All posts tagged fdm
Imagine you were a designer for Celine. Accessories designer. Head of accessories – bags, shoes, sunglasses, jewelry and all.
Accessories designer Louise Davies and Johnny Coca.
He was also the guest tutor for the recent accessories project of 2nd Year Fashion Design and Marketing. The students were briefed by Johnny to develop an innovative concept for designing a bag where coolness, function and beauty were priority.
After a month of intense work, designing and sampling, the students were gathered for a talk with Johnny where he gave some invaluable insight about what it is to be the designer of the most coveted bags worldwide, he looked through sketchbooks, research and samples of students and gave his personal feedback.
Thanks to Heather Sprout, 1 Granary also managed to hear Johnny’s talk.
Almost as if a tale, Johnny started by telling us that he didn’t study to be a designer. His first step into the fashion world was designing and drawing windows for the Louis Vuitton boutiques just to earn some extra cash. Inevitably these windows had bags and drawing them Johnny thought “Oh it is really easy to design bags”. He drew some, showed them at LV and there he was with his first job.
Then there were Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford and other dream employers.
After designing for Celine for 4 years and traveling between Paris and London, Johnny Coca knows how to design what people want before they even know they want it.
Which made him the perfect guest tutor. Johnny spoke with all 17 FDM students and explained the strengths and weaknesses of their work.
There were a few best designs chosen, those of Grace Gowers, Qiying Fang, Nathan Moy and Ella Ren but one was the lucky bastard to be pointed out as a winner – Amir Khorasany. His design is indeed very cool. He wanted a malleable feel for the structure of the bag so there were references to artists such as Robert Morris and Daniele Papuli.
You can see examples of his beautiful play with leather strips and the bag’s prototype.
Wait for the best part! As a winner of the project, Amir’s design is going to be brought to life in Celine’s very own French factory!
“When you figure out what you want to do, what category you want to develop as your future job, make sure you are the best.”
Here is Johnny’s advice to CSM’s students:
When I started designing bags, I said to myself, ‘Okay, I want to know everything now – how to design, how to make it, the leathers, the fastenings, all the market, all the competitors, everything.
Only creativity isn’t enough. I meet so many designers that are very creative but don’t know the market or what the people want or how to adapt their style to a brand and the other way around.
There should be no question you cannot answer in your field. After that you can move to another category. For example after accessories, I knew everything on sunglasses and optical, then everything on shoes. You have to be able to explain to the team, to a CEO, to a factory worker. Learn everything.
After that is it quite easy and you can select who to work for.
As Heather Sprout pointed out ‘Once you leave college, the real education begins’.
You might think that growing up in a tiny little village in the German woods wouldn’t make for a super successful fashion designer. But at only 19, first-year Fashion Design with Marketing Student Jegor Pister is already said to be ahead of some final years… So I had a little chat with this bright young talent about fleeing reality with fashion, toning it down when moving to London, and spreading happiness and love.
How did you first get involved with fashion?
When I was 14 I read an article about the German brand Prose in the newspaper. I went to their studio the same day and started interning for them. Miriam, the designer, taught me how to make patterns, how to sew – she taught me about the whole design process. Now we’re really good friends and whenever I’m in Germany we still work together.
You make a lot of clothes for yourself; when and how did that start?
It kind of just happened as soon as I got into the process of making clothes/garment construction at Prose. Obviously the first ones were pretty rubbish – there were loads of mistakes. But that’s the best way to learn, I guess. I still make a lot of clothes for myself – I made the trousers I’m wearing today. They’re actually women’s trousers I made for my coursework but I made them so I can wear them as well.
What inspired you at that time?
Before I started doing my own thing I was really inspired by other designers. The first one I really loved was John Galliano, probably because he had real vision; he was creating these entire worlds and that really triggered my imagination. And I just wanted to get away from the tiny village that I lived in and escape to a different world…
So at first fashion was a way to flee reality. And then you moved to London…
Yeah, and I didn’t want to escape anymore. I became a lot less rebellious, my whole process became more structured and my taste changed a lot as well.
How did it change?
Before it was just so… full-on. I would be wearing doll-like makeup, red shoes, latex trousers and a wide, voluminous blouse and curly hair. But now it’s more about the aesthetics. It’s not about being loud anymore. It’s about looking good… and feeling good! Fashion is about feeling good in what you’re wearing – and it’s like a flower in how it spreads happiness and love.Photo by Ryan Peterson, 1st year Graphic Design
What are the main things that inspire you now?
I find strong characters and personalities really interesting so I always create personas and worlds around them. They’re based on people I admire, mostly historical figures… I make clothes for different characters.
How do you create those worlds?
With the aspects of that person’s character. If they’re a very melancholic person for instance, I try to get into the mood and create a story that goes with it. I’ll then collage the story and sometimes I write as well.
What would be your ideal future?
I’d like to learn more about who I am, about my taste, about people and the world! I think it’s because of my age – I’m only 19 so I can’t really know everything just yet… Learning who you are just takes some time. The more you know yourself, the more confident your work looks. But I’m really just hoping to learn more about so much: the design process and fabrication, about the industry and how it works, how to collaborate with other people, how to organise photo shoots… About everything!
‘Township Resolution” is a collaboration with photographer Dexter Lander (2nd Year Fashion Communication and Promotion) and Stylist and Image maker Gracie Wales Bonner (2nd Year Fashion design with Marketing). Gracie cites the work of Pieter Hugo, Viviane Sassen and Thabiso Sekalga as key references for the shoot, which was an attempt to recreate a ‘virtual township’ around Ridley Road market. Informed by a recent trip to Ghana, Gracie was inspired by the slow loading speed of the internet, and the distortions that appeared on her screen, something that is developed in these photographs. (more…)