The rising stars of London's fashion scene showcased their designs last night
Last night saw the London College of Fashion showcase the considerable talents of its graduating MA students at the V&A museum.
A panopoly of different looks took to the catwalk set amid the grandeur of the giant masterpieces hanging in the Raphael gallery.
Exquisite tailoring and neon brights seemed to be the theme of the evening for many of the students. We loved Soo Youn Seo‘s top-to-toe block-colour outfits.
With no boring blacks, whites or greys to be seen, the collection was a riot of bright and joyful hues set off with some distinctly dodgy 70s Star Trek-esque wigs. We especially liked the tuxedo-style tailoring with satin lapels on a little pink dress.
Third to take to the catwalk, Ya Fan Chang’s collection really stood out too. Shift dresses came with cutouts revealing layers below which drew the eye through the garments, almost to the point at which you felt, if you just looked a little closer, you might spot some internal organs.
As models walked, cheeky glimpses of silver chain were revealed as the fabric moved in time to their steps. Ya Fan Chang had used the chain to seam together the clothes instead of sewing them: it’s a tribute to her skills that the tailoring looked so sharp.
Honorable mentions go out to Jin Joo Ma‘s glittery armour which moved like a beetle’s carapace, and Steve Corcoran’s menswear, which came bedecked with mirrored shards of glass that refracted light out across the room, in a disco-ball effect.
Rob Goodwin‘s hand-worked leather shoes and helmets struck an otherworldly note with their strange, bulbous shapes, and looked as if they belonged on the set of Pan’s Labrynth; while Sarah Williams’ fabulous sculptural luggage was quirky and fun and set us to imagining what it would be like to board a plane carrying a horseshoe-shaped leather case.
The two real stand-out collections however, came from award-winners, Young Li Lee and Sven Hoppe. The former, a designer from South Korea, was presented with the Highly Commended award by a panel of judges made up of fashion luminairies including Harold Tillman, chairman of the British Fashion Council, for her beautifully cut womenswear.
The main feature of Li Lee’s collection was the minisculely-pleated, wide brocade that adorned all her pieces. Whether snaking its way over navy lace, a woollen coat, or a satin sheath, it was used to great effect, defining the curves of a body, or adding interest wherever it wound itself.
German designer, Sven Hoppe bagged the Collection of the Year award for his tailored menswear. Technically outstanding, Hoppe’s collection had been inspired by his research into the Jews who were taken from Paris to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. This was clear in his use of fabric: particularly in the last design to go down the runway which was reminiscent of the striped pajamas that became a uniform for the victims of the Holocaust. The broad-shouldered jackets featured exquisite knots and twists placed at the centre of the back, and this theme was repeated on the ankles of trousers.
The night ended with some great news for the up-and-coming designers, when ASOS.com arranged private visits with some of the graduates with a view to future collaborations. Harold Tillman explained, ‘I’m delighted to hear that ASOS.com have, on the back of the show, decided to collaborate with some of this year’s MA graduates; it is absolutely essential that big fashion brands support and nurture emerging talent for they are the future of our industry.’