BA Footwear: Product Design and Development
Talk us through your final collection.
My final collection is about future trends and how bodies and objects and how technology and body is getting integrated together. How in the future we might possibly be able to have a chip planted into us and how technology is going to really incorporate into our bodies. I’ve looked into thermo chromatics, it’s a big trend for mixed raced genders and what can in the future with our colour. Makeup has been really advanced now and you can get your colour perfectly matched, there’s a lot more variety, even in tights you can now match it to your skin tone.
My project is looking at the newer alternative human being and dehumanisation as well, because we’re not pure human anymore because we’ve looked into technology so much.
My shoes change colour with thermo chromatics, with heat. In two minutes it will change from nude to black.
Have you always been interested in technology?
Science, technology, the human body, it’s always been my inspiration.
My shoes look like they’ve been folded and twisted into them, it’s classic shapes like court shoes, but they’ve been twisted and raised as thought they’ve had uplifts and facelifts.
Where do you see these being stocked?
I don’t think they’re very commercial, it’s more of a statement piece that someone would wear for an exhibition or certain runway or event. There’s a lot of outrageous creatives and designers that would want something like this to standout. It’s more of a bespoke design.
I would say I’d have it as more of an installation piece on Dover street market, or somewhere that showcases garments and footwear in a different way. It’s more of an art form.
What would be the soundtrack?
I already have my own music. I have a friend called Ax Moody, he’s made the music and sounds like broken bones to understand the idea of how we’re transforming and mutating, hence why all the shapes look like they’re cracked and twisted.
What have you gained from LCF that has helped you expand?
Loads, the collaborations and the fact that all the people helping me with my video are all past students from here, graduation from UAL in general. The vast amount of technical skills, learning how to make footwear, it’s been an incredible experience for four years and I glad I came here out of everywhere.
What do you think the future holds for stuff like you have created?
It’s definitely something that is already developing, it’s been quite difficult to do with not so much research out there. I’m enjoying the experience of pushing it out there and pushing the boundaries of footwear. I think it’s going to be something that is so part of our life that it’s not even going to effect us anymore. Phones, everyone’s connected to their phones these days, it’s not even an issue anymore. It’s something that’s just going to naturally evolve.
BA Fashion Textiles: Embroidery
My work is all about how thread, movement and visualising sound. How you can see sound and feel it with different textures, different density and the layers, how you can see sound. I tried to show this through the embroidery.
Speaking of sound, how did translate sound into sight and feeling?
When you see things in a different sense, it’s really difficult, I was recording everyday life, in the tube and if you look you realise sounds you didn’t notice when you were there. Sounds could be different colours. Human voices would be orange, mechanical noises are grey, and then natural would be the blues and the greens. You create your own landscape, but not by seeing but by listening to it through sound. It’s so interesting.
I’m from Greece, so I compared the centre of Athens with the centre of London. The center of Athens has a lot of sound, and here in London you don’t hear anything, especially on the tube, you can’t hear anybody’s voice but just the noises from train to platform. That was a big change for me. It showed how the sound provided textures. You can deconstruct, reconstruct, deconstruct, and reconstruct the fabric to show all the different textures of sound. I just wanted to find out how to make interactive textiles.
BA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear
Have you always wanted to do fashion design?
Yeah, since I was 14-ish.
What is the idea behind your designs?
My concept was around the idea of clumsy-sexiness and a bad imitation of being sexy. I had a lot of lingerie elements, a bit like odd shapes and revealing of the body. They took ages to make, you have to be super precise. It’s all made from mesh.
Why were you interested in the clumsy-sexiness?
I just like making pretty things, which is weird because I don’t usually wear feminine things. I prefer boyish clothes, but I’m not very good at making them. I think this is more my path.
Are there any fashion designers you look up to?
I like Dior, the pretty designs.
Do you ever look at the differences between Hungary (where you’re from) and fashion in London?
It’s totally different in every manner. People here are more open-minded, open with their thinking and their culture. It’s just different. I prefer the open-mindedness. I don’t think I would’ve designed these pieces if I was in Hungary. There, you have to follow what the teacher tells you to do.
Where can you see you designs being stocked?
I think Dover Street Market, together with modern designers and artists.
KA SHING LAU
BA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear
My collection is called ‘Blossom Everywhere’, which is inspired by the Umbrella movement in Hong Kong, which is where I come from. Basically, at that time we feel like democracy is a seed, like a flower, it’s supposed to just occupy one place but it occupied a lot of places so we called it the ‘Blossom Everywhere’ because the seeds are going everywhere.
I also studied about the 20s Suffragettes and in the structure of the garment you can see a lot of these big details, which is a play off the signage idea. In the whole collection you can see a lot of these details going on. I play off the badges as well.
Who has been your favourite designer?
I always loved Haider Ackermman. He’s my favourite.
Do you think more people should focus on social issues in their design work?
I think so. When I first started doing this collection, I always think what I want to be or what I want me collection to be. When you buy a garment, now we are always about discounts. But when you buy a piece, you want to keep it for longer. Because it’s got a message, because it’s got history behind it, so I want my collection to be like this. I feel like it’s good in a way for people to treat it like an art piece and you can relate to it on a different level. It’s like buying a story.
What would the song to be alongside this collection on the catwalk?
When I was doing this collection, I was always listening to dark indie and I found a song that I really like. It’s called White Flag. It’s strong and that’s the women I’m trying to focus on.
