Martin Tual – Knitwear @martintual Daydreamer Martin Tual can’t even go to the supermarket without wondering about potential sci-fi dystopias. His graduate collection started with the idea of an ordinary guy on his way to work getting distorted by a strange force of gravity, a local black hole. The garments replicate these holes, pulling and stretching the fabrics towards circles placed around the body. Martin sees his work as a way of thinking through visual vocabularies. He seeks to explore ordinary, everyday materials like tights, bin bags and house paint, and re-contextualise them in order to challenge our way of perceiving those materials.
Georgia Stevens – Womenswear @georgia.ruby.stevens The couture bride and the catwalk. These are the two fashion staples Georgia Stevens based her collection on. Fashion becomes a ritual, and the designer explored her own as she advanced on her work. Her draping is the result of sound and movement, and reacted to music in real time, made herself in collaboration with Jasper Tygner, a Gguildhall music student. She combines different textures and colours to create spontaneous designs.
Carolina Fernandez – FDM @caro_fdez The collection of Carolina Fernandez explores two contrasting fundamentals from her upbringing: the structure, technique and discipline of ballet and the freedom, spontaneity, and liveliness of her Mexican culture. Using pattern cutting principles, the designs trace the transformation of a circle skirt. The movement of the skirts is preserved through external structures that hold them suspended. Through a mixture of beading, macrame, print and digital fabricated pieces, Carolina brings an innovative approach to tradition.
Øyvind Rogstad – Knitwear @oyvind_rogstad The starting point for Øyvind Rogstad’s graphic and colourful collection were structures of buildings and construction work. He aimed to recreate these using formations with straps of fabric and rope, juxtaposing the idea with skiwear and 50’s and 60’s graphics. Comfort and functionality are his priority.
ChungIn No – Print | ChungIn No drew inspiration from the blind and the visually impaired, and wanted to explore how they perceive their world. He found inspiration in the different ways visually impaired children learn, how they use their visual imagination to understand colour and shapes. The children’s vivid and strong imagination, which is translated in the bright colours and bold patterns. The vague and blurry prints are an interpretation of how these children view the world. The silhouettes mimic classic school uniforms.
Talia Lipkin-Connor – Womenswear @talialipkinconnor For Talia Lipkin-Connor, it all started with a night out in the Irish club. Revisiting the familiar environment allowed her to reflect upon her own Irish heritage, which resonates in every aspect of her collection. Her linen and wool fabrics were sourced in Irish farms she visited personally, and photographs of her Irish family from the early 1900’s inspired the characters and details of her collection.
Goom Heo – Print @goomiswatchingyou Why not? – the most liberating of all questions, and the starting point for the menswear collection of Goom Heo. Inspired by Asian boys wearing their t-shirts rolled up in summer and displaying their bellies, Goom started thinking about cultural behaviour and ways of dressing. After living in London for 6 years, the South Korean-born student saw things differently. The final collection aims to combine traditional menswear finishings and patterns to produce “proper” menswear collection infused with unexpected and fun elements.
Yueqiao Wu – Print @yueqiaochaochaos “You won’t find a new country, won’t find another shore. This city will always pursue you. You will walk the same streets, grow old in the same neighbourhoods.” This poem by C. P. Cavafy touched something in Yueqiao Wu. It reminded her of the experience walking to the morning market with her family, and the loss and pain of growth she felt realising how much she missed the place. This inspired her to print on broderie anglaise, net and tulle, to create a fresh feeling, and play with asymmetric designs, to evoke a feeling of missing and balance.
Tolu Coker – Print @tolucoker Growing up in London in a multicultural family, Tolu Coker became aware of a clear disparity between the way in which people perceive and label others to make sense of them, and how someone perceives themselves. She started questioning the way race and nationality relate to personal identity, and decided to document the lives of four people with black heritage across both London and Paris. Her collection – REPLICA – comments on the culture of stereotypes, assimilation and appropriation, as well as deconstruction, which comes through in the illustrative style of the prints featuring portraits, family photos and key memories from herself and those she documented.
River Garam Jang – Womenswear | Discarded furniture and car girls. Both stood at the starting point of River Jang’s final collection. Walking around London, he noticed the amount of furniture and couches that are discarded each day, often still usable. He started thinking about value, and linked this to the way women are used to sell vehicles – the notorious car girls. This inspired him to design his own “Sofa Girls”, from the ‘Leather sofa girl’ and ‘Velvet sofa girl’ to the ‘Tweed sofa girl’. He used the sofas’ elements for details and finishing of the garments, and the materials were recycled from the abandoned furniture.
Jae Yoo – Menswear @jae.y.oo Korean student Jae Yoo found inspiration in the 1930s-40s Polish underground resistance and their secret – bee inspired – language. Their slogan, “dziś – jutro – pojutrze” (today, tomorrow and the day after) became a key sentence for her final collection. Celebrating nostalgia and hope, “Plan Bee” seeks to commemorate forgotten people who struggled to live their todays and tomorrows.
Jegor Pister – FDM @jegorpister With his collection entitled ‘The 36th of May’, Jegor Pister aims to present his own utopian vision of a society beyond dogmatic tradition, order and rule – an homage to anyone unwilling to follow the ideology we live in. He aimed to diminish any visual forms of tradition and therefore referenced artistic movements with similar philosophies, such as the Art Nouveau movement, but mostly the Austrian ‘Ver Sacrum’ (Sacred Spring) Magazine with a particular focus on the artwork of Alfred Roller. The magazine was part of the Vienna Secession and the artists involved believed in a cosmopolitan and peaceful youth, and therefore aimed for a neutral, harmonious but still meaningful language of forms.
Joomi Ha – Knitwear @itsmejoomi Joomi Ha loves to observe the people around her. The knitwear student wondered if cultural originality still exists today and looked into the stories everyday garments tell about their wearers. After styling a model in random modern garments and filming her walking down the street, Joomi reinterpreted those movements and reworked them into 2D flat knitwear. The graduate collection aims to be the first project to let voice of today’s wardrobe be heard and make people feel this subtle energies unleashed from everyday looks.
Matt Dyer – Womenswear @mattleedyer Fascinated with finding beauty in the overlooked, Matthew Dyer started his collection with an arresting image of utilitarian workwear. He saw a packed and processed person, whose uniform of aprons and work pants functioned like the working class’ second skin. He aimed to re-package this skin, by looking at the university as a cooperation and the students as a product of that co-operation. The collection invites the viewer to see what it seldom seen, opening up class-distinctions and providing insight and access into two exciting worlds.
Hania Stelbyk – Knitwear @Star_Of_Leo “Broken Curtains” tells the story of a family home where nothing gets fixed. Old furniture and worn carpets hide are the surface of even darker issues. With her collection, Hania Stelbyk looks into her own past and confronts herself with family problems. She took inspiration from the old fashioned and dilapidated 70s style decor of her parents home, and played around with the contrasting textures she found around the house… She looked to transform seemingly ugly colours and concepts (like brown toilet mats) into something visually intriguing.
Aled Owen – Knitwear @aleeed Aled Owen found inspiration in the opulent glamour of Paul Poiret as well as Sonia Delaunay textiles, aiming to modernise them through simple cuts influenced by the 60s and 70s. A trained florist, his work tends to be floral and textured, especially since he perfected his embroidering skills at ‘Maison Le Marie’. This encouraged him to make the whole collection embroidered and stimulated his appreciation for old school techniques and the beauty of craftsmanship.
Thomas Sehne – Menswear Taking inspiration from classic tailoring techniques as a starting point, Thomas Sehne used his London surroundings to build a concept that questions classic menswear attire in our contemporary times. Closely investigating the tailored ‘uniform’ of bankers and other office workers on their way to work, he questioned the concepts of uniformity and individuality. The prominent concept developed around the idea of a garment having several identities, revealing or changing depending on the angle the garment is looked at from. An example? The frontal vision of a classic tailored wool suit transforms into a shiny technical nylon suit when looked at from another angle. Or what appears to be a classic knitted cardigan from the front, turns out to be backless only held in place by a knitted belt.
Alex Wolfe – FDM @alexwolfelondon A sculpture by Marco d’Agrate in the Duomo di Milano was all it took for Alex Wolfe. The striking anatomical masterpiece ‘St. Bartholomew’ (1562), stoically draped in his own flayed skin as if it were a garment inspired the student’s final collection. His garments are a social and psychological statement, expressing his personal experiences and conflicts with cultural ideals of masculinity, the adonis complex and the Jungian conception of the “shadow aspect”. He developed the digital prints from personal photos taken in gym spaces, playing with the idea of the “gym selfie”.
