London College of Fashion: BA Show 2015
London College of Fashion’s BA graduation show places a unique emphasis on collaboration, which as anyone who works in the fashion business will know, is an essential part of the process of creating a real, grown-up collection as a professional designer. Thus, graduating students like Menswear designer Marianne Tse-Laurence, (BA Fashion: Design and Development) and knitwear specialist Emily Grieves, (BA Fashion Textiles: Knitwear) get to produce a runway collection together, in this case combining menswear shapes with the applied art of knitted textiles. Techniques such as embroidery, knitting in its many forms and permutations, jewellery, shoemaking and millinery are showcased in a really distinctive way, being as much a focus of the runway show as the overall concept and silhouettes of the garments themselves (where something as prosaic as ‘garments’ even exist). While this makes for a bewildering complexity of layers to focus on at once (not too mention a barrage of names to absorb), it really does break down the expectation that a fashion show consists of the vision of just one person, adding a very real-world complexity to the display of fashion talent and creativity.
While it seems that fashion students are as in love with Craig Green as the industry is, and the theatricality of his early shows will not be lived down anytime soon, there were enough sparks of originality, especially when it came to some of the embroidery and textile work, for there to be a number of highlights tonight: the aforesaid collaboration of Grieves and Tse-Laurence, the popular bet Jinwoong Bang, Giverney Volrath’s laser cut wooden textiles and millinery produced in collaboration with menswear designer Isobel Cook and womenswear designer Jay Biscarra; and lastly Textiles:Embroidery student Maria Giannakopoulou, with her apocalyptically shredded textiles revealing seductive colour and some very freed nipples.