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The House of Worth: Portrait of an Archive

The House of Worth: Portrait of an Archive

The House of Worth: Portrait of an Archive by Amy de la Haye & Valerie Mendes

Professor of Dress History and Curatorship, and Centre for Fashion Curation co-director, Amy de la Haye has co-authored a book on the House of Worth Archive with her V&A colleague, Valerie Mendes. The book was 6 years in the making and is published by the V&A, where both have worked as curators.

Charles Frederick Worth was an English designer who made his mark on the French fashion industry in the mid 19th Century and is widely considered the father of Haute Couture.

Their monograph brings together hundreds of photographs selected from the V&A’s unique archive of over 7,000 official house records. The images used capture the Worth style and offer fascinating insights into the daily routine of the House. The book tells the intriguing story of their acquisition and their historical context, and describes Worth’s international clientele of elegant women of wealth and power, from Lillie Langtry and Sarah Bernhardt to the Duchess of Marlborough.

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LCF’s Asger Juel Larsen wins International Woolmark Prize European Heat

Asper Juel Larsen - Winner of Woolmark Prize European Heat

Asger Juel Larsen – Winner of Woolmark Prize European Heat with his oversized cream coat. Photo: Vogue.co.uk

LCF 2011 MA Graduate Asger Juel Larsen was successful at winning the European heats for the International Woolmark Prize this week. He will now move on to the final where he will face off against four other menswear designers from Australia, America, Asia, India and the Middle East.

Copenhagen based designer Asger, a BAMA Fashion Design Technology: Menswear graduate, beat nine other names to be honoured in the first dedicated men’s category of the prize’s history. To win the regional semifinal competition, designers were tasked with creating a look made from Merino Wool to show to a panel at the Shangri-La Hotel in Paris.

One judge, director of menswear at Hermes, Veronique Nichanian, commented on Larsen’s excellent delivery:

Asger’s presentation was very structured and well-articulated, his research on fabrics and textures was elaborate and accomplished. The decision was made as one voice.

The decision to crown the London College of Fashion graduate’s oversized cream coat (pictured above) was unanimous according to reports. Other judges on the men’s board included James Leaford, Fashion Editor of GQ France; Sarah Andleman, Creative Director of Colette; and Tim Blanks, Editor-at-Large of Style.com.

Asger was lauded for his “commercial understanding and application of Merino wool” – his oversized cream jacket taking centre stage at the proceedings.

Asger must now design a capsule collection in Merino wool to be showcased during London Collections: Men in January 2015. Success in the final round would see the designer walk away with an additional 100,000 AUD (£54,000) along with the opportunity to be stocked in retailers such as Harvey Nichols in London, Colette in Paris and 10 Corso Como in Milan.

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Fashion Illustration secrets from the BA14 Runway Show

Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Faye Van Andel, BA (Hons) Womenswear, and Zoe Greening, BA (Hons) Fashion Contour. Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Rachel O'Mahony, BA (Hons) Womenswear, and Harry Harvey BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles. Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Sofia Ilmonen, BA (Hons) Womenswear, Jinhee Moon, BA (Hons) Womenswear, and Mengna Ye, BA (Hons) Womenwear. Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Marta Cesaro, BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring, and Shasha Wong, BA (Hons)  Fashion Textiles. Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Sunjung Park, BA (Hons) Womenswear, and Jesika July, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles. Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration - illustration of Marta Cesaro, BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring, and Shasha Wong, BA (Hons)  Fashion Textiles

Following LCF’s BA14 Summer Season we saw tons of beautiful images all over social media from students, graduates and industry alike.

However, one set of images really caught our eye – Megan-Ruth St Clair Morgan, BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration student, dropped us a line to say she had live illustrated the BA14 Runway Show. We couldn’t overlook such wonderful work so we asked Megan to tell us the secret to creating beautiful fashion drawings in super short bursts of time…

LCF News: How do you manage to create these beautiful images in such a short space of time? We reckon you must have only a few minutes from when the collection hits the runway to when it disappears off the scene!

