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RCA Fashion Show 2014 and Celebratory Exhibition for Wendy Dagworthy

The Royal College of Art stages its prestigious graduate fashion show on 28 and 29 June, showcasing the work of 34 MA students, and celebrating 16 years of RCA Fashion under programme head Wendy Dagworthy, ahead of her retirement in July.

To mark Dagworthy’s last graduate show and celebrate her contribution to fashion education, the graduate show will feature an exhibition of RCA graduates’ designs from her 16 years of teaching at the College. SIXTEEN gives a snapshot of some of talent Dagworthy has helped foster including Holly Fulton, Erdem, Matthew Miller, Eudon Choi, Xiao Li and James Long.

Show RCA Fashion 2014 features 34 MA Fashion students specialising in menswear, womenswear, knitwear and millinery with footwear and accessories in a static display. Graduating students’ Womenswear collections include exciting architectural pieces with a highly constructed, adventurous aesthetic, while Menswear exudes a more minimalist feel. Inspirations include 1950’s Nevada ‘Doom Town’, cartoon death, Arctic dress, Japanese kimonos and Luton football strip. This year’s graduates will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of their RCA Fashion predecessors.

Last year’s show included an exciting mix of designers who are already hitting the headlines: Menswear graduate Liam Hodges was selected to show with Fashion East and Hanchul Lee won the prestigious International Talent Support (ITS) competition in Trieste. Xiao Li won the Diesel Award at ITS and was shortlisted for the H&M Design Award for her innovative silicone knitwear, while days after graduating, milliner Maiko Takedo’s futuristic hats were worn on stage by Bjork. This year’s show promises to be equally as exciting with a fresh new look and layout by creative agency My Beautiful City, which has designed shows for Vivienne Westwood, Julien Macdonald and the British Fashion Awards.

Show Fashion 2014 will take place on Wednesday 28 May and tickets are now on sale for fashion lovers wanting to spot the latest trends. Tickets for Show RCA Fashion on 28 May cost £15 for the 4pm show and £36 for the evening show, including a drinks reception, and can be booked in advance here or by calling 020 7590 4373. 

Founded by former Vogue editor Madge Garland in 1948 and led by Professor Wendy Dagworthy OBE since 1998, the highly acclaimed MA Fashion programme has helped train many successful designers working at the top of the fashion industry – Christopher Bailey at Burberry, Clare Waight Keller at Chloé, Peter Copping at Nina Ricci and Heikki Salonen at Diesel.


RCA Fashion Graduates Final Collections – Detail (see profiles here)


Menswear 

Alexander Benekritis
The collection is constructed to express the rawness of African tribal ornamentation juxtaposed with China Techno. Examining the relationships between the two within a militarised, industrial, fantasy world of the future.

Sung Bin Cho
Inspired by the story, Journey to the Centre of the Earth and work of photographer Joan Fontcuberta. Interested in fauna of fanciful animals and freaks in the unknown world, Bin Cho expresses these through Fontcuberta’s work metaphorically. The intricate details with various coloured materials and fastening parts physically manifest this.

Johanne Dindler
Inspired by African costumes alongside 1970s fashion and graphics and 1990s hip-hop attitude. Big, strong shapes and textured, colourful fabrics, using fur, frills, beads, crystals, prints and metallic leather combined with nylons, velours, sweats and leathers. Bold sportswear collection with an 'I don’t give a f***' attitude.

Riona Horrox
Luxury Rock. Stains, sweat, oil and chains. The aesthetic is dark but not matte black. Hand printing via photo etching on leather, wools, denim. Classic silhouettes from music subcultures mashed together. Machine embroidery 1970 fanzines and Kurt Cobain memorabilia – custom designed pin badges from 1970 fanzines and metal studs.

Justin Alves-Khan
Collection inspired by the inter-relationship between two religions: Catholicism and Islam, and sexualising the ceremonies associated with both, looking at the decorative sides to the garments worn in each. Khan seeks to develop his own religious sense through fabric towards a ceremony of wearing. Fabrics used are silk, denim, sheepskin and mink with heavy embellishment.

Jun Sun Kim
Inspired by the artwork of Paul Strand and Giorgio de Chirico, the interplay between light and darkness, focusing on shadow effects transferred onto the garments using patchwork with different shades of the same colour in the fabrics, mainly using wool, cashmere, cotton and denim. 

Ji Hyun Lim (Footwear)
Lim’s shoe collection explores the dynamic interplay between the delicacy and innocent beauty of the Lolita figure and the harsh, brutal masculinity of the wearer. The collection treads a fine line between the sculptural and the wearable, with references to South Korea's high levels of cosmetic surgery, where alteration meets perfection in the beauty of youth, the shoes speak of a reversal of sexual objectification and a blurring of sexual boundaries. Materials used include Oak Bark Belly Leather and Resin sheets.

Natalija Mencej (Knitwear)
Inspiration comes from the subculture around Japanese Dekotora trucks, their elaborate designs and the pride and masculinity of its drivers through the combination of Japanese sensuality and powerful Western masculinity. Fabric inspiration from Sashiko embroidery and traditional Japanese block quilting.

Raj Mistry
The collection reinvents classic, street sportswear and traditional Asian garments with innovative and high-tech cutting. Inspired by the wealth of cultures and religions of the community in Luton. The colour palette takes its lead from Luton football club’s orange, blue, white and black home jersey.

