliina Barlund
As I Was Someone’s Shadow Side (2013)

Larissa De Filippo/Harun Güler
All Eyes On Me – Transgender Identity Through Photography (2014)

The main film screening of the event, Advanced Style, is a documentary that shows the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic style and vital spirit have guided their approach to ageing. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, the film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, ageing and Western culture’s increasing obsession with youth.

LCF are delighted to have taken part in the London Fields Film Festival, bringing together two creative industries through student talent and LCF’s mission to create Better Lives through fashion.

Read more…

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Fashioning Professionals Symposium

Gaby Schreiber

A SYMPOSIUM ON THE HISTORICAL AND CONTEMPORARY REPRESENTATION OF CULTURAL AND CREATIVE PROFESSIONS

CALL FOR PAPERS

Research Department, Victoria and Albert Museum, London 27 March 2015

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Agnès Rocamora

The labour market is increasingly made up of those working in the creative professions of fashion, art, design and advertising, but what does it mean to be defined and represented as a ‘creative professional’? From artist to curator; couturier to fashion intern; designer to art director; architect to design student; stylist to blogger; these professional identities can be viewed as social practices, enacted and performed through media, which includes the fashion press, lifestyle magazines, daily news, television, film, and the internet. Here social, cultural and professional identities are co-constructed. These professions and their professionals are both products of, and productive in meanings and values that inform our understanding and knowledge of culture, in both the past and present. They also vary in their representation according to different levels of expertise and career status.

Focusing on the representation of cultural and creative professions, Fashioning Professionals asks the following questions: How have photography and media worked to define and represent creative labour in particular ways? How have individuals represented and defined themselves as professionals in different fields of culture? How do different aspects of cultural identity, such as gender, class and ethnicity, inform these representations? How do different methodologies and disciplinary approaches enrich the study of cultural and creative professions? How can histories and theories of fashion and design contribute to a wider reading and understanding of the professions?

We welcome papers from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives that respond to and reflect upon these questions in relation to the following cultural sectors and their professions:

  • Art
  • Fashion
  • Advertising
  • Design
  • Architecture

Proposals: If you wish to present a paper, please submit a 250 word abstract in Word format to fashioningprofessionals@gmail.com

Abstracts are to include the following information:

  • Author(s)
  • Affiliation(s)
  • Email Address(es)
  • Title of Abstract
  • Body of Abstract

Deadline for Submissions: Monday 5 January 2015
Acceptance Confirmation: Monday 26 January 2015

Please note that there will be a £10 fee for attending the symposium, which will cover lunch, tea and coffees. Registration for the symposium will open in February 2015.

Apply for the next UAL Showroom exhibition

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To run in conjunction with London Fashion Week and UAL Green Week, the UAL Showroom will present an exhibition of work that is a Voice for Change. Submissions should creatively challenge the status quo through foregrounding environmental and social equity within fashion. Selected work will be exhibited from January – March 2015.

We are looking for UAL students and alumni to feature in the exhibition:

Work exhibited can include:

  • Design concepts, collections and services based on principles of sustainability applied to fashion or beauty, and fashion accessories (menswear, womenswear, bags, hats, jewellery, footwear, cosmetics etc).
  • Fashion photography or illustration with a demonstrable ethic in terms ofenvironmental and / or social sustainability or story relating to this subject matter.
  • Presentation of a social enterprise operating within fashion and its communities.
  • All submissions must clearly demonstrate your ambition, methods and process undertaken
  • Visually arresting and thought provoking pieces informed by sustainability imperatives

To apply to be part of this exhibition please download the application form below:

The Creative Outlet

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20 Oct – 23 Dec 2014
09:00 to 20:00

The Creative Outlet is an annual showcase of exciting emerging and established talent, selling unique seasonal gift ideas – ranging from innovative jewellery design to contemporary interior products.

The original works on display – designed and produced by University of the Arts London students and alumni – can all be bought directly from the exhibitors, through their online shops, and at our festive pop-up shop on 4 December, where you can meet the artists and designers, and buy their work in person.

Exhibitors: Alex Burgess, Amanda Tong, Anshu Hu, Augusta Akerman, Camilla Brueton, Celia Dowson, Charlotte Day, David Bennett, Edyta Slabonska, Emi Dixon, Emily Carter, Emma Alington, Evdokia Savva, Finchittida Finch, Gaurab Thakali, Jungeun Han, Kolin and William, Nao Creative, Observatory Place, Reiko Kaneko, Richard McDonald, Rob Halhead-Baker, Robbie Porter, Rolfe&Wills, Sarah ‘Kenikie’ Palmer, Soo Kim, Sylvia Moritz and YU Square.

Inside the Industry: Imran Amed of the Business of Fashion in conversation with Frances Corner

Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF Inside the Industry with Imran Amed at LCF

Discussing all things creative and commercial, Business of Fashion website founder and editor Imran Amed set LCF’s 2014 Inside the Industry series off with an insightful and savvy start this week.

Since its inception in 2007 as a blog updated from Amed’s sofa, the Business of Fashion (BoF) has become an indispensible daily resource for fashion designers, executives, entrepreneurs and of course switched-on students worldwide.

As a self-proclaimed “fashion outsider” who had spent most of his career in the corporate world of management consultancy, Amed explained he wanted to see beyond the glamour, celebrity and flash bulb realm of fashion:

“That is obviously part of the industry but behind all of that is this magic. I was trying to understand how that magic happened and to show the more serious side of fashion.”

It’s this objective approach that has encouraged critics to not only take BoF seriously as a legitimate source but also the entire fashion industry as a global influencer -

“What BoF has done is provide a new dialogue around what the fashion industry is: how it can be improved, what its merits and demerits are, why it’s interesting and why it’s a contributor to popular culture.”

For an industry often considered trivial and superficial, it was motivating to hear someone with a healthy distance still value the driving force fashion is in society, from the economy to technology. Amed touched upon the excitement over the Apple watch at last month’s fashion shows, for example.

But for all its influence, he spoke as frankly in person about the industry’s failings as BoF. Amed answered students’ questions covering topics from intellectual property (“if creativity is the lifeblood of the industry then as an industry we must strive to protect ideas”) to underpaid internships (“I hope over time there’ll be more balance over how the profits of the fashion industry are shared”) to sweatshop labour (“just think about what it takes for a company to be able to sell a bag for £5, who has been rewarded along the way?”)

Hearing his points from a business as well as cultural perspective was particularly interesting. For budding fashion entrepreneurs, perceptive advice about appealing to consumers and “pro-sumers” (professional consumers taking an active role through social media and brand awareness) in the 21st century was gold dust.

“There’s still aspiration in fashion image but there’s a lot of inspiration in brands that are growing and developing online now. Inspiring people to be interested in your brand, to take part in your brand and to have a conversation about your brand is a much more powerful way of engaging people.”

Amed also took a considered approach to the current, unsustainable speed of design turnover. Reminding us “newness is what drives conversation but predictability, stability, experience, foundation is what drives the business of fashion”. In other words, designers don’t be overwhelmed! Find your own signature Chanel 2.55 bag, Burberry trench or Furstenberg wrap dress!

With BoF’s worldwide outreach, it was interesting to hear Amed’s view of the industry on a global scale. While he believes the four major fashion capitals will remain key, we should “do away with fashion nationalism”. He encouraged us to think of the global fashion centres as “global fashion platforms” rather than rigid representatives of that country’s own fashion tradition.

It’s a good point considering so many buyers and editors were apparently underwhelmed with last season’s collections. “If we looked for creativity beyond our own borders maybe we could make things a bit more exciting and make it justifiable to spend all that money and time travelling round.” Amed’s emerging market to watch out for is Africa and advice to expanding businesses is to always remain respectful of local cultures and traditions.

Of course the ultimate question was: what advice could he give anyone wanting to enter and be successful within fashion? A novice less than a decade ago, Amed has learnt everything he knows along the way and finished with a few simple guidelines. Keep your integrity and professionalism as a business and individual, designers wanting to make a success of their brands should understand the business basics too, find your USP and most of all remain passionate. “You have to care about this industry to be successful in it.”

From someone who’s built an award-winning resource up from mere “passion project”, there are few who’d know better.

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MA Fashion Journalism students launch #NOFILTER magazine

The newly launched #NOFILTER magazine Inside #NOFILTER magazine Inside #NOFILTER magazine

A group of students from the MA Fashion Journalism course have launched #NOFILTER magazine, a publication, designed by Chirag Grover MA Fashion Media Production, that rather than telling women how they should be, empowers women to be happy with who they are now.

LCF News spoke to publisher Caitlin Gillespie who told us about how the publication came about.

#NoFilter came together after a group of us MA Fashion Journalism students got together, it just so happened that 90% of us were female, and over coffee just got to talking about life.  It came around extremely organically, as we knew we wanted to do something on feminism.  At least a few of the girls were hesitant because their understanding of feminism and feminist were not particularly positive, thus #NoFilter came about.

We felt that everything we saw on TV, everything we read in magazines and even the social media we ourselves use is continually coaching us to be someone different, to be someone ‘better’.  We decided then that it was important that we provided something that we felt discussed feminism in the same way we talked about it with our friends, even our male friends, as something that encourages women to be happy with who they are, to have goals and to have aspirations, but to also appreciate themselves the way they already are.  As a new generation of people entering the industry, we felt that we wanted to make our opinion on popular culture, feminism and women known.

At that first meeting we created our manifest statement:

“We are a collaborative of young creatives who believe that the magazine market is inundated with publications that perpetuate an image and understanding of women that we no longer identify with. We embody a new generation of women that view, consume and decipher their world differently.  The prevalence of social media and the never-ending access to information means we exist in a far more global world than ever before.  We are international women looking to be recognised for who we are, not constantly told who we should aim to be.”

Free copies of the first issue of #NOFILTER are available across all LCF campuses and around London.

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Guest post: The essential act of drawing by Rob Phillips

Rob Phillips, Creative Director of the School of Design and Technology

Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology, @robphillipswork

Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design & Technology is obsessed with image making and believes, in his own words, “drawing to be the most important, visceral and inspiring skill any designer or anyone wanting to enter fashion should have, not just for their practice but their mind”.

In recent weeks Rob has been using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to show his speedy sketches of the LFW Spring 2015 international catwalk collections that sit amongst other imagery he creates and finds inspiring. Here the LCF director takes to the LCF News airways to share his thoughts on drawing and fashion.

Everyone in design should draw, and they shouldn’t be afraid. I can draw up to 100 sketches a day and throw them all in the bin because I just don’t feel them. That’s fine. It’s an ongoing practice and I can simply start again.

Images are more powerful than words and the body is the most expressive form, drawing only heightens its power. This is half the reason I became interested in fashion. For designers, understanding the body is so important. With a simple pencil you can connect with the body – feeling the clothes, the creases as your hand moves over the page. It’s an invigorating connection from eyes and mind, to hand, to paper.

I can really understand the frustrations students feel with drawing. Many of them have come from backgrounds that heavily value academic drawing, realistic, almost photographic styles. They are beautiful but as organic creatures we have a series of very complex feelings and thoughts within us. By juxtaposing these realistic and academic skills with more expressive and abstract styles, we can explore our thoughts more deeply and more personally. What’s more, this often results in more originality as well as giving rise to new design ideas.

Personally, I take photos, sketch and do something creative every day. If it’s not fashion based then it’s something else I want to capture that will carry my message.

I love social media as it’s a great way to engage people and communicate with them beyond final outcomes. In fact the use of these platforms is part of my process. The end is not when I have completed a sketch, nor is it when I have photographed it, edited it and uploaded it. No, it ends with the audience – their interaction, comments, likes and shares. This all adds to the work that’s being shown and that’s wonderful. I’m not a brutal editor when it comes to social media, if I do something or see something interesting or exciting, I send it out there. Even if I think a drawing I’ve done is rubbish I still put it out there as the audience interaction is what completes it. Any serious designer today understands the importance of the audience/consumer.

I really get into a head space when I draw. I need music (I reference the tracks in my social posts), plenty of different media, research and imagery and most importantly – more importantly than an idea – a feeling. It’s that sense of feeling that comes out of my pencil, through posture, an attitude, an expression. I work fast and instinctively.

Life drawing is one of my favourites. I use myself when I don’t have a model. Pulling poses and photographing them to help me understand the body, posture, to feel form, bone, flesh and silhouette. When I draw using my mind’s eye I have tendencies to get a person stuck in my head and they will appear on the paper in various guises. That’s why I love drawing, I can bond with the feelings and character in front of me.

Teaching drawing isn’t just fun, its enlightening.  When you see someone break through the barrier of socially and historically constructed values of what types of drawing are acceptable, when they realise the flick of a line the daub of a brush can express more emotion than any other image, it’s deep and it’s beautiful.

Rob

Rob Phillips, Creative Director for the School of Design and Technology, @robphillipswork

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LCF Fashion Matters Gala raises money to launch new careers

Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com Image: Alex Maguire, www.alexmaguirephotography.com

Fashion Matters, LCF’s annual gala event which raises money for scholarships and bursaries has this year smashed its target, raising in excess of £85,000. The event which took place on Friday 10 October aims to support  future generations of designers, makers, entrepreneurs, commentators and industry specialists. The success of the evening will result in at least 50 new scholarships and bursaries.

The glittering Gala dinner, held at The Savoy London and sponsored by Shaftesbury PLC and Hogan Lovells, accommodated over 200 guests including designers, entrepreneurs and key fashion business for a unique evening to celebrate British educated fashion and design talent. VIPs included Grayson Perry CBE RA, Soprano Laura Wright, CEO of the British Fashion Council Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of Whistles Jane Shepherdson, Harold Tillman CBE, model Olivia Inge, designer Maria Grachvogel, interior designer Nicky Haslam, TV illusionist Derren Brown, philanthropist Aisha Caan, Made in Chelsea star Mark Francis and TV presenter Cleo Rocos.

After a champagne reception with an exhibition of beautiful work by current London College of Fashion students, the evening kicked off with a welcome speech by Chair of the Fundraising committee Harold Tillman CBE asking guests to “Dig deep … and even deeper” to help LCF surpass last years total of 29 new scholarships which helped launch “29 new careers.” Following Harold Tillman’s opening address Grayson Perry CBE RA took to the stage – beautifully dressed as his female alter-ego Claire.  Grayson had the audience in stitches as well as reminding everyone about the more serious reason for the evening – to raise money for students who might not otherwise be able to afford university education.  He reflected that as a working class boy he had received his art school education for free – and mused how the changes to the funding of Higher Education in the UK was likely to have an impact on those very same working class students.  Will we still have artists and designers in the future from every social background?

“I don’t see the next Alexander McQueen coming from Eton” he commented.

Guests were able to bid on silent auction items including a beautiful dress donated from the personal archive of Giles Deacon (which sold for £700) and a personal tour with Paul Smith in his Covent Garden studio.

As dessert was being served Ed Giddins compered a lively auction with spectacular prizes including Grayson Perry’s ‘Unfashionable Lion’ which went for a staggering £9,500, an exclusive picture of David Bowie generously donated by celebrity photographer Richard Young which sold for £3000, a pair of Tom Ford catwalk show tickets which sold for £1000 and a bespoke ‘Miss Jones’ Stephen Jones hat and a visit to his studio, which raised £1000.

Rounding off a spectacular evening was an exclusive performance by soprano Laura Wright who recently performed at Prince Harry’s Invictus Games.  Laura performed two tracks from her new album ‘Sound of Strength,’ which is currently at Number 11 in the Classical Music Charts.

Overall the evening was a staggering success and we look forward to giving new talent exciting opportunities in the future.

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