Last Thursday (10th November) we hosted the fourth annual Fashion Matters fundraising Gala at Victoria House Basement in London, with a fantastic showcase of the very best LCF has to offer.
The Gala featured a re-creation of the LCF Formulates exhibition showcasing Cosmetic Science, a display of our Social Responsibility work with charity Art Against Knives and a live atelier with our current MA students.
Seeing this quality of work I think really brings home the importance of why we fundraise.
In these uncertain times (socially, politically and economically) it is more important than ever, that this country develops its education, industry and innovation whilst prioritising how that can have positive impact on social opportunities and mobility for all. Education after all can and does change lives.
I believe that fashion education has a significant part to play in this and can affect real change. Fashion, by its very nature, stands for transformation and innovation. Some of the most inventive and creative design and business thinking is now stemming from where fashion is fused with technology, bioscience and engineering.
We now have bras that can more effectively detect breast cancer than conventional methods and dresses that emit scents to improve our wellbeing. But along with the excitement of innovation lies the reality that fashion is a great leveller – after all we all have to wear clothes. It connects communities and helps to make us feel part of society. For many it can be an unconventional way into education and our move to Stratford is giving us a unique opportunity to play a key role in the life of East London, benefitting not just those who already know they want to come a study with us, but also schools and local communities to help encourage skills development and the creation of new businesses.
We are already engaged in projects that are going to make this happen – like Cabinet Stories, a travelling fashion exhibition that we took to communities that would not normally engage with us, including a care home for the elderly and a women’s prison. Another project on display at the Gala, Art Against Knives – which involves a leather making course that teaches young people how to create their own leather bag and through doing so, how to use knife tools in a more positive and creative way.
Projects like these highlight the fact that every young person, regardless of their background, has a right to pursue their creativity and contribute to the future of this industry which has – and will continue to – put London and the UK on the world’s stage. But a fashion education costs and for many of these potential students studying at LCF is just too much money.
That’s why we created “Fashion Matters”. To safeguard the next generation of creative thinkers, designers, inventors and industry leaders.
Early calculations suggest we surpassed last year’s total and this will be turned into scholarships and bursaries to benefit current and future LCF students.
The Gala was very well attended by both industry guests, press and VIPs, including guest of honour Carmen Dell’Orefice, all of whom were impressed with the creativity of the work displayed and were thrilled to experience first-hand, the breadth of innovation and high standard of work being produced from LCF.
There has been some excellent coverage to promote the Gala with a selection of press highlights so far including my own piece in The Huffington Post and interviews with Vogue.co.uk and Vanity Fair UK – Instagram
We hope that through this, we will encourage more people to support our mission to ‘make fashion matter’.