It’s SHOWTime

It’s SHOWTime

I cower in shame over my complete lack of student show coverage this year.  I missed not one or two or three but ALL of the final year fashion graduate shows this year because of a variety of reasons but mainly because of poor calendar skills on my part and my Tokyo trip taking over the month of May/June.  It feels terrible that I'm catching up on it all through Catwalking or FTape and I have received a ton of emails with people's collections which I've sifted through.  It seems a bit fraudulent to be writing about stuff I've not seen in person, and I don't want to play fashion college favourites either but London College of Fashion's Showtime profiles combined with Timothy Hill's amazing backstage photography (all the shots with a grimy concrete background) made it hard NOT to round up some of my favourite LCF BA Fashion graduates. 

Showtime technically is a vehicle for all University of Arts students (CSM, LCF, Chelsea, Camberwell etc…) to post their portfolios up but when it comes to the featured fashion design students that were seen in the final fashion shows, LCF students seem to be far more diligent when it comes to posting up full profiles to Showtime.  I'll admit to blogging laziness and say that Showtime saves me a hell of a lot of time as it provides email addresses, full lookbook shots of their final graduate collections, useful blurbs, inspiration notes and more often than not, sketchbook scans.  After a scan of all the pics on Catwalking and picking out my faves, I can then go on to Showtime and do further research with arse still firmly on seat and my violet-painted mug of tea at my side.  I promise I'll peel my derriere off this seat and get out into the big bad world to do more graduate scavenging but for now, all hail graduates who aren't just mired in the act of creativity but are bothered to upload a few of their treasured JPGs. 


Angela Brandys – Looking at Brandys's collection is like being attacked by a bazillion dichotomies.  That's a good thing.  Haphazard textures, unexpected colour combinations, naff materials made good all contribute to an undefinable mish-mash that is hard to categorise by theme and I suppose that's the point. She says that she beg, borrows and steals her materials, bought from jumble sales and thrift stores and immediately I see this collection as upcycling 2.0 – a vast upgrade from "Oh I made this old sweater into an awkwardly shaped skirt…".  The way the fabrics and colours come together into these dresses and statement coats seem more like purposeful collison.  Hopefully she'll take her reworking ideas to another level and in the long run, promote creative upcycling. 

"This collection does not favour the superficial façade presented by the mass media dictatorship currently in play. It explores a more ‘real’ tension of new fabric, texture and color arrangements focusing on ones ability to create in a personal way without rule or order."

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Kathy Lam – Blue and white Chinese porcelain infiltrating fashion will immediately bring to mind Rodarte S/S 11's collection but Lam's proposition abstracts that very recognisable combination of blue and white into something else.  I've probed into the use of chinoiserie in fashion before and I would say that Lam attempts to take the codes of Chinese traditional dress – boxy shapes from older Chinese historical dress to Mao uniforms – and combines them with blue and white patterns that give the illusion of texture and shadows.  Since there aren't any perceivable motifs, the blue and white porcelain influence seems like only a background note as opposed to the main component in this collection. 

"Since I stepped into the fashion industry, I always questioning myself "What do I believe in fashion?" I believe fashion is a principle method can voice out essential personality from a person. In my opinion, it is important to be comfortable of who you are more than who you want to be."

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Mengyi Hu – Messing up with historical or ethnic context seemed to be a theme at the LCF BA show as Hu meshes small trades workwear with the ritual adornment of West African tribes.  It becomes an exploration of texture but in each ensemble you can clearly read the African and workwear elements very clearly – a gingham shirt tucked into a skirt that ruffles with raffia-esque shag.  The symbolism is clear – it's that old chestnut theme of Westerners' exploring the unknown – except here it's synthesised by contrasting the utilitarian function of workwear with decorative African masquerade wear. 

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Yeashin Kim – Focusing on the subject of corals under the sea gave way to this exhuberant collection where emotive colour as well as decorative detailing are used to create a collection that I could conceivably wear straight away.  Multi-coloured wool tufting recreates the texture of the coral.  Kim finds joy in Antoine Watteau paintings and injects that into the collection too.  

"I have always wanted to make clothes that could make people happy and joyful when they looked or wore them, and that wish remained the same when I first started to do this work."

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Yeashin Kim


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Rexy Sung – Once again the past strikes in unexpected ways and Sung has taken the industrial revolution of Great Britain to heart by investigating the historical impact of new technologies affecting economy and social conditions as well as its impact on the environment to influence her eight silhouettes.  Machinery infiltrates the silhouettes in a series of boxy shapes that grace trousers and the shoulders of jackets.  Sustainability is on Sung's mind as she uses nails, safety pins and recycled buttons to embellish the pieces.  I love that the palette is a softer version of the dull grey that looms over our painted picture of the Industrial Revolution in our heads making this collection look outwardly feminine.  Sung's also taken great care to accessorise her collection with her wood patina bags which is always impressive for any graduate. 

"Since this revolution is always a symbolisation of new innovation and prosperous economy phenomenon, I wish people who wear my collection would think positively and vigorously in this economic recession period."


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Samuel Johnson – Photographer Diane Arbus and her subjects drive Johnson's collection where notions of beauty and ugliness play off one another.  Researching Arbus and her background led Johnson to the 1950s socialite scene in New York and the Edith Head-designed costumes in the 1950 film All About Eve propel the use of crisp and restraining lace in his collection.  These are not straight forward pretty lace frocks as Johnson uses a lot of raw-edged cottons and wools to 'roughen' up the beauty of all that lace.  The extreme silhouettes were Johnson's way of making the dresses 'freak-like' except in trying to conceive something that straddles line between pretty-ugly, the effect is that these dresses are actually quite beautiful to behold.  

"I believe in the power of the wearer within fashion. One garment can represent contrasting meanings in an assorted society, whether it be age, height or race. Using this ethos I try and design using contrasting elements and references, to create clothes that have different interpretations, for every individual person."

Samuel Johnson

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Leave a comment
  1. andres gallardo

    2011-06-23 at 1:47 PM

    amazing !!!!!

  2. The Guilty Hyena

    2011-06-23 at 2:36 PM

    I like the concept and some of the execution by A. Brandy’s collection, the first photo of the black blue pink fabric jacket is first hand unique.
    Rexy Sung’s ensemble with the hand bag case is sublime, wouldn’t I just love to wear that at work just for one day!


    2011-06-23 at 3:26 PM

    Thank you for introducing Angela Brandys and Yeashin Kim to me, ahhhhhhhhhhhh. I have fallen in love.
    You are, by far, the best Susie.

  4. Pedro Garfo

    2011-06-23 at 4:09 PM

    Creativity 🙂
    Pedro Garfo
    Mens fashion Blog

  5. Taylyn

    2011-06-23 at 7:34 PM

    The bold eyebrows and even bolder juxtapositions! Sweet post.


    2011-06-23 at 8:06 PM

    An army of creative geniuses bubbling up, soaring and swirling the universe with their own shown aesthetic. So wild to watch.

  7. Joy

    2011-06-23 at 8:22 PM

    Oh we don’t blame – it was obvious you were pretty busy throughout. This is a great wrap up of everything 🙂

    • Jean

      2015-01-13 at 11:45 AM

      It’s a joy to find soemone who can think like that

  8. heather

    2011-06-23 at 8:35 PM

    seriously these are aesthetics that have never been seen! (at least by me) and that is why this blog is awesome!!

  9. Laura

    2011-06-23 at 9:38 PM

    this is the reason i love fashion so much. there is no other forum where art can change and move in a blink of an eye whist remaining such an individualistic experience at the same time. truly beautiful.

  10. Stéphanie

    2011-06-23 at 9:49 PM

    Very refreshing creativity here ! Fabulous Kathy Lam ! Wondering if she works with indigo ? Does anybody know ?

  11. The Visual Jerbil

    2011-06-24 at 1:22 AM

    these are some designers to aspire to, congrats all! I’m madly in love with these collections.

  12. lily

    2011-06-24 at 2:40 AM

    you show me so many beautiful clothes, i am a fan of is very creativity

  13. Billy Hoss

    2011-06-24 at 3:03 AM

    Love this post! I love the dresses with the ruffles!

  14. anna gleeson

    2011-06-24 at 4:52 AM

    wow, some great stuff there.
    i wonder if you’ve ever thought about being a magazine-maker instead of a blogger? i’d like to bring a magazine-worthy attention span to your reporting. you always have such interesting things to say and i always try to read it way to fast because it’s the internet and there’s always so much more….

  15. Sarah

    2011-06-24 at 8:45 AM

    oooh! My fave is the Rexy Sung collection. definately items I’d wear!
    STYLE with SARAH

  16. Jo

    2011-06-24 at 11:58 AM

    I am stunned by Angela Brandys’ collection, it is probably the most amazing thing I have seen all week! This has caused me to feel all bubbly and warm, I must be in love.

  17. Designer Dresses

    2011-06-24 at 3:22 PM

    The frosted looking eyebrows in Kathy Lam’s collection really stood out for me and I liked the blue/white porcelain theme.
    And like you, I really liked the palette of Rexy Sung’s collection.

  18. Alexa Strautmanis

    2011-06-25 at 2:46 PM

    That red fur belt.
    Oh my god.
    That red fur belt!

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