Faye Oakenfull (Knitwear)
Collection inspired by Great Uncle Walter: a romanticised image built from the remnants of a man who died too young, kept alive in old letters, belongings, photo albums and a favourite niece’s fond memory.  A vibrant, textile led aesthetic with a nod to AIDS Memorial Quilts, Keith Haring’s jeans, nostalgic embroidery, old prints and handcrafts.

Ellen Hedermann Pedersen
Inspired by Vivienne Westwood’s Clint Eastwood collection of 1984–5 and 1960s Mods and skinheads. Working with a pattern cutting technique and developing iconic menswear garments like the bomber, Harrington and parka.

Dan W J Prasad
Collection title 'The Emergence of an Idol' is based on progression modelled on very personal incidents while referencing historical secret membership groups. Based around traditional tailoring techniques, missing the softness of drape and the hardness of tailoring.


Womenswear

Lou Lou Annis
This unconventionally chic collection aims to achieve a modern approach to women's tailoring, by introducing an innovative moulding technique to create atypical shapes and arrangements. Exploring the blurred line between two-dimensional and three-dimensional surfaces. Fabrics include wool, silk, lace.

Gabrielle Beau (Footwear)
The collection is called Trust Me! and is about illusion – illusion of the image of the shoe onto itself, and of familiar types of shoe expressed in an innovative way. Beau wants to intrigue the viewer by fooling them using materials to express both illusion and familiarity. Material collaboration with Tali Furman, a Printed Textile student. Using silk, fur, embroideries, canvas, mostly silkscreen print.

Ge Bei (Knitwear)
Yarns used are mainly cashwool and lambswool combined with new techniques like printing silicon flower patterns onto knitted lace. Inspiration is the royal girls of China Qing dynasty. Incorporating Chinese traditional aesthetics (embroidery and ornamentation) into the modern garments of a brave, confident woman.

Louise Bennetts
Interested in building clothing. Likes objects, artwork and clothing that has been changed or can be changed. Creates clothing that is very constructed, creating large shapes that seem to peel out of the clothes before being concealed again. Uses industrial materials, steel corset boning as main scaffold to create sculptural shapes. Worked with dancers, which influenced an interest in dynamic movement as well as experience with architects, product design and set design.

Amy Brawn
Collection explores the material properties of PVC, net and wool to produce artwork, colour effects and trapping methods.  Experimenting with materials through layering, applying heat and imposing the impression of fabric onto another. Research includes cosy outerwear, which enables the re-engineering of Amy’s artwork to form pockets and lapels integrated into the jackets.

Catlin Charles-Jones (Knitwear)
Garments that are exquisitely constructed and innovatively designed while maintaining an underlying sense of functionality. Exploring concepts of ornamentation and function in coexistence. Inspired by Bauhaus and Frank Stella’s architecturally inspired collages. Clean, bold silhouettes.

Nam Jung Choi
Collection is inspired by a photo by Ludwig Windstosser (1960) – imagining someone melting into the couch by watching TV – and a piece by Helena Almeida called Inside Me, which provides an insight into how Nam shows and hides the self through fashion. Garments made from jersey combined with mohair and silk. 1960s furniture and skiwear are references for silhouettes and details. Collaborating with Min Zhong, a student in Textiles.

Wonjee Chung (Knitwear)
Decomposition and assembly. This collection considers clothes as components and the wearer as designer. Research has focused on bodies since all costumiers have different shapes and ideals. A versatile silhouette and changeable surface are key. Influenced by Chapman Brothers, Anthony Gormley, fabrics include viscose and cashmere, cashwool and silk.

Ida Gro Christiansen
Final collection based on pattern cutting, which has focused on lines and creating spaces around the body. Working with voluminous shapes created through pattern cutting and working with high contrasting materials including tulle, heavy furniture wool and plastics.

Emma Hardstaff
Wants to use fabric manipulation to create the illusion of a constructed and recognisable garment. The collection is driven by the concept of an exploded silhouette. Flat patterns transform through the use of elastic into oversized yet defined garments. A sheer skeleton, a tulle layer, is a key element to each piece.

Olivia Hanson (Accessories)

Collection based around idea of the death of cartoon characters after experiencing disasters such as being flattened. Shapes inspired by unloved objects that can be seen on the side of the road. Bright collection including sunshine yellow, hot pink and black. Uses graphic embroidery techniques with hot air balloon nylon, patent leather and fur alongside moulded plastic net and moulded PVC.

Lucie Hardouin
The collection is about a succession of blue tailored block and shape items made of one piece. Embossing and deposing some part of the garment as if it and the wearer of have been vacuum formed.

Annika Heikinheimo
Collection for a girl who is a bit cheeky, sinister and appreciates dark humour. The gradient colour and how the garments and ruffles drape has played a big role. Fabrics consist of bonded sateen and rib that are all hand dyed.

Marta Jakubowski
Collection inspired by the loss of her mother, expressing emotions like pain, madness and sadness through the designs. The silhouettes are inspired by traditional tailoring and connect to metal head-pieces which are inspired by orthopaedic apparatus. The main material is a light jersey.

James Kelly
Oversized jackets and coats, seemingly being released from myriad texture. Hair and feathers in blues, greens and greys contrast with sport nylons that trail on and fall behind the girl. A collection that attempts to capture the moment when a memory comes flooding back. Storm coats and boyish sