I had the opportunity recently to attend the London College of Fashion’s annual showcase with NCS. Being someone who’s somewhat interested in fashion, in the sense that I’m always conscious of what I’m wearing and have an appreciation for the creativity behind fashion, I was really looking forward to the event and seeing all the designs that had been created. I was by no means disappointed. The atmosphere was incredible, and it was so popular that it was a struggle to fit everyone in to watch the show!
The designs were really diverse and in some cases shocking (in a positive way of course). Every time I thought one design was my favourite, another amazed me just as much if not more. A particular design that I found interesting was a design by Chorong Lim which featured a clothes cover which I found so different because normally we’d use it as something to protect the outfit, but in this case it was the outfit itself. My favourite design however was a stunning silky red dress designed by Hiroshi Goto because it’s something I would genuinely choose to wear if I had the opportunity. It was almost like a ball gown, and I could imagine wearing it to an important event and feeling really prestigious. Another design that caught my eye was a muscle suit with pink bows designed by Adefolarin Rhodes; to me it conveyed muscles as a depiction of masculinity and pink bows as a depiction of femininity – combining those things was really powerful in my view as it presented how there should be no pressure for a guy to be “masculine” and similarly no pressure for a girl to be “feminine”.
Possibly the most surprising aspects of the show included a performance costume designed by Sarah Louise Hardwick. It was simultaneously so obscure yet graceful, featuring a bird mask, intricately detailed feathers and long claws. This design caught everyone’s eye when the model began to walk down the catwalk. An additional surprising feature was a point during which the models were wearing menswear designed by Shanice Palmer and performed in spoken word whilst on the catwalk, which was a refreshing element to the showcase as it allowed the models to demonstrate their talent whilst also delivering a thought-provoking insight to their feelings on life.
Once the catwalk finished everyone had the opportunity to wander freely around the exhibition to view various accessories and shoes the designers had created as well as watch short films they had made. I also had the opportunity to go backstage which was fairly hectic as the designers were packing up their work after the show, but it was intriguing to see what goes on behind the scenes and how everything had been set out for the designers and models to prepare for the showcase.
The aspect of the show that I liked the most was how creative it was. These designs were more than just clothes; they were expressive creations where the meaning was open to the interpretation of the viewer, and that really resonated with me even after the show. The whole time I was walking around the exhibition looking at the various items wondering “how can someone have the creativity to produce something so incredibly innovative?!” One of the items on display was some glasses fashioned from teaspoons. This was my favourite feature because I found it such an incredible concept. Obviously I wouldn’t necessarily replace my normal glasses with them because they might not enhance my vision or be practical, but on an artistic level, I had such an incredible appreciation for the resourcefulness behind the idea of using kitchen utensils as accessories.
When I came out of the show I felt a deeper appreciation for fashion as an art form. I feel as though some people who aren’t particularly interested in fashion don’t often see it from that point of view. Through the media we are mostly exposed to fashion in the sense of following trends and wearing what is “in”, which isn’t for everyone, whereas in shows like these you really get the chance to see fashion as an art form and explore the deeper message that the individual designer tries to convey, just as you would in a painting or a drawing, whether it be political or personal or something else entirely, and that’s a beautiful thing. Whilst I don’t think creating fashion is necessarily my forte – and props to the people who have that talent – I feel inspired to explore and pursue my creative abilities in other ways and make use of those, because you never know what you can achieve and I’ve definitely learnt that from watching this showcase.
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