In conjunction with London Collections Mens, LCF Ba menswear students showcased their final collections in an end of term show at Shoreditch Town Hall on June 16th to mark and celebrate their graduate collections.
What was perhaps most striking about this presentation was the clear ability and enjoyment the students showed in taking risks with their designs and materials. This particular course and its students are notorious for pushing boundaries, and the show was nothing if not proof of this idea. After all the show’s own tagline was ‘welcome to an evening of rebellion’, as the show was intended to outline the student’s desire to break away from university standard expectations and conventions.
With 26 different designers showcasing their individual collections, it seemed as if there was little missing from what was on offer. Through the effortlessly beautiful town-hall location, and aptly eerie techno soundtrack, the flow of models seemed to allow for a seamless presentation of menswear in the here-and-now. The evening also included a display of print inspired video pieces curated by the designers and their collaborators, further demonstrating the creativity on show. Having taken inspiration from everything including pop culture, food, sports, uniform and the natural world, the array of materials and designs was highly exciting for viewers.
As expected, there was certainly no shortage of the unconventional in this show, with striking prints and proportions present to excite the admiring audience. One designer in particular who seemed to evoke a high level of audience intrigue was Juniper Lai, whose Japanese inspired tall hats grabbed everyone’s attention as her models hit the catwalk. Similarly, the paper origami effect of James Adam Nightingale’s jumpers added a striking and unusual dimension to the piece.
With some designers using unconventionality in its more severe sense, others just wanted to bring a sense of fun, as Harley Hodges did, including prints of ice lollies and other popular foods in bright cartoon prints on his pieces. A further play on proportionality included designer Martyna Sobzack for whom structure and volume has a very important part to play in the make-up of garments.
Even for those whose pieces were a little more identifiable, such as Rachel’s House’s sportswear inspired collection, there was something fresh and unique in the construction of it. Whether it be through colour, shape or material, nothing to me looked as if it had been copied or directly recreated. This idea, as well as the immediate notion of wearability, rang true through collections such as those presented by Callum Briggs, Natasha Sumerfield and Lucy Severe, all of whom were able to focus on details such as the precision of cut to create flattering and interesting designs. These designs were, even so, never expected, nor banal, but interesting in their discreet play on common garment construction.
What was particularly exciting about witnessing this show was the hope for the future that the talent on display brings for the students, the industry, and of course London as a global fashion hub. With the LCF menswear course known for producing highly skilled and talented multi-disciplinary members of the design industry, this show only further reiterates the prolific position of the fashion industry within London.
Each of the designers are contactable via social media, with a collective Facebook page titled ‘Ba: M 15’ hosting information directly from the event
by Abi Buller, Fashion Correspondent: