January 27, 2015 


Florence is a truly beautiful city. Famous for it’s history, its not just the stunning architecture that reminds us of it’s historical importance as the birth place of the Renaissance. The human scale is something missing in many of our 21st century cities. Not to mention the encircling hills, the river, the quality of light and the enthusiasm and warmth of its peoples, where any aspect of life seems worthy of a proper and full discussion.

Reception Polimoda
Reception area at Polimoda

For me there is an over-riding sense of legacy. It’s a place that is driven by its history, more than anywhere else I have visited, by its unique and extraordinary cultural and creative influence on subsequent generations. What I found interesting was how this legacy of beauty and quality influences all aspects of life; food, wine, conversation, clothes. All seem touched by the idea that if you are going to do anything in life then this should reflect quality however that might be defined. It’s the perfect city for reflection; for ideas, for making you question how and why you do something, to what ends and for what purpose.

In May, Polimoda Florence’s fashion education institution is hosting the forthcoming IFFTI Annual Conference on fashion education.

Utilizing venues throughout the city e.g. Basillica of Santa Croce or the Museo Marino Marini, the conference will allow fashion educators to explore the ideas and concepts of history, tradition, great art and creators’ impact on cultural life both as restrictions and liberators of creativity. It’s a perfect combination.

January 9, 2015 

London Collections: Men

This week we hosted our inaugural standalone menswear MA catwalk, kicking off the first official day of the autumn 2015 edition of London Collections: Men.

Welsh Chapel

Separating for the first time from the womenswear show, the 12 recent Fashion Design Technology Menswear graduates revealed their collections at a catwalk show held at The Former Welsh Chapel in London, in front of industry figures and key buyers including Browns chief executive Simon Burstein.

Watch the video here…

December 11, 2014 

1914 NOW

’1914 Now. Four perspectives on fashion curation’ is a film installation and collaboration between fashion curators and filmmakers. Four curators – Walter Van Beirendonck, Amy de la Haye, Judith Clark and Kaat Debo – conceived by London College of Fashion’s Alison Moloney to express a moment in fashion or dress from 1914. The project reveals multiple perspectives on one year of fashion.

12-1914-nowStill from the film The Violet Hour, Amy de la Haye and Katerina Athanasopoulou.

Read about the 1914Now Project on SHOWStudio here…

Read more about our International Exhibitions Programme here…

December 2, 2014 

Economist: Intelligent Life and Inspiring Innovators

Last night I attended a private supper hosted by the Economist’s Intelligent Life Magazine for contributors to the ‘Inspiring Innovators’ feature.

Yohji Yamamoto Sketch

For this feature I wrote about Yohji Yamamoto. Other contributions were from the likes of David Lynch who wrote about on Mikhail Gromov, James Lovelock on Charles Harington and Melinda Gates on Mother Teresa. The contributors themselves were incredibly inspiring; and included, Tessa Ross, Sophie Wilson, Wendy Hall, Peter Sellars, Robert Winston, Jimmy Wales, Jazzie B, René Redzepi, Daphne Koller, Felix Barrett…

Innovation is one of the toughest challenges: How do we get our people to think creatively? How do we inspire people to challenge the status quo while still keeping everyday operations running smoothly? There are no reliable templates, rules, processes, or even measures of success. In a sense, each act of innovation is a unique feat, a leap of the individual, or the collective, imagination that can be neither predicted nor replicated. Innovation, in short, is anything but business as usual.

Business and Innovation at LCF…

November 27, 2014 

RSA Awards Royal Designer for Industry to Professor Helen Storey MBE

A true visionary, Helen’s work has questioned, challenged and inspired for over three decades and I am absolutely delighted that she is to receive this fitting recognition of her outstanding contribution to design and society. As Professor of Fashion and Science at London College of Fashion, Helen’s collaborative, forward-thinking and interdisciplinary way of working has led to pioneering work. She has successfully brought together the worlds of art and science, producing hybrid projects and products that have broken new and award-winning ground. Helen consistently challenges convention, bringing fresh insight and communicating imaginatively to help people think differently and improve lives.

The title ‘Royal Designer for Industry’ (RDI) was introduced by the RSA in 1936 to honour designers of excellence and promote the important contribution of design in manufacturing and industry.

RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor said: “The world’s greatest designers consistently challenge convention, discover new insights, and improve people’s lives. These five outstanding practitioners from different disciplines all share an inventive and unshakable commitment to educate, inform and enrich the public realm through design.”

Helen said: “It has been an absolute joy to find that my work has been recognised by the Royal Society of Arts and all that it stands for, not just for me, but for everyone who follows their intuition, beyond trend and towards the betterment of us all.”

Helen is an inspiration to the staff and students at the University of the Arts London and I have no doubt that she will continue to work tirelessly towards creating a better world. It is a privilege to work with her and we are immensely proud that she is to be honoured with this prestigious award.

My other blog posts which mention Helen…

November 25, 2014 

Nightclubbing with Richard Young

Last night I went to the launch of Richard Young’s book ‘Nightclubbing.’ Richard has always been so supportive of the College and the students, and this book is a wonderful representation of his work over the past 40 years.

Richard Young
His very first job was gatecrashing the party that Elizabeth Taylor had thrown for husband Richard Burton for his 50th birthday at The Dorchester in 1975.

Click here to view the in-conversation between me and Richard…

Read a review in The Independent here…

© 2015 Frances Corner