romanticism meets practicality at the lcf ma fall/winter 17 show
This year's London College of Fashion MA students presented their visions of tomorrow with futuristic fabrics and classic shapes.
Soo Jin Cho fall/winter 17
The first look served up at this season's London College of Fashion MA showcase was part nun, part suit. It came courtesy of Soo Jin Cho, one of nine designers the college was showcasing on the first morning on the newly renamed London Fashion Week: Mens. It was an almost typical suit, except where the jacket usually stops, it carried on, enveloping the model's head. The rest of Cho's collection explored a similar space: somewhere between religious dress and formal attire. Romanticism and practicality were the order of the day for this graduating class, and most could be divided into one of the camps.
Changxi Shao, for example, was all about that practical reality, and paraded a selection of workwear-inspired pieces that took retro-futuristic cues in their combination of down and synthetic fabrics, and bright oranges with more natural greens and greys. It was all protection and comfort, with the boys zipped up safe and sound in their hoods. On the other end of the spectrum was Jooin Yang, whose tailoring was made up of interlocking separates that were customizable and changeable.
Peng Tai and Wentao Shi both presented a romantic and poetic vision of masculinity — their boys, delicately and softly draped, felt plucked from fairytales. Shu Yao created a similar feeling of softness, using a pattern cutting technique in the fabrication of her billowing outwear, that cuts lines in groups of fives. The result was a gentle, flowing collection.
Tak Lee's vision of reality harked back to something older though, evoking the 30s in bake boy hats and broad, oversized cuts. The two stand outs from the show though, were Chang Zhang and and Zhenzhao Guo, who both mixed futuristic fabrics, finishes, and techniques with a simplicity of idea and vision. Zhang's mix of ginghams was very Alice in Wonderland, could have easily gone wrong, but instead was full of joy. And Guo, whose mix of bold colors, bold cuts, and contrasting fabrics worked incredibly well.
Text Felix Petty