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This year’s London Fashion Week saw more than 30 designers displaying their graduate collections and showcasing the creativity and craftmanship of Kingston School of Art’s postgraduate fashion fashion students.
The garments were rolled out by HORIZON, a film that was premiered at London Fashion Week’s last day. This film celebrated the future career and achievements of Kingston’s fashion graduate graduates.
The film premiere will be followed by a drop in exhibition at Gallery Different Fitzrovia on the 21 September. At this exhibition, industry experts will be able to view designer collections portfolios first-hand.
With a long-standing tradition of captivating fashion industry professionals at the biannual fashion show, this year’s presentation of Kingston University’s Fashion MA course showcased a wide range of themes. These topics included breaking traditional gender norms in Fashion and celebrating underrepresented female artists.
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Yalei Elena Feng, one of this year’s cohort, is launching her brand YEF Studio with a menswear range. The collection features a mix traditional feminine and masculine colors, as well as details such as low necklines, cutout features, and slim fitting garments.
Elena explained: “My collection is designed to empower men to express themselves through fashion. I want to blur the gender lines by encouraging men to feel comfortable to experiment with their style and try new things that challenge the conventional standards.”
Brown and black leather are a staple in her collection. Pink thread and delicate silver create elegant detailing throughout the garments. A pair of pink fitted leather pants contrasts with them.
Another designer who presented their work explored texture and structure in second-wave feminist art. Isabelle Tustin draws inspiration from the female artists and sculptors of the 1960s and 1970s to create a vibrant collection of womenswear with modernist and elegant features.
Linda Benglis (sculptor), who was well-known for combining soft motion with solid shapes and volume was one of her influences. She has also inspired the silhouettes of Isabelle’s clothes. Eva Hesse was the inspiration for the knotted details on her garments. She experimented with unusual materials like string and rope.
Isabelle, 22-year-old Guernsey woman said: “They are both classed as post-minimalist artists and were trying to break away from this masculine approach celebrated at the time, by using elaborate techniques and innovative materials in art.
“They were overlooked at the time by their male peers. My collection reclaims and celebrates this art through fashion. I create outfits that make modern women feel confident, strong, and visible.”
A further highlight among this year’s collections is Zhen Tian, whose womenswear collection took inspiration from the lightweight and tensile structures of architect Frei Otto.
Zhen created transparent layers of fabric to create three-dimensional dresses which reference the geometric-like shapes of Jens J Meyer to add striking patchwork detail to her garments.
She explained: “These abstract architectural structures fascinated me so I set out to create my own. I admire designers who create wearable art through their garments.”
Zhen cut up sheer stockings into geometric shapes and attached these with carbon fibre rods to create architecturally inspired models that sit on top of the dresses. A highlight of her collection is a white silk dress covered in diamond shapes made by sewing pleats using honeycomb stitching, a knitting technique that traditionally creates hexagonal shapes.
Richard Sorger, course leader for MA Fashion praised this year’s cohort for the quality of their designs.
He added: “Many of our students this year have produced beautiful and unique garments.
“Through the creation of high-quality and timeless garments, they are contributing to the slow fashion movement by producing something that people will buy and keep for a generation.”
Click here to find out more information about the Fashion MA Course at Kingston University here.
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