If you’re looking for the most edgy, avant-garde ideas of the next generation of fashion designers. you definitely want to head East. This week, Shoreditch High Street is exhibiting some of 2015’s most inspiring and out-there outfits, designed by graduates from London College of Fashion. For the first time ever, the genius and novel concoctions are brought out from the design rooms, and into the public eye.
The catwalk show was a dazzling performance of the young graduates’ designs and samples of their final collections. Tucked just behind the main exhibition, the show was buzzing with adrenaline and excitement. The benches were heaving with spectators, who were all eager for a sneak peak of the latest fashion ideas, and who sat on the edge of their seats in anticipation for the show ahead. The booming music reverberated through our every cell, bringing you whole-heartedly into the stimulating display of novel creation and inventive style.
Revealing the individual work of twenty young graduate designers, a smooth-running catwalk show soon began. Bold, aggressive-eyed models slunk down the circle-of-eight catwalk, presenting a range of images, evoking a blend of emotions, challenging stereotypical ideas of beauty and gender, and blurring the boundaries with wicked rebellion from fashion as we know it.
Bora Nam’s womenswear collection combines femininity with aggression; soft, flowing silks and delicate organzas contrast with bunched, folds of practical, thick materials, challenging the stereotypical idea of ‘feminine beauty’ and instead inviting a new attitude to suit the modern age in which efficiency overrides, and gender roles are more blurred than ever before.
Fanni Varga’s womenswear collection draws into the mind’s eye the image of ‘the broken woman’; delicate lace bodices and barely-there layers invite images of the ‘femme fatale’. At the same time, torn and dishevelled voile is thrown artistically over her models, and their limbs were bound with surgical straps and cuffs, leaving a haunting message of the constraint and perversity of the stereotypical assumption of ‘female beauty’, melding what we are used to with images of the fearless female of current society.
The collection on show combined jewellery, accessories, hats and shoes throughout a range of both men and womenswear. Each designer’s collection was oozing in individuality, their unique style stamped boldly onto each garment of their collections, and exhibiting inspiration from the past with fresh visions of the future. Bravery, boldness and breaking boundaries; these designers are fierce, and ready to take the fashion world by storm.
The sheer inventiveness of the young design talent invites you to think outside the box that modern day society limits itself to; the collections made us laugh and frown in equal measure whilst questioning our own understanding of beauty, gender and style. The LCF’s graduating designers don’t just step outside existing ideas; they stomp, with aggressive enthusiasm to land on the fashion map with a bang. Fierce passion and novel thinking, the designers seen at the show are names that will, no doubt, be leaders in their fields.
The catwalk show was hugely stimulating, yet this was only one part of the wide range of ideas and art revealed in the main exhibition. Those devoted enough to queue, and lucky enough to finally get in were awarded with unlimited bubbles and exposed to live performances throughout the evening. We even witnessed horns growing from the brains of one unfortunate chap, who – we were relieved to discover- was just subject to a theatrical makeup artist showing off their skills.
London College of Fashion BA Exhibition, 3/10 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6PG runs until 13th June
[LEAD IMAGE: Fanni Varga / Roger Dean]