Fashion Weeks and all the new work is of course very exiting. But what we find even more exiting the work from new designers. At Volt Café we are keen on new fashion talent. Thus the MA14 Exhibition from the London College of Fashion and the fashion show from Central Saint Martins promised to be a big treat.
From Fashion Design Technology students to Fashion Photography students to Fashion and Textiles students, we saw it all during the exhibition and show. We wanted to find that out whom these young professionals are and what they want to tell the world.
The graduation students of London College of Fashion showed their work in the basement of Victoria House. A beautiful location, with many rooms filled with all kinds of amazing work. Some was very conceptual work, such as a man dressed in white who had a life-size white paper on which he was drawing with charcoal. This was a live presentation of the MA Costume Design for Performance.
We are always very interested in new fashion photography talent, and one student in particular caught our attention. Sonja Kranz presented her images as a film on a white wall, which sounds very simplistic but there was definitely more to her work than mere surface.
Volt Café: The images you make have a very unique signature, what kind of technique do you use? And when did you start using this?
Sonja Kranz: I started my image making and film practice three years ago. Right from the beginning I had a very artistic, adventurous and experimental style, exploring exposure and retouching techniques.
VC: What is the message behind your images?
SK: I challenge the photographic medium in its rigid flatness through incorporating the spatiotemporal characteristics of sound to my visual conceptualisations. My imagery and sound build a profound synesthetic body that approximates an extended photographic practice into synesthetic, cross-disciplinary installation art.
VC: Your work was projected as a film on a wall, but there were also prints. Do you prefer one of the two, and if so, why?
SK: The MA graduation project was produced as a screen projection installation. Working with imagery that is based on sonic concepts, I prefer digital publication.
VC: What is fashion to you?
SK: Passion, inspiration and temptation.
VC: What has influenced your career the most (and why)?
SK: I am influenced by all kinds of artistic realms such as film, music, theatre, dance and the arts (both contemporary and classic).
It was an inspiring experience to see the work of these young designers. To see it all so close and be able to ask them questions about it. The cherry on top was an open and honest film where students talked about their time at London College of Fashion, their personal development and experiences.
Central Saint Martins’ collections were the closing show on Friday in the Courtyard Show Space. That the MA graduates of this school are important to the fashion world goes without saying.
Eleven young designers showed their work, five Womenswear, one Menswear, four Textiles and one Knitwear. The Central Saint Martins show opened with a Womenswear collection by Teruhiro Hasegawa, long black dresses and the models wearing masks. The mood was ‘fairy tale gone bad’. One collection we rather liked was Anita Hirlekar’s textile collection. Her techniques looked innovative and very analogue.
Volt Café: For your BA graduation collection you were inspired by abstract paintings and photographs of raw nature. Where did your inspiration come from for this collection?
Anita Hirlekar: I liked the idea of juxtaposing glamour and comfort by combining shiny sequins with wool on an elegant silhouette. I was also interested in taking traditional elements and making them contemporary which has become an ongoing obsession with me. Art is always a form of inspiration. This time it was Gert and Uwe Tobias and their colourful and grotesque paintings. So basically the idea was to combine the old and the new with the unfamiliar and loads of colour.
VC: The textiles of your garments looked very innovative on the catwalk, which techniques did you use?
AH: I wanted to explore embroidery, which is often quite intricate and detailed. I found this antique needle sampler where the reverse looked like an artistic drawing, very dramatic and quite unexpected. It made me think of using embroidery to evoke the emotion of the quality of human handicraft. And using different rich textures, ranging from wool to acrylic gave it more depth.
VC: How do you feel your work improved, if you look back to the beginning of your study?
AH: I think after trying different things out, some not working as well compared to others, you really have to push yourself forward and keep developing. I have become more focused which is quite important I think.
VC: Who has influenced your career the most (and why)?
AH: My mum, because she always makes sure I work!
VC: What is your goal as a designer?
AH: Continue to learn, continue to develop.
Rory Parnell-Mooney showed an amazing menswear collection. A minimalistic collection with monochrome colours and accents of dark blue.
Volt Café: Your designs are for the forward thinking, modern man. Based on this collection, what is the message you want to give to this man?
Rory Parnell-Mooney: It’s probably less a message that I want to send someone with this collection, it’s more a option of dressing, a simple, clean and minimal offering -but still interesting and engaging.
VC: In your collections you use a lot of dark colours and black, do you have a reason for this choice?
RPM: It’s not really an active choice – more of a compulsion.
VC: What is fashion to you?
RPM: It’s quite an impossible question to answer but maybe it’s a way of expressing yourself without words or a statement?
VC: What is the most important thing you have learned during college?
RPM: Speed and accuracy.
VC: What is your goal as a professional?
RPM: Work hard for a long time.
During the whole show and exhibition we were blown away by all the talented MA graduate students. Their work was highly professional and ready to be shown to the world. Keep an eye on these young designers!
Words by Nikki Neervens
TagsAnita Hirlekar, central saint martins, London College of Fashion, Nikki Neervens, Rory Parnell-Mooney, Sonja Kranz,