I’m pleased to introduce the WSA BA Fashion Design Class of 2020! They have shown tremendous resilience in light of the change in circumstances in the last four months of their study, and the running up to completing their Graduate Collections – the culmination of three years of study.
I am incredibly impressed by the innovation shown, making the collections take shape, despite limited resources, and the ability to create individual presentations and portfolios, using their surroundings as platform. As the saying goes ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.
The graduating cohort of 2020 is a wonderful mix of Fashion Design students and personalities – with menswear, womenswear and ‘a scene beyond’ collections. Bold, beautiful, creative, minimal, colourful, monochromatic, poetic, textured, daring, inventive, all part of the showcase to follow. I hope you will enjoy it!
Cecilia Langemar Programme Leader BA Fashion Design
Fashion has gone digital! Due to social distancing restrictions to stop the spread of Covid 19 we have seen international fashion weeks, trade shows, fairs and forums go ‘online’ to present designers, product and ideas to inspire and inform the industry. We are excited to see that this same approach has been applied to graduating Fashion Design students.
Here are just a few of the opportunities for WSA Fashion Design students…
On 8thJuly the British Fashion Council will present a Graduate Preview event presenting Fashion Design student work to the Fashion industry. There are some exciting events from industry leaders happening through the day for graduating students to tune into also.
From 9thJuly we will launch our full online degree show on Artsthread to celebrate the achievements of our graduating BA Students at Winchester School of Art to an international audience for the first time.
i-D and ARTSTHREAD have launched a global graduate showcase initiative for the class of 2020 in any art and design related discipline. The first presentation of shortlisted graduates will take place from 15thAugust. Winners and runners-up will be announced and featured on the ARTSTHREAD platform and well as featured on worldwide i-D channels from late September/October.
In addition to this i-D and ARTSTHREAD are presenting a wide range of graduate support led activities, webinars, masterclasses and releasing practical information on how to experiment, curate and upload your creative journey, allowing all students to express their diversity and raw creative process.
In embracing these new opportunities and ways of thinking we can see a tide change for presenting all Fashion Graduates in the future to come.
The students may have handed in their assessment work but that doesn’t mean that designing and ‘fashioning’ has stopped for the WSA Fashion Design family.
We have just received the greatest number of entries from our students for the annual British Fashion Council Fashion Design competition linked with Burberry. And, considering the current climate, we are very please to say that the quality has been very high. We continue to be so profoundly proud of our students and how they having taken on the changing environment with the perseverance necessary for a future in the Fashion industry.
We have loved being able to support them through the new online classroom we have in place through Microsoft Teams and can’t wait to see more of their competition and summer fashion work through our Teams’ ‘chats’ and posted on the students’ personal fashion Instagram accounts.
Lyanne’s research reflects historical and contemporary fashion design, including a focus on style and photography, and the processes of craft in the context of printed textiles production and oral history in relation to the study of objects and interiors. Part of this involves the teaching and study of fashioned lives, in the past and at present. Printed media and photography inspire me, and how this reflects modern identities in the city, a kind of street style and formation of the feminine over the years and weaved into our cultural fabric in time and space.
Lyanne’s recent publication entitled Space, Efficiency and Service: Luxury and Femininity in the Establishments of J. Lyons & Co (1895-1935) in the academic journal Luxury: History, Culture and Consumption (Taylor & Francis, 2020) explores how young women expressed themselves in the early twentieth century, as fashionable employment emerged in the West End of London. The role of the modern waitress gave a sense of excitement and wonder for those who worked as Nippies in the famous Lyons Corner Houses and Hotels. Such glamourizing of these everyday roles was pronounced in the Hollywood movies of the time. As modernity represented the jazz age and the influence of a leisure culture, to be employed by J. Lyons & Co meant that women gained independence and the affordability of a stylish lifestyle, that was previously unobtainable to the working class girl.
The modern young women whom Lyons employed personified an image of space, efficiency and service. Girls who were neatly dressed in an updated version of servant clothing which by the late 1920’s was further glamourized by the addition of a stylized cap and collar. Whilst the space of London urbanized, the number of women employed increased. Such an impact created various new industries that women sought to enjoy.