Are you representing strong women with strong designs, is that your aim?
It’s for women who want to go on the streets and they have a voice and a standing point. They want to shout out, like the Suffragettes. It’s about rebellion, I like these kind of women.
BA Fashion Jewellery
So what are you designs about?
They’re based on bondage, eroticism, looking a lot of restriction. I was working with rubber a lot before and I feel like I wanted to push the boundaries a bit. I was doing deep carving on rubber to create this texture. I was inspired by the piercing technique too. This is carbon fiber rod, I skewered the pieces together. It looks quite like leather.
Did you use any technology to influence your work?
I hand carve it myself, everything I made it by hand. I didn’t do a lot of outsourcing.
Do you use fashion as a way to express yourself?
I do large scale stuff, like fashion artifact. My stuff is kind of edgy and Avant grade in a way, that’s what I like to do.
What’s been your favourite designer this year? Or collaboration?
I’m always into this gothic, dark area so I would say I like Rick Owens, I’m a big fan.
Where can you see your designs being stocked?
Some conceptual store in Dover Street Market with a really nice interior display, and a nice hanging piece in the center. More like a gallery space.
What was the last exhibition you went to?
I went to one about sexuality, I think it was at the Welcome Collection. They have really nice tours about how people used to express their sexuality.
BA Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear
This is my final collection, it’s inspired by the emotional story behind commodities. Sometimes it’s just a commodity, but other times it will be an emotional attachment to somebody, memories or experiences with a commodity. That is really interesting to research, I found lots of old pictures that inspired me. Because of that, I’ve used a faded colour palette in my collection but there is a lot of colour.
Did you look at any people specifically?
I specifically looked into one of the photo albums, Casa Susanna, I was inspired so much by the pictures and their culture. I was inspired by the checked textiles they had.
Looking at memories, I was handed these images from other people. Sometimes people’s emotional attachments are kept through a smell or through an experience. There is always a story behind each image. The people’s faces in the pictures are so natural and they look so happy. I want my collection to be peaceful and happy.
Is your personal style fun and happy?
My ideal girl is someone that enjoys her life with passion and likes colours and has a very successful busy life.
Do you look at any fashion designers and have been inspired by them?
I love Simone Rocha, I internet at her studio before and she inspires me so much. I love her personal style as well. She expresses her image through her collection in a really contemporary and cool way.
Do you think fashion is a way to express yourself?
Definitely yes. It’s the best way to express my feelings and my passion of what I feel when I’m inspired.
What was the last thing you bought for yourself?
I usually go to car-boot sales or vintage shops. I bought a little purse, a coin case.
BA Footwear: Product Design and Development
How’s it been?
It’s been great, it’s four years and I came into the course with no footwear experience and they teach you everything.
My range is 12 styles but I’m only going to make five, three men’s and two women’s. We hand in in just over a month so now it’s business time. Everything is being remade and finessed.
Has your personal style influenced your work?
I think so, I’ve always been into American college sports, it’s not necessarily the way I dress in particularly but its something that I’ve always been into so it’s good to get it all out of my system with this project.
It’s all inspired by football helmets and baseball gloves. I’m really literal with the stuff that I reference, I kind of just pull stuff straight out rather than being too deeply conceptual. These ones, they’re directly linked to the way these varsity patches step down three times. The embroidery, then the felt and the base felt, it’s the same here with the embroidery, the felt and the base level is leather.
What have you learnt from studying third course?
The major thing is when I came into the course, the fantasy was to start my own label at the end of it. Having done the four years and spend a year out in industry it’s become very clear I’d much rather get a job within a label and go down that path. Rather than trying to get my own label off the ground, which would be so hard.
What would be your own line to an employer to make them hire you?
I have no idea. Usually when I interview I just take a shit load of prototypes with me and they can look at what I do.
What music have you listened to whilst you’ve been designing?
So we have this little speaker in our workroom, which I tend to dominate, probably much to everyone else’s dislike it’s really bad, amazing pop generally. A lot of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry.
How has the technology influenced your designs? Have you used any?
Yeah, with footwear, the technology that is available and it’s becoming available all the time, it’s completely crazy. Even for me in a year it advances, things like 3D printing, have a massive impact on a way you make and how you design. The biggest thing that I haven’t done before is using 3D printing and then creating moulds from the 3D prints that you couldn’t possibly make by hand.
BA Fashion Textiles: Print
What was your project?
I did print, but I don’t really like print. Everything I did was illustrative and has now changed to a more illustrative direction.
Has studying this made you realise you want to take a different route? Why do you like illustration?
I like taking a long time on one thing, like painting. When you finish in fashion, you start something else and it’s pretty repetitive.
What were the ideas behind your work? That one looks a bit like a bunny rabbit.
It’s about the angora fur problem. That’s what my concept was based around.
And you obviously disagree, is it something you feel strongly about?
I’m a vegan so it’s natural for me to dislike it.
Were you inspired by any artists whilst designing? Or that you aspire to?
Not really, I got most of my inspiration from museums with taxidermy and things like that. The natural history museum, and other ones in London, the zoology one and huntarian one.
Do you think more fashion designers should do things that are vegan friendly?
Yeah, I think it’s outdated to use fur. I like animals more than people most of the time [laughs].
What do you plan to do when you graduate?
I really want to do freelance illustration, and make books of illustrations.