Friday 29 January 2010

London College of Fashion MA_10 Human catwalk show

Imagery throughout courtesy of Creative-Idle, unless stated otherwise.
Last night the world and his wife were out in full force for the MA_10 Human catwalk showcase held in the serene Raphael Gallery within a closed Victoria and Albert Museum.

As one of the first to worm my way into the gallery – after enjoying the champagne reception in the foyer – myself and H were in prime position to spot who was arriving and who was falling down the stairs! As you might expect taking pride of place in the front row was the Daily Telegraph’s Hilary Alexander who rather deftly walked up along the front row to jot down which other famous faces were to be in attendance – clearly a lady well versed in documenting fashion shows!

Representing the British Fashion Industry were head of the British Fashion Council (and owner of brands Jaeger and Aquascutum); Harold Tillman, Editor-in-chief of; Dolly Jones and a naturally beautiful and healthy looking Amber Le Bon; the new model of the moment fronting campaigns for Myla and River Island. Also present were founder of On I Off; Lee Lapthorne – who last season forayed into the fashion fore launching a range of scarves – and Jaana Jatyri; founder of Representing the music sphere was Mika who – thankfully not singing - appeared in good form chatting away with Jodie Harsh (whom he arrived and left with). Between Jodie Harsh and 2003 Turner Prize winning potter; Grayson Perry, the front row was awash with bouncy blonde hair extensions and wigs – and enough glitter to make Tinkerbell jealous!

To my great surprise I saw several familiar faces starting with one of the champagne waiter’s Joe, whom I worked alongside at a wedding last month. Also in attendance were not one, but two Tony’s who both formerly lectured me in ways of Fashion Promotion before departing for greener pastures at LCF a few years back. Another familiar face from said university was an old classmate Siavash – recently for his stint in Big Brother 10, where I do believe he came second.

So there I was in the thick of it getting settled into my back-row seat when H made a break for the hallowed pews of the front row where we were allowed to take the place of a privileged couple who couldn’t grace us with their presence – luckily for me. From my front row seat (did I mention that we were opposite Hilary Alexander no less?) I settled in to watch the MA designer showcase. With a modicum of seven menswear shows from 19, last night was most definitely ladies night.

With several stand-out collections, it was hard to predict who might win the awards, but one thing was for sure – these designers will be hot on the heels of the fashion pack when they debut next season.
Sophie Condie
Among those who commanded my attention were Sophie Condie; whose women looked like birds flitting down the runway. With many of the garments painstakingly hand finished with feathers, the attention to detail was phenomenal. What really stood out from this collection for me, was how well it partnered the dramatic, yet beautifully sculptural headpieces designed by Rob Goodwin (MA Fashion Footwear) who also designed the out-of-this-world footwear which innovatively featured several nails as features – and as the spike heels themselves.
Rob Goodwin, image courtesy of LCF
Another women’s wear design whose collection was well received, was that of Eliana Dimitriakopoulou whose garments all featured brightly coloured dyed faux-fur, which on first sighting (without my much-needed-glasses) looked like the Muppets doing a star turn on the catwalk.
Eliana Dimitriakopoulou
Eliana Dimitriakopoulou, courtesy of LCF
With chic separates and faux-fur jackets peppered here and there, the main garments were a variety of dress shapes and cuts which each featured the acid-bright faux-fur on the front and were sheer black at the backs with full length zip detail. My favourite dress from this collection was a pared-down soft faux-fur asymmetric dress which whilst looking simple in its draped construction, was a real gem which solidified Dimitriakopoulou’s credentials as a designer to watch due to both her technical abilities and versatility.
Eliana Dimitriakopoulou
Another stand out designer was Steve Corcoran; whose neutrally toned menswear collection, of mirror encrusted military regalia, turned the Raphael Gallery into a mini-disco (and most probably blinded every photographer in attendance, including myself, hence the lack of pictures).
Steve Corcoran
One of my favourite collections was the androgynous menswear designed by Thomas Miller. Whilst the clothing was well designed, it was a bit too muted for me, so instead I got very excited about the accompanying accessories designed by Sarah Williams (MA Fashion Artefact).
Sarah Williams- bag
I already love old leather briefcases, vanity cases, and all other 60s inspired luggage, so naturally I fell in love with Sarah’s take on these classic items. Each bag was beautifully structured, yet still maintained a playful element as the line was slightly off, making the bags look highly individual in a purposefully skew-whiff way – adding lots of charm to Thomas’ collection.
Sarah Williams, image courtesy of LCF
Whilst on the subject of accessories I also really liked the shoes worn by many of the male models in the opening collection by Keiko Kida. Whilst it is slightly ambiguous as to whether Keiko actually designed and constructed these double-brogues himself, I loved them none the less. **update**The designer was kind enough to get in touch and let me know that he did indeed make and design the shoes himself!
Keiko Kida
Twelfth to hit the runway was the collection which caused much controversy – that of Merve Tuna. Holding no victims she proudly sent her female models down the catwalk in what animal lovers and animal rights activist groups (such as PETA) would find highly disturbing– dead animals.
Merve Tuna
Not only featuring fur, there were enough paws, faces and trotters decorating each garment to drive a taxidermist to distraction! Unfortunately from the front row (am I seriously complaining about that?!) I got an horrendous close-up of what can only be described as a boar-face bag (sadly I was too shocked to click with the camera). ** Found one **
Merve Tuna, image courtesy of Dazed Digital
Whilst his designs were innovatively forward-thinking they clearly aren’t the garments that (if any from the 19 collections shown) you’d expect to see hanging up in a shop anytime soon, no-matter how boutique-y.
Merve Tuna
What was very apparent throughout the show, was the clear sense of humour shining through the direction, reflected in sometimes apt song choices - such as ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline for Merve Tuna’s rather off-beat taxidermy heavy show, and also reflected the more bizarre - with Soo Youn Seo sending her models out to the Simpson’s theme tune.
Young Li Lee
My favourite designer of the night was the outstanding Young Li Lee, whose sculptural embroidered lace dresses really stole the show. Super elegant structured bodices and pencil skirts shined forth, each embellished uniquely by overstitching, appliquéd lace, or bondage-esque braces, with each built-up beautifully and finished with such delicate attention to detail that the results were simply breathtaking.
Young Li Lee
Harold Tillman (centre)
After the finale Harold Tillman was called to the catwalk to present the awards. In hindsight it was Technicolor that the winners knew who they were as they were the penultimate and last designers to show which meant that when their names were announced the female and male models respectively were still wearing the winning collections – you see what they did? So enough of the suspense, up first with an award for ‘Commendation’ (that’s silver to you and I), was the superb Young Li Lee.
Young Li Lee collecting her award
Sven Hoppe collecting his award
Closing the show and therefore cleaning the board was Sven Hoppe who was presented with the ‘Prestigious’ Student Collection of the Year Award.

Private View
MA Fashion Artefact, MA Fashion Curation, MA Fashion Footwear
Thursday 4th February 18.30 - 20.30 Mall Galleries

Private View
MA Digital Fashion and MA Fashion Photography
Thursday 11th February 18.30 - 20.30 Mall Galleries


  1. Merve Tuna is mental! Actually, if the boar bag were a fake I would totally love it. But it's not sooo...

    Also I loved Sven Hoppe's collection, I just did a post about it on my blog with some high res images someone sent me :)


  2. I like this fashion shoe all the dresses and footwear are really awesome