Kate Vartan – FDM @katevartan ‘Hole In One’ is an ode to powerful women. Kate Vartan was inspired by her paternal grandmother and great-grandmother, who both worked in male dominated environments. In an effort to treasure their legacy, she looked through her grandmother’s belongings and selected items that represented her life. This inspired her to develop a technique using striped and checked fabrics and casting them in a non-toxic resin. This technique gives the silhouettes structure, symbolising the strong personalities that influenced her life.
Christian Stone – Womenswear @imongrindr Ever wondered what the zombie apocalypse will look like? Christian Stone has! His collection was inspired by the sci-fi zombie horror movie Re-animator. He imagined a clothing line specifically designed for the walking dead, using the concept of taking things apart and manipulating them back together. Every product is the outcome of taking an ordinary object out of its original context, and spontaneously mutating and adapting it into new form of garment. As a result, the individual pieces gain a second live appearance as a new, surprising and unrecognizable form of hybrid.
Stacey Wall – Knitwear @stacey_wall_ Knitwear student Stacey Wall knew she needed to go personal for her final collection. She looked back into her Irish roots, and found an endless source of inspiration in their craft, textiles and folk traditions. Her main influences were local folk groups from the 70s such as ‘The Biddy Boys’, ‘Strawboys’ and ‘Wren Boys’. She even visited Ireland and met with the curator of the National Design museum, discovering samplers of Irish textile manipulation from the 16th and 17th century.
Lin Qiuqian Erica – Print @issaceee Lin Qiuqian Erica looked into her own personal life-experiences growing up. Her final collection is about compressed human bodies, skin as broken walls. She used arcantara bonded with bond web to change the tone and prints, and added metal film to make the materials mouldable.
Sarah Ansah – Knitwear @soda_pop_sarah Big brothers know what’s best. While babysitting, Sarah Ansah’s older brother made her watch Terminator II. The movie left a lasting impression, and the guy dissolving into liquid metal even became the starting point of her collection. It was all about finding the right materials, hoping to mimic the effect of liquid metal.
Daniel John Sansom – Womenswear @danieljohnsansom What do you get when Theresa May and the Duchess of Cornwall invite Jodie March, Katie Price and Tanya Turner from Footballers’ Wives to Royal Ascot, and the whole gang helps each other get ready? According to Daniel John Sansom, the result would be something Tory Punk. The designers wanted to explore moments in culture where the aristocratic and the anarchist come together. The silhouettes translate these ideas, combining typical english fabrics like tweeds, with PVC and extravagant cutting.
Taewon Kim – Menswear @tae.won.k Yves Klein once said that: “Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions.” This got Taewon Kim thinking about deep intense blue as a standard colour in the same way white is. To him, blue is the most basic, and the most abstract colour at the same time. Through his garments, inspired by military and workwear, he wants people to feel the deep emptiness of the colour.
May Sutton – Womenswear @may_sutton May Sutton’s work is a personal reflection on the boundaries of women’s bodies. She explored the preparation of bread, seeking to make a parallel with female bodies, both of which feed and raise civilisations. The loaves of bread are their own life forms with strong bodily associations, made through the process of kneading, rising and baking. They raise questions of female mass and matter as well as the relationship between women and food and ideas about female consumption. The clothing echoes the silhouettes of the bread, which May has been baking herself throughout the year.
Sheryn Akiki – FDM @sherynakiki Coming from Beirut, Lebanese Sheryn Akiki learned to live like there is no tomorrow. Frustrated by the over-amplification of IS by Western media and their twisted perception of the Middle East, she started researching visual propaganda, and the way politics have become a stage as much as a brand. Attracted to military clothing, but annoyed by the fact that it became a trend, she looked into its psychology – delving into what one feels when they put on a uniform rather than what they look like, rendering the mundane powerful. The end result is evocative of visual propaganda gear.
Elena Koivunen – Womenswear @elenakoivunen Don’t worry about getting emotional, you’re supposed to. Elena Koivunen based her collection on memories of her parents’ relationship. A strong admirer of Louise Bourgeois’ work, she aimed to translate her emotions through her designs. Each silhouette tells a different story, from a young girl trying on a bra that’s too big, to the passport photo of a lost family member. Destroyed memories brought back to life.