“By exploring gender in relation to this, I was able to unravel and to explore how styling was a huge part of the image of luxury, in relation to publicity, and how femininity became the central focus for this. As an ongoing project that has spanned many years of PhD research, I enjoyed the rewards of seeing my work on glossy paper and supported by the photographs of the women I’d spent much time exploring.” Dr Lyanne Holcombe
Since the nineties, nowhere’s been working behind the scenes, and at the highest levels, with corporations all over the world. Their creative and diverse team help companies catalyse and animate vision, develop new and exciting strategies and build innovative new brands. They love designing workshops that encourage co-creativity – they helped WSA Fashion Design students explore their uniqueness and in teams, co-create insightful symbols.
A variety of creative tools were used to draw out insights. A series of postcards helped students amplify their difference and haikus were written then presented to each other to inspire a co-creative symbol. Themes such as ambition, strategy, purpose, brand and story were explored to help broaden their perspective on the fashion industry and tease out some of the things they may wish to do in the future. Working in small teams the students found the experience refreshing and collaborative. They expressed that working in co-creative ways helped to develop brilliant ideas!
Walter Wu is a Year 2 menswear designer who likes to investigate the function and construction of historical and modern garments.
Deconstruction plays a large part within his design process, he questions garment structures and function and finds new ways to reconstruct. Even the way a garment is folded will inspire his design details.
Walter is currently gaining valuable experience in a fashion company in his home town in China. He has let us know that his own designs are being sampled and how incredibly interesting it has been to take his conceptual designs and commercialise them. Considering the process towards selling his items has been a valuable learning curve.
We are looking forward to Walter returning for his final year, to seeing him further his pattern cutting skills and fulfilling his creative ideas into garments that can be worn by the people he loves.
During a time when the whole of the UK and other parts of the world were in an unprecedented lockdown WSA’s Year 2 Fashion Design students took up the challenge to design a clothing and accessory line for designer accessory label F-Troupe.
F-Troupe, best known for its original and off-beat designs, were able to offer WSA Fashion Design students an excellent and well-rounded insight into designing for an established label. When briefed to design a modern eight-outfit collection with accessories, students were also aware that the designs had to connect with F-Troupe’s Japanese stores ‘Curios’ and ‘Jabberwocky’ and celebrity followers such as Lily Allen, Alexa Chung, Pixie Lott and Paloma Faith.
All students were asked to select from the Victorian, Edwardian or 20s eras and focus on relevant films and artists to inspire their designs. Congratulations to the following students whose designs, T-Troupe felt, would sell successfully in their stores.
In a wonderfully creative womenswear project Year 1 Fashion Design students developed their awareness of materials focusing round trend and creative construction (no sewing machine to be used). Unaware that the main bulk of their creations would be made at home/halls/hotels with limited access to the materials, the students applied a higher level of ingenuity and also took part in remote tutorials via Microsoft Teams for the first time.
We are so very proud of the students’ achievements and their attitude during this time. Here is a snapshot from their ‘stay at home’ studios.
Across University of Southampton staff and students have been working with the global effort to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from creating innovative support technology to developing potential vaccines.
Fashion Design staff and students at WSA are also doing their bit by working with local organisations, hospitals and care homes making useful fabric items for the staff to wear and use.
It is interesting to see the range of fabric items needed. For example, helping her cousin who is an NHS matron at Epsom Hospital, Year 1 Student Hannah Andrew is making bags from old bed sheets and pillow cases. These are used as a protective wrap for the uniforms until they are put into the washing machine. Without these fabric bags the uniforms would be in contact with surfaces and the medical staff may take their uniforms home in plastic bags and throw them away.
Thank you to all staff and students helping the NHS and care teams to do their amazing work. Also, thank you to all students making face coverings to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
In a fully student-led show Fashion Design and Knitwear students collaborated to present their final year and second year work in progress to an audience at Winchester School of Art in it’s 150th year.
This year saw themes of politics, reusing – reducing, up cycling, handmade, diversity and discrimination being held close to the students hearts.