The end of the year always seems like a good time to reflect on what’s been and start planning for the future. To celebrate the end of LCF’s winter term, I thought I would take a look back and reflect on some of the highlights – there are plenty to choose from – and pick a few things that I am looking forward to.
What have been the stand out moments of this term?
UN project – London College of Fashion worked with the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women and Girls to create The Orange Label project ‘Fashion Says No to Violence Against Women’. We all came together on November 25th to raise awareness of this issue and held a global student competition. We were delighted to have over 150 entries, from all fashion’s disciplines and from all over the world. Personally speaking, speaking at the UN Gala Dinner was also a huge highlight.
Hardy Amies: A Dagenham Designer – documenting the life and work of this British master tailor and royal dressmaker, this show was one of my favourites. Located in Valence House Museum in Dagenham is really shows a more approachable side to Amies and puts his work into context. Our own Chair of Dress History & Curatorship, Amy de La Haye, as well as some of our tailoring students, worked with Create London and the Valence House Museum to bring this project to life. As we prepare for our move to Stratford in 2021, we are trying to work with the local communities in East London to form relationships and showcase the work of the college in all its breadth.
Fordlandia – this was an exhibition held at our own Fashion Space Gallery and one that I found fascinating. The show looked at Henry Ford’s failed utopian project and reimagines a world where Fordlandia is a success, where nature and industry have entered a symbiotic relationship to create – sustainably and beautifully. There were so many interesting points of discussion: the innovation in material using sustainable or waste materials, there is also the visual inspiration of the tropical environment, ideas of Fordism, the automotive industry and the idea of industrialisation – so many layers that you could explore.
Cabinet Stories – another exhibition, but this one wasn’t a standard exhibition. A travelling cabinet that toured the East London NHS Foundation, a care home for the elderly and a female prison, it gave those who wouldn’t normally have access to fashion exhibitions a chance to engage with the subject. After touring these different East London venues, Cabinet Stories opened to the public in the Emmaus charity shop in Popular, where all seven cabinets were displayed at the same time. This was a completely different type of exhibition, but one that allowed us to reach a wider and more diverse audience, a real innovation.
FBS Summit & LCF Formulates – as part of the Fashion Business School Summit 16, students and graduates presented talks on topics relevant to their study and the wider fashion business. ‘Fashion Talks’ saw discussions as far reaching as ‘Shop-o-phobia‘, ‘Mind Games‘, ‘Be curious, not judgemental‘, ‘Oniochalasia‘ and ‘Give ’em stats‘. To celebrate 15 years of Cosmetic Science teaching, London College of Fashion also hosted LCF Formulates, a pop up cosmetic science lab that invited the public to go behind the scenes of the beauty industry, create their own lip gloss and body lotion!
Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize – seeing the beautiful photos from one of our MA Fashion Photography students Kovi Konowiecki on the tube each morning was a definite highlight for me. Kovi was awarded 3rd prize at this year’s prestigious Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. He is also the first photographer to have two images shortlisted for the prize and shown at the National Portrait Gallery. Kovi’s portraits of Orthodox Jews from around the world are simply stunning.
What I am reading over Christmas:
Dorris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook – when I had to pick a book for our staff book display in the LCF Library, it brought me back to this classic, which is always worth revisiting.
AnOther magazine – an article with Tender Denim visionary … I love the aesthetic and ethos behind this brand and hope to explore it further on my blog in the new year
The State of Fashion 2017 – The Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company’s in-depth report on the global fashion industry in 2017, focusing on the themes, issues and opportunities impacting the sector. A must read.
What I am looking forward to next term:
As #LCFMA1 season begins to get into full flow, I am really looking forward to seeing all the shows. The fact that both are now part of the respective LCM and LFW schedules, is a reflection of just how exciting these shows are.
LCFMA17 Menswear Catwalk – 6 January, 10.30am. The show will be streamed live on the LCF website.
LCFMA17 Womenswear Catwalk – 16 February, 7pm. The show will be streamed live on the LCF website.
LCFMA17 Media and Communication Exhibition will be on display at House of VANS from 16-19 February.