The annual MA show for my own London College of Fashion took place at the V&A museum this week, showcasing some of the best new talent in the business - the ones to watch in the next few years. After a day or two of hectic reviewing, I give my own run down of the best in show.
As always the standard was high, but their were particular students who stood out amongst others. I particularly enjoyed Jennifer Morris's collection, which saw inspiration spawning from the seventies in her high powered, vibrantly hued, feminine pieces. The MA Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear student pioneered her own technique called 'tufting' using specialist technology from labs, combined with indian hand embroidery. She creates luxurious floor-length gowns; disco mixed with contemporary fringing to give the garments volume and movement. Morris decided on a colour scheme of jewel-like shades: turquoise, topaz and amethyst, with bursts of citrus and metallic gold. Overall highly glamourous, dramatic, yet wearable.
Another Womenswear designer was Joanne Power, with a selection of extremely simple but striking gowns. Her palette was predominantly black and white, but stretched to red as many designers have this season, a red-hot trend - pardon the pun. Her high-necked, built-up dresses challenged traditional ideas of allure and so her understated collection was shortlisted for the Collection of the Year Award.
I am also loving South Korean designer Eunmi Hwang. Apparently her inspiration was 'sustainability'. Her clothes are soft and earthy looking, very much that eco feel. The manufacture was sustainable too; she used digital technology to create a process that minimised waste, and used Bamboo viscose within her garments. She is due credit for her environmentally friendly principles, something that is often lost in the fashion industry, as well as the fact her pieces are versatile and cool.
Another name that seems to have everybody talking was Bodiciu Corneliu 'Dinu' Tudor from Romania. Dinu went from a degree in Graphic Design to an MA in Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear, whilst launching a line of handbags along the way. He has chosen a sculptural concept with his clothes, focusing heavily on texture and shape. His colour scheme is limited to variations between nude and red, based on the idea of changing body temperature, an original outlook. A lot of names and publications have been talking about Dinu, and I for one am fond of his red pieces. I love the hairy textured cardigans with the quirky headgear but I still find drape dresses a bit noughties, especially in nude. One thing though, nobody can fault the tailoring or conceptualism behind the collection.
Other favourites of mine included Susana Benticourt:
... and for Menswear, the rather quirky Yan Liang: (I just LOVE that paneled blazer, it is like woodwork. Worth going androgynous for!)
However, the winner of the night went to menswear designer Matteo Molinari who scooped the Collection of the Year Award, which was presented to him by BFC Chairman Harold Tillman. His ideology of traditional skills of crocheted tailoring impacted hard on the catwalk, with sleek and handsome suit fits, and matodor tuxedos with woven webs at the back. Molinari proved you could inject contemporary twists into clothes without losing classic ideals.
all images courtesy of catwalking.com