London College of Fashion’s graduating BA students presented their collections with a show in east London Monday night, with many students’ creations channeling a wistful, poetic air.
Among the standouts was a collaborative collection between Rosemary Lambert and Kate Donald for women’s wear, Sian O’Neill for contour, Tanaporn Wongsa for jewelry and Kate Cheung Wing Ki for textiles, which won the collection of the year. The group worked up silk and chiffon slips and robes embroidered with large-scale blooms, and some models wore lavish, sculptural chiffon headdresses that obscured their faces. The designers cited Boris Mikhailov’s photographs of people dispossessed in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union and Victorian flower shows as among their touchstones.
Meanwhile, women’s wear designer Bora Nam cloaked her models in swathes of draped and gathered pastel fabrics, that looked like deconstructed shirtdresses. The designs were stitched with squares and strips of material, in tonal peaches or contrasting black and navy. Nam collaborated with Lisa Matthias and Nina Shiskina on the print and embroidery and Myung-Jae Lee on accessories. And fellow women’s wear designer Catherine Wang teamed with fashion textiles graduate Camila Lopes, to create voluminous dresses – with their dramatic skirts and sleeves supported by sticks – printed with abstract splotches of paint, in arresting color combinations of pink, navy and white or pink, yellow and red.
But those feminine looks contrasted with some harder-edged fare. Fashion textiles graduate Nathalie Ballout worked with hair, makeup and prosthetics graduate Billie Pingault on a series of anarchic-looking get-ups — their models wore ripped fishnet tops and shredded jeans, with ropes around their bodies and headpieces that looked like wiry twigs laced with scraps of wool. And men’s wear and textiles graduate Maria Giannakopoulou sent out male models who looked like wild lost boys, wearing tops made from loops of yarn and skinny jeans tie-dyed in shades of turquoise, red and black.