LCF BA Show: Making Moves with Cautious Thinking

It’s at a timely moment that the London College of Fashion BA show, shown this week in Stratford, was inspired by the theme “move.” All six of the college’s campuses will relocate to the East End hub permanently in 2022. And in the broader landscape of fashion, movement as an umbrella term, from sustainability drives to gender fluidity notions, is nothing if not incredibly prevalent right now.

The finale at the 2019 London College of Fashion BA show in London. Photo: Courtesy of LCF.


As graduate season draws to a close (it began in May, the LCF show one of the last on the calendar), moving on from student to making first moves in the industry also becomes a priority.

The graduating class of 2018-2019 will be remembered for their polish and make. This was a strong year with plenty of points of view, the overwhelming impression of which was to: make a good impression. Where other student collections can look just like that, there was finesse, polish, and execution here that would impress on-the-look-out buyers. Gorgeous coats from Bonbom Jo, for example, or the opening dinky little dress dotted with petals on its skirt from Rachel Cosenza would be easy wins.  

Bonbom Jo's collection at the 2019 London College of Fashion BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of LCF.


There were less of the wild-and-wacky ideas that for so long have become the clichéd expectations of a student show – and that’s a good thing. If we’re talking about sustainability, doesn’t that encompass not only the make of a product but that of a student’s career? Their longevity and professional sustainability?  

“LCF has a history in well-made clothes and I like the idea that these students are thinking about the next steps in terms of brand and identity and who will wear it,” noted Rob Phillips, London College of Fashion Creative Director of the School of Design & Technology, after the evening’s show, pointing out another important contributing factor to this. “Brexit is worrying a lot of people, not just their status in the UK after October but also how it makes them design. You can always tell when a new cohort isn’t taking the big risks that they usually take; they’re trying to be a little bit safer. There’s nothing wrong with being cautious but sometimes it can hold back certain ways of radical thinking or being outlandishly creative – not that they’re not.”


Sophie Hird's collection at the 2019 London College of Fashion BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of LCF.

Indeed, of the more dramatic were plaster-cast limbs affixed to models, one holding up an entire body atop a drape; there were some demi-tent silhouettes and a sleeping bag dress that unzipped into being a little less field-y.

“Themes start to emerge,” explained Phillips of an overall collection curation process that takes about three months. “Some people think systemically, other people think morbidly or folklorically; I wanted to group those in so it felt like that resonated with their story as one voice – the idea of grouping and coming together that’s even bigger now. Again, with the polarisation of politics, we’re seeing formations of groups and I wanted that to echo the line-up.” 

Christièle Mbosso's collection at the 2019 London College of Fashion BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of LCF.


It was a pertinent and well-thought-out tactic, one that worked especially well to emphasise those collections whose ideas felt fully-fledged: such as Sophie Hird’s clever sports-kit recreated collection; Christèle Mbosso’s denim and jackets and William Shillito’s bondage punk, which was actually very wearable – softening what are usually full leather looks with wool.  

Arguably, the state of the world today, its extremities, plays out in fashion accordingly. Collections and brands are either very concise to a specific demographic or more convoluted and vague in a bid to appeal to them all. In this instance, the collections that focussed, then focussed again, in their edit were the strongest. Though they didn’t have to be all that radical to be radical – just one small detail, such as that wool, made all the difference. It was the collections that wandered and wavered a little – and accidentally missed the star idea or look to drill down into by doing so – that fell short. It’s the former kind of thinking that has put Westminster in the graduate lead of late.

William Shillito's collection at the 2019 London College of Fashion BA show in London. Photos: Courtesy of LCF.

Because times are changing, a thing the whole industry is experiencing and grappling with; where it moves from here is the next exciting chapter to watch and very much in the hands of the next batch of graduates. What they're thinking and how cautious or not they're prepared to be is simply the question. 

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
Travelling without moving at Armani Privé
By Gianluca Cantaro
“The idea of this show originated from a memory. In 1990 I used an ikat blanket I found in a flea...
By Gianluca Cantaro
“The idea of this show originated from a memory. In 1990 I used an ikat blanket I found in a flea market to tailor three jackets for the spring summer collection”, explained Giorgio Armani before the Privé show. “What I liked about this particular technique was the blurred effect of the motifs,...
“The idea of this show originated from a memory. In 1990 I used an ikat blanket I found in a flea market to tailor three jackets for the spring summer collection”, explained Giorgio Armani before the Privé show. “What I liked about this particular technique was the blurred effect of the motifs, the fact that the decorations were never well defined and I conveyed this concept by concealing the...
The Show Must Go On
By Elisabeta Tudor
Ready-to-wear fashion shows by top brands are often elaborate star-studded affairs. Haute Couture...
By Elisabeta Tudor
By Elisabeta Tudor
Ready-to-wear fashion shows by top brands are often elaborate star-studded affairs. Haute Couture shows, however, take the glitz and glamour to an entirely different level, and Paris' currently on-going high fashion extravaganza is no exception. Speaking of glitz and glam: over his 50-year-long...
Ready-to-wear fashion shows by top brands are often elaborate star-studded affairs. Haute Couture shows, however, take the glitz and glamour to an entirely different level, and Paris' currently on-going high fashion extravaganza is no exception. Speaking of glitz and glam: over his 50-year-long career, Jean Paul Gaultier has excelled at staging fun-filled Haute Couture shows at his headquarters...
Can Haute Couture Survive In The New Decade?
By Elisabeta Tudor
The answer is plain and simple: it has to, as the craftsmanship it is based on carries the hope...
By Elisabeta Tudor
The answer is plain and simple: it has to, as the craftsmanship it is based on carries the hope for a plausible form of sustainable fashion. And, according to the first Spring/Summer 2020 shows in Paris, there is a growing interest for Haute Couture itself and the levels of craftsmanship and...
The answer is plain and simple: it has to, as the craftsmanship it is based on carries the hope for a plausible form of sustainable fashion. And, according to the first Spring/Summer 2020 shows in Paris, there is a growing interest for Haute Couture itself and the levels of craftsmanship and textile innovation it implies. In fact, the Paris Haute Couture Week – which has just started today –...
Dior's Peplos-Wearing Feminists
By Gianluca Cantaro
Once again, Maria Grazia Chiuri proposed her...
By Gianluca Cantaro
By Gianluca Cantaro
Once again, Maria Grazia Chiuri proposed her feminist manifestos at today's Dior's Haute Couture show. This season, the 80-year-old American feminist artist Judy Chicago, who has been investigating the role of women in history and culture in her work....
Once again, Maria Grazia Chiuri proposed her feminist manifestos at today's Dior's Haute Couture show. This season, the 80-year-old American feminist artist Judy Chicago, who has been investigating the role of women in history and culture in her work. Chicago’s work inspired Chiuri, who collaborated with the French Maison on a series of exclusive...
At Lanvin Corto Maltese Got the Look
By Gianluca Cantaro
Bruno Sialelli, Creative Director at Lanvin, finally shook off the Loewe imprinting that was...
By Gianluca Cantaro
Bruno Sialelli, Creative Director at Lanvin, finally shook off the Loewe imprinting that was blurring his vision and delivered a Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese inspired collection marking a substantial design switch from the previous ones, that somewhat resembled his past job at the Spanish brand....
Bruno Sialelli, Creative Director at Lanvin, finally shook off the Loewe imprinting that was blurring his vision and delivered a Hugo Pratt's Corto Maltese inspired collection marking a substantial design switch from the previous ones, that somewhat resembled his past job at the Spanish brand. Sialelli continued the collaboration with cartoonists, started when he first took the helm of the...
Paris Unveils a Man in All His Greatness
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
At the beginning of the menswear season in Paris,...
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
By Frédéric Martin-Bernard
At the beginning of the menswear season in Paris, Alexandre Mattiussi made a statement by celebrating the 9th anniversary of his label Ami with a birthday party that notably featured accordion music, red velvet curtains, and movie sets. The following day,...
At the beginning of the menswear season in Paris, Alexandre Mattiussi made a statement by celebrating the 9th anniversary of his label Ami with a birthday party that notably featured accordion music, red velvet curtains, and movie sets. The following day, Tahliah Debrett Barnett, aka FKA Twigs, performed live during Valentino's latest menswear show....
Paris Menswear’s Final Bow
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
It might be a Fashion Week Sunday, but for Alejandro Gómez...
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
By Marta Represa & Elisabeta Tudor
It might be a Fashion Week Sunday, but for Alejandro Gómez Palomo, that’s no excuse to forego church. The Andalusian designer reconnected with the Catholic heritage of his native Spain and turned a minimal concrete space in the 19ème arrondissement into...
It might be a Fashion Week Sunday, but for Alejandro Gómez Palomo, that’s no excuse to forego church. The Andalusian designer reconnected with the Catholic heritage of his native Spain and turned a minimal concrete space in the 19ème arrondissement into his own temple by having his models walk while carrying thuribles loaded with incense and Paschal...
Loewe's Playful Wardrobe
By Gianluca Cantaro
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative...
By Gianluca Cantaro
By Gianluca Cantaro
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative Director Jonathan Anderson after the Loewe show. "I imagined a child that plays with mom's ball gown in front of the mirror, giving a 2D effect to the 3D object.” Being positive is often...
"I wanted to be optimistic and joyful,” explained Creative Director Jonathan Anderson after the Loewe show. "I imagined a child that plays with mom's ball gown in front of the mirror, giving a 2D effect to the 3D object.” Being positive is often synonymous with being light-hearted, something that lets you enjoy life (and clothes) as it is without any...