Wednesday, 2 February 2011

LCF MA show - duel

In the grand surroundings of the Raphael Gallery of the V&A Museum and sat inches from Jo Wood, Suzie Bubble and Grayson Perry, various editors and PRs were jostling over front row seats and with an audible spark of excitement in the air, this years LCF MA graduate show began; the first to be broadcast live on the LCF website.

Intricate handcrafted detailing, such as lace, crochet, fringing and beading were evident in many collections; alongside modernist digital printing and screen printing this showed capacity for development of traditional arts and expansion into relevant fashion references. Headwear was another theme, whether it was studded and spiked riding hats, tribal headdresses or veiled masks, each collection was accessorised with eye-catching millinery. The show continued through varied inspirations from Elizabethan dress to Imperial Russia via architecture and geometry and showcased the students many creative inputs fully.

Here are some of my faves of the night...

The final collection from Louise Simmons was a perfect end to the show; her dramatic fur coat sported sweeping trains, ultra-wide leg trousers updated a classic white shirt, gold brocade and a fur collar was applied to traditional jackets, suits were charged with electric blue foil and black beaded peter pan collars and ties perfectly accessorised the looks.

Pastels reigned for Eunmi Hwang, ethereal and dreamy detailed pieces floated down the catwalk with fluted edging to dresses, skirts and macs. Digital printing combined with the fluid nature of the fabric made for a well produced collection that is wholly wearable for those romantics amongst us.

'One To Watch' Asger Larsen didn't disappoint with his gothic collection comprising fringing, chains, crosses and tribal tattooing. Headwear set the tone with spiked and studded top hats, caps, veiling and headdresses, bags were also harnesses and the clothes, be it perfectly tailored jackets or the monochrome American flag's stars and stripes adorning cuffs and trousers were outstanding. Certainly worthy of being singled out and a designer set to do well.

Jennifer Morris used tropical tones and beautiful fringing in another great collection; dip dyed brightly coloured fringing decorated skirts and shoulders providing a playful edge, while olive green silk dresses, layered sheer pencil skirt and sheer shirt combinations makes her more grown up pieces sexy.

Neutral pieces made interesting by a range of textures and wicker headpieces; Dinu Bodiciu's nude draping and structural wool were accentuated by bright red woollen box jackets and amazingly executed red colour fade pieces.

Susana Bettencourt's demure dresses were ramped up and enhanced by her modern tribal detailing, creating stunning headdresses, neckpieces and collars, while crochet panelling was used in skirts and to create a frogging effect.

A model in glittering tank walks out to thumping music for the beginning of Tatwasin Boat Khajeenikorn's collection; the clothes being as intricate as their designers name. A dazzling array of colours and textures using ponyskin, sequins, gold chains, faux fur, feathers and sheer panelling set off with studded riding hats certainly showed a broad range of pattern cutting skills - maybe it is my magpie tendencies that drew me to this collection although I can see how some may find it a little too cluttered.

Winner of the night Matteo Molinari followed with his exceptional collection of menswear which belied his Italian heritage; his beautifully tailored pieces traditional but for modernist twists such as cropped jackets, ultra high-waisted trousers, voluminous cape coats and a stunning lace insert.

The tolling of bells heralded Joanne Powers collection; her minimalist, clean lines took the form of black high-necked dresses paired with contrasting white collars and headdresses set to a religious rendition of The Sound Of Music, evoking the starkness of nuns in habits and wimples interrupted by the occasional flash of red. Think Rick Owens sexy nuns of SS11 in their daytime guise.

From the first moment to the last, this was a show with a lot of promise. Promise for the future of the designers who managed a beautiful and technically superb show and promise for the rise of yet more talented graduates from LCF.


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