Megan: Well that’s something I ask myself all the time and get asked all the time! I think I would say lots of practice… It’s using quick ways of getting the image onto paper that helps. I use a water brush, watercolours and fine liners to create drawings. I also add in the use of a few big markers to create big marks from time to time. Let’s just say I like shows where the models walk slow!

LCF News: What do you love to draw? Which collection did you enjoy drawing the most?

Megan: I love doing catwalk illustration and drawing from life – movement and body are so interesting! My favourite had to be Rachel O’Mahony, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear, and Harry Harvey, BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles. The textures and shape were fantastic to illustrate. It’s all about silhouette and creating movement, and it moved so well.

LCF News: What makes a great fashion illustration?

Megan: Personally I think a focus on the clothes rather than the person, in live illustration you are capturing the collection not the model. But it really depends what sort of fashion illustration you do, the thing that has stuck with me is to draw everything as if its an object and have no preconceived ideas as to what it should look like. Realism, honesty from the artist and creative freedom. A fashion illustration should be a personal reaction to what you’re viewing. A showcase of the how the collection made you feel and how it expresses itself to you.

LCF NewsWhat advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying BA (Hons) Fashion Illustration?

Megan: Take every opportunity you get given! That’s the biggest thing to learn, Sue Dray (BA (Hons) Fashion Illustrator Course Leader) has so many contacts and connections in the industry and passes on her wisdom (and show tickets to LFW etc.) like no tomorrow. Just take on board positive and negative feedback as you would have to in the industry and remember you are building yourself as an artist all the time. Also one big thing… attend every class! It sounds stupid but if you miss classes you miss chances to build your skills and portfolio and also meet people from industry. Sue brings in industry visitors sometimes without warning if you are there you will never miss out! Lastly think of the course as a platform to create your illustration branding and industry name, you have 3 years of tutoring to prepare you for a tough industry. I’d use that time to get known and build your contact base.

LCF News: What else are you up to? What opportunities has LCF given you to achieve your ambitions?

Megan: Well the list is endless, LCF has enabled me to do things I never thought were possible. I’m now officially in position as the new LCF Vice President for SUARTS so you’ll be seeing a lot of me from now on!
I’m currently building my international base as an illustrator just back from Berlin Fashion Week and currently collaborating with various well known brands – Paul Smith, Coggles.com, The Ragged Priest, MICHALSKY and many more. The work is coming through thick and fast so it looks like a busy summer ‘break’.

To be able to come to London at 16 to study at LCF was a dream in one so everything that has happened since is magic. Studying a BA at 17 with industry involvement within 4 weeks of the course starting, shows just how amazing this place is, LCF gave us tickets for my first LFW as an illustrator and its since then that my career has started fully. So I can only thank LCF and Sue Dray for that! LCF are so willing to help and push you towards the right people, all the tutors have amazing industry knowledge and contacts so that in its self is another opportunity for you to achieve.

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LCF’s Dr. Shaun Cole awarded PhD for his thesis, ‘Sexuality, identity and the clothed male body.’

Dr Shaun Cole,

Dr Shaun Cole, Director of the Graduate School’s Culture and Curation Programme

Director of the Graduate School’s Culture & Curation programme, Shaun Cole has completed his PhD titled ‘Sexuality, Identity and the Clothed Male Body’, and is now Dr. Shaun Cole.

Shaun’s thesis draws together his key works: Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (Berg, 2000); and The Story of Men’s Underwear (Parkstone International Press, 2010) – and two chapters in edited books – ‘Butch Queens in Macho Drag: Gay Men, Dress and Subcultural Identity’ (2008) and ‘Hair and Male (Homo)Sexuality: Up-Top and Down Below’ (2008).

