Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend a series of talks from some of my favourite working professionals in the fashion industry.
The event was arranged @FashionInLeeds and @LeedsIntFest and has had small catwalks, talks and presentations from a wide variety of fashion and technology based talent which started on the 22nd of April and runs through to the 30th.
The three speakers I had the privilege of listening to were; Lulu Kennedy MBE who is the founder of Fashion East and MAN, bold print designer and collaboration queen Katie Eary and “Remade In England” sustainability designer Christopher Raeburn.
The first of the three speakers I attended was Christopher Raeburn who is best known for recycling military materials such as life rafts, maps and parachutes. He talked us through some of his fashion films and his inspirations behind his collections and materials. The ‘Meridian‘ video from his Spring/Summer 2015 collection was a visual masterpiece using CGI to recreate his garments and showing an artistic story of the materials used in a somewhat Matrix style of dressing.
(Side story… The last time I met Christopher Raeburn, we were locked out of an Agi & Sam after party (with Agi) and had to tell the doorwoman that the person who was left outside with us was actually the person hosting the party.)
Katie Eary spoke heavily about her career building around collaborations and the importance of building an identity and the opportunities others can give you to build a brand. Katie has collaborated with some incredibly diverse brands including; Kanye West, KFC and IKEA. She spoke a lot about her groundbreaking collaboration with IKEA as the first fashion designer to work with this homeware giant and about the long process of designing home furnishings, plates and bedding.
I have been such a fan of Katie Eary’s work. She was one of the first designers I had the pleasure of seeing during my first ever season of London Collections: Men (now known as London Fashion Week Men’s – christ I still hate this re-branding) and I still remember her bright pink flamingo collection to this day.
Lulu Kennedy MBE is a woman I have wanted to meet for quite a long time but never had the chance to. Fashion East and MAN are two incredibly influential and important companies to grace the British fashion scene. I’ve been lucky enough to attend many of the Fashion East and MAN collections and these showcases have been a great source of inspiration to me as I have inspired a lot of my work around some of these designers who have been spotlighted through these companies. Charles Jeffrey, Katie Eary, Bobby Abley and Gareth Pugh are all designers who I have used as inspiration for various photo shoots and visual projects.
With these talks being relatively small in numbers (and the fact they were hosted inside a shipping container in the middle of Briggate high street) meant that as a group we had the opportunity to talk to each of the guests and have quite an intimate Q&A. Though this was a huge bonus for me, it was a shame to see such influential speakers be in the presence of such a small crowd. Events and talks like these in Leeds are definitely infrequent but are highly valued. Leeds College of Art is an incredibly established art school and with many other designers and artists coming from the Northern territories of England I believe it should have more of a direct address in these areas as a lot of focus (naturally) is on London and London art school graduated designers. I always enjoy listening to designers, artists and industry professionals talking about their careers and experiences and I definitely feel that these events would not go amiss in Leeds.Please, please, PLEASE can we get more incredible speakers like these heading to Leeds in the near future, not just for my sake but for the hundreds of fashion students and industry workers Leeds has to offer!
You guys have to check out this fashion film!
This was created by two 3rd year BA (Hons) Fashion Photography students and using garments from this year’s graduate Fashion Design and Performance Sportswear Design students.
‘Arranged, shot and produced in under two weeks, Falmouth Fashion Photography students Lucy Hawes and Eve McGovren present to you an A-Z of Falmouth Graduate designers. Practicing fashion film for the past two years, this is their final farewell film before graduating and heading to the big city. Third of a list of short films they have produced as a partnership, they have formed their own mini production company ‘ELU’. In preparation of the up coming fashion show, this film gives you a taste of fresh talent to leave Falmouth this year. Watch this space.’
This year, Falmouth University decided to open the 3rd year fashion show with a blast from the past. Falmouth Graduate, Rebecca Jayne Taylor opened the show with a sensational (and brand new) 10 piece collection which combines high fashion with performance sportswear.
“A lot or research went into the Art Deco period and I looked at symmetrical patterns and directional lines. The bold colours that were used and the geometric patterns formed a large part of the inspiration behind the collection.
Working with the waste and surplus materials provided by Gore-Tex meant that I was constantly having to improvise on the design works in terms of pattern construction and colour. It’s not like getting a ready made piece of fabric from the factory that you can cut your pattern from.
Using the laminate material meant that I was able to create functional and technical garments. The fact that I was able to adapt the way in which I applied and heat taped the seams gave me the opportunity to produce designs that had a strong visual effect and the array of colours that Gore-Tex provide added to the overall aesthetic of the collection.
The laminate materials are very easy to work with and it is the technical properties of the Gore-Tex material that attracted me to this “Up-Cycle” project as I was able to be extremely creative and produce functional waterproof garments.” – Rebecca Jayne Taylor
If you want to see more of the work RJT has been getting up to, have a gander at her blog which shows off all her behind the scenes action as well as features and her escapades
Photography: Beccy Nuthall
Possibly one of the greatest ways to introduce a category at any award ceremony in the history of fashion!
This year’s CFDA Awards decided to introduce the nominee’s of the “Menswear Designer of the Year” with a 70 piece male model choir singing Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” while wearing an assortment of the nominee’s (Duckie Brown, Michael Bastian and Thom Browne) collections.
I think this is an incredibly unique way to broadcast the work of the designer’s in a way that keeps an audience entertained without drawing any attention away from the garments themselves.
Well done guys and well done Thom Browne who took home the honor.
A cheeky preview of the Falmouth Fashion Show 2013 I helped style, with clothes from the graduate Fashion + Performance Sportswear designers.
This incredible fashion film was made by Lucy Hawes & Eve McGovren.