Sam Chester – Womenswear @sjwchester The work of Sam Chester is strongly connected to the cultural and aesthetic heritage of coastal towns. Using techniques like knoting, basket making, weaving and knitting, they place their garments within a rich context and history. Sam revisited their hometown of Hastings and took basket weaving classes in a church hall, learning alongside hobbyists and craftsmen.
Woo Park – Menswear @woopark_ After a series of unlucky events, Woo Park started thinking about ways to protect himself. In an ever busier and complex life, the designer found himself attracted to the concept of religion and cult. He started mixing different religious symbols (Kibbo Kift, devil worship and freemason among others) with his own aesthetic, aiming to create a lucky protection garment. Playing with recognisability and originality, the viewer feels attracted to the garment without realising why.
Johanna-Maria Parv – Womenswear @johannamariaparv Estonian Johanna-Maria Parv just wants to have fun. Her collection circulates around the strength and playfulness of women through a consistent questioning of function vs. utility. By incorporating functionality, womenswear is further objectified. Accessories play a large role in communicating this message through preconceived notions around function.
Yoon Young Kang – Print @yyoom.zzng It all started with a dream. Last summer, Yoon Young Kang was running through a field of flowers with her lover who embraced her lovingly. At that moment, she woke up alone in bed wearing a worn T-shirt and surrounded by her duvet, drooling. This sad yet funny reality, the fine line between reality and dream, became the starting point of her collection. “Where are you now my darling?” applied shapes reminiscent of physical affection between couples into her designs.
Kevin Germanier – Womenswear @kevingermanier Kevin Germanier found the inspiration for his entirely sustainable collection in two anime characters, and more particularly their transformation scenes, or Henshin. Lilianne is one of them, known for her colorful, dramatic, girly, yet dynamic transformation scenes. In a universe surrounded by floating diamonds and heart-shaped flashing lights, ribbons dance around the heroine to create a new silhouette: the jumper evolves into a corset, the sneakers grow into boots that connect to magical gloves… Kevin’s other muse, Isabelle, illustrates a darker evolution. During her highly intense inner explosion scene, her diabolic dance moves create a contemporary silhouette covered with splashes of various liquids. This translates to garments that look like they melt together in order to create unique and modern silhouettes. The concept of explosion is not only present in the shapes, but also in the fabrics.
Jordan Dalah – Womenswear @jordandalahstudio Attracted to renaissance painting and Tudor portraiture as a little boy, it felt natural for Jordan Dalah to base his final collection on the practice. He decided to explore the ritual of painting, specifically the process of stretching, priming and building colour onto canvas, and how this process might be similar to the way a person in Tudor times got dressed. The silhouettes were inspired by vintage doll clothes, aiming to create something that people can engage with, not just on a runway but in exhibition, showroom and retail spaces.
Mowa Ogunlesi – Print @mowaogunlesi Mowa Ogunlesi is proud of her roots. Born Lagos, she was inspired by Nigerian psychedelic rock music at the start of her collection. Through her work, she aims to celebrate the black African male. Not just his culture, but also his sexuality. Particular attention was given to the casting of the boys, who – like the designs – encompass the colourful energy of Nigerian music.
Kristofer Englund – Print @kristoferenglund The backstory of Kristofer Englund’s collection is unconventional to say the least – a man fucking his dog while living in the woods – but it challenged him to find beauty and sensuality in something disgusting. Dedicated to the core, he kept it real by getting dirty and staying connected to his story. Unsurprisingly, Kristofer hopes to become a writer one day.
Xiaoming Shan – Womenswear @xiaomingshan_official More and more girls in society want luxury, Xiaoming Shan noticed, but few of them buy things they actually like. Consumers lose themselves in this game, so he wanted people to forget everything, and start over with an honest, fresh and simple view. His clothes are all about the lines and the patterns. Looking at artwork, he tried to replicate the pure lines of abstract paintings. He wants people to be able to put something of themselves in his clothes.
Matthew Needham – Womenswear @mpfneedham Matthew Needham’s collection is the result of a longstanding interest in anthropology and man’s curation of the world around him. How has humankind created his human-made future? To him, the working process is as important as the final product, which he made entirely out of fly tipping waste, collected waste and deadstock. He believes this attention to manufacturing is declining due to man’s acquirement and search for ease and convenience in everyday life.
Words Aya Noël Images Víctor Paré Rakosnik