lcf ma womenswear autumn/winter 16
These are the young designers to keep an eye on for the future.
"The collection is called the Massacre of the Innocents -- the 'Innocents' being the clothes," Alexandru Tunsu, a graduating MA Womenswear student whose collection was a highlight of the London College of Fashion MA show last night told i-D backstage. Tunsu's collection provided the finale to LCF's ten designer bill; he was given that slot presumably because his whimsical, poetic clothes dropped threads that other designers wouldn't want in their catwalk shots. Tunsu's collection enticed the front row to lean forward and squint to try to figure out just what they were looking at. Was it feathers, fur or perhaps some form of luxurious moss that he had crafted his shaggy coats, cropped trousers and tunics from? The answer is none of the above; instead, Tunsu, who recently interned at Alexander McQueen, explained after the show that he "took pre-made fabric and destroyed it, took it to thread and then remade the fabric," using a heat press and even hand-fraying chiffon and stitching it back together in feather-like layers. "I was inspired by the idea of the death of couture. I was thinking, 'What if the clothes would actually die? And how would they look in the afterlife?', I was trying to create a ghost-like version of the actual clothes". The results are chaotic, dramatic and eerily beautiful.
From fraying apparitions to candied confections: Kirum Yun's pink structured mini-dresses were reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood's mini crinis, inspired 19th century tailored womenswear -- pleated skirts, yoked bodices and sailor blouses. "One of the things I found most interesting about the clothing of that time was that the children's clothing was exactly like the adult clothing, just smaller and with childlike details such as exaggerated ruffles," she says in a Q&A, and indeed her own garments have complex knife pleats, layered ruffles, wavy hems, broderie anglaise details and spun-sugar flounces.
Roma Gypsies inspired Lauren Lake's eclectic, cut and paste style collection, titled Some Girls Aren't Meant to Be Tamed. Mint and lavender, and black or pink and white striped fabrics were patchworked together with ruffled sections on long shirts, dresses and skinny trousers with fluted kick-flares, worn over sequin or metallic glittering tops. "I wanted to create a group of girls that represent a 'new woman', a type of woman that's powerful and strong, that cares about other people but also does her own thing… The collection is feminine and powerful," Lake says.
Pelin Isildak calls on us to appropriate the garments of the nobility to smash limitations imposed on people by their social status. "I started analysing uniforms between the 16th and 19th century, then I looked at how we defined notability at different points and worked towards refining the court suits, corsets, capes and armours in a minimal way," the Turkish designer says of her gold brocade tail coats, lush velvet tops, appliqued leather tabard and thigh high boots. "By looking at hierarchies in societies throughout time, you see a distinctive limit to how people were taught to act and dressed according to their status, she explains, "I find it interesting how we succeeded to free ourselves from the limitations that authorities claim at times".
From baroque historic dress to clean minimalism, Yawen Qian's final collection 'Sick' has a clinical feel inspired by hospitals and the designer's parents, who are both doctors. Paper white cottons, duck egg blue and off-white plasticised fabrics and gunmetal grey metallics are layered, in oversized shapes, accessorised with clear plastic and metal jewellery by Yifan Gao.
Sui Yiru sought to combine "zen, the Buddhist practice that originated in China during the Tang dynasty and geometry, the branch of mathematics concerned with questions of shape and size" in her collection of natural, unbleached cotton tops with pleating and wooden panel details, worn with wide pleated skirts, trousers and apron layers.
The collection we all wanted to crawl into on this cold February evening was Zhixan Wang's duvet-like white and bright orange coats, dresses and skirts, all tied up in pillowy bows, inspired by the Chinese poet and writer San Mao, who "spent her whole life seeking freedom and true love".
Similarly, Ning Xu's sporty collection of blue and yellow quilted jackets, tabbed trousers, trench coats, macs and cosy knitwear could almost inspire us to exercise in the cold weather.
Desiree Slabik's ruffled chiffon coats resemble accumulations of red, pink, yellow and white petals are were inspired by the an American documentary where scientists imagine a future where all the people on the earth have vanished and the plants take over, as well as the architects Louis Khan and Le Corbusier, whose influence is felt in the structured white jackets. Similarly sculptural are Ysabel Lee's black and navy tailored coats, dresses and trousers with chiffon panels and visible white stitches punctuated by glinting black beads.