Wednesday 8 June 2011

LCF class of 2011 BA Design and Technology catwalk show

Images throughout courtesy of Alex Maguire
Last night I attended the LCF class of 2011 BA Design and Technology catwalk show held at the new sprawling LCF showspace The Studio, in Paddington. A bit of a trek west, I was worried I wouldn’t make it in time, however as it turned out my arrival was perfectly timed and I had the opportunity to catch up with one of my former university lecturers, Tony Glenville (now LCF Creative Director, School of Media + Communication), before taking my back row seat, before being bumped to the frow (due to no-shows).

Featuring presentations from 25 groundbreaking designers (from a combination of Womenswear, Menswear and Surface Textiles courses), the innovation displayed was breathtaking and surpassed all of my expectations – with each annual show consistently smashing through the ceiling of previous successes. Packing a socker-punch straight to the kleptomaniac and magpie regions of my brain, every collection had its strengths and intriguing elements, with no designers taking the easy route, each creating a myriad of layers and displaying exquisite attention to detail that resulted in the most superior design execution and innovation I’ve seen in London for a long time.
Taking pride of place in the frow was BFC chairman Harold Tillman and continued LCF supporters Jodie Harsh and Jo Wood, whom I’ve seen at numerous shows over the years. Other celebs dotted around included the legendary Barbara Hulanicki, model Daisy de Villeneuve and one of the most influential women in fashion, Jane Shepherdson.

Featuring models discovered through LCF Loves - an open street casting which aimed to find unique individuals who reflect the diversity of this year’s collections - I was really impressed by the level of ethnic diversity on the catwalk across both womenswear and menswear. It’s of my personal opinion that the African male models really brought a different edge (not seen in other shows), and reminded me of some of the beautiful models favoured by Simon Foxton in the early i-D days.

Reflecting fashions from near enough every era imaginable, I felt that each and every student was a winner, however as is always the case there could only be three winners on the night.
Barnett Lawson Award for the best use of trimmings - Charlotte Barry (22):
Hailing from Liverpool Barry was praised for her incredible detailing and superior use of embellishment and trimmings in a year where every designer went for broke. Reminiscent of Mary Katrantzou’s beautiful SS11 collection, Barry utilised tassel shoulder detailing to create perfect proportions. My pick for this award, Barry sampled beautiful brocades in rich golds, with appliqué and a delight of trimmings and embellishments reading like a master-class in Asian textiles. Perfectly completing the ethereally styled looks were stacked textured bangles to match the dresses and mock-croc effect shoes also embellished.
Biddle Sawyers Silks Award for innovative use of fabrics - Stine Riis (28):
Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark Riis was celebrated for her innovative use of silk with wool, chiffon and patent leather. With an array of stunning blue, white and green pieces I feel Riis would be perfect for a Milan fashion house, with each of her garments made with such precision and attention to detail that they reminded me of Miu Miu and Celine under the helm of Phoebe Philo.
Collection of the Year - Wun Wun Nova Chiu (24):
Originally from Hong Kong, Chiu was judged to have phenomenal technical skill and creative flair by the panel. On my note pad, upon seeing this collection, the first words I wrote were ‘jingle, jingle’ as small (but loud), silver bells featured heavily throughout the collection. Brightly dyed furs dominated, coupled with the most intriguing tribal inspired headdresses. Beads, plait detailing and of course bells, were a signature appearing everywhere including on beautiful two-tone platform sandals.
Stay tuned for another LCF post later in the week with details of my (other) favourite designers from the showcase, who sadly missed out on the awards.

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