By examining the major themes of sexuality, identity, subcultural formation, men’s dress, masculinities, clothes and the body, his thesis presents a comprehensive investigation of these relatively neglected areas of fashion study and dress history.

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Interview: Alumnae Tina and Nikita Sutradhar of MIUNIKU, LVMH Special Prize winners

tina-nikita-miuniku600

Since graduating from BA (Hons) Fashion Design Technology Womenswear in 2013, sisters Tina and Nikita Sutradhar have made a dream debut into the fashion industry with their Mumbai-based label MIUNIKU. Claiming the Innovation Award for their final collection at the LCF BA13 Catwalk Show was just the beginning of a spectacular run of success that has seen them lift the ISKO™ Denim Diffusion Award, reach the semi-finals of the H&M Design Awards 2014, and be awarded a Special Prize in the prestigious LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers.

The sibling design duo were selected by some of the biggest names in fashion to take the LVMH Special Prize, including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Raf Simons, Nicolas Ghesquière, Phoebe Philo, Riccardo Tisci, Kenzo’s creative directors Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, and LVMH executives Delphine Arnault, Jean-Paul Claverie and Pierre-Yves Roussel. The award comes with a €100,000 prize fund and a year of mentoring from LVMH.

We caught up with Tina and Nikita to find out how it feels to win and what’s next in the sparkling story of MIUNIKU…

How does it feel to be awarded the LVMH Special Prize alongside Hood By Air, coming just second to Thomas Tait, who you previously interned with?

It feels quite amazing! We don’t really have the words to express it. It’s quite surreal! Interning at Thomas’s really gave us confidence to do our college projects better. We are so happy that Thomas won the main prize. His work is absolutely brilliant and it feels like a family win, to have won second to him alongside Hood By Air.

What was the LVMH finalists judging panel like?

We were like, ‘Are we dreaming?’! This was the first time that all of the judges were together in the same room. But as daunting as it may sound, they were really nice and easy to talk to.

Why do you think you have had so much success so quickly after graduating from LCF?

We are really thankful to God for this. We are also ever so grateful to LCF. Everything from the tutorials with Rob Phillips, Liliana Sanguino, James Pegg and the guest tutors, to the way the units were designed, helped us to shape our brand identity. To get a chance to see your collection on the runway is quite amazing and the Showtime platform really opened doors for us!

What will you do with the €100,000 prize fund? And what do you hope to learn from the year of mentoring?

We will use the prize fund for the business. So everything from making the next collection, to presenting it, moving to London, renting a studio space, etc. We really value the mentoring as well, we hope to learn how to go about the business and it will help us to make sure we are on the right track.

Tell us about your work environment: where is your work space and what is it like?

At the moment we are working from home in Mumbai. So we use our dining table for cutting and there are 2 sewing machines and an iron. When we move to London we will set up a proper studio to work from.

How many people are working in your company and how do you produce your collections?

As of now it’s just the two of us and we will be hiring two local seamstresses to help us out.

Miuniku AW14 Miuniku AW14 Miuniku AW14 Miuniku AW14 Miuniku AW14

How would you describe your brand aesthetic? Does your brand have a particular philosophy?

Our brand aesthetic is a balance between clean lines and graphic details. A mix of minimal and maximal elements. We don’t have a particular brand philosophy, but making well-finished garments with good design value is our priority.

What do your family think of your brand and your amazing success?

They are really happy! Many people thought it was a waste of money to go abroad and study fashion instead of studying to be a doctor or engineer. It was difficult for my parents to fund our whole study, but this is what we have always wanted to do and they have always been supportive! So they are absolutely ecstatic and really excited.

What’s next for MIUNIKU?

Our next step is to make our SS15 collection. We are planning a small presentation in Paris and we are also invited to show our next collection in Dubai in the end of October as a part of the Vogue Italia Dubai Fashion Experience. So we are really, really excited about what lies ahead!

Thanks Tina and Nikita! We can’t wait to hear about your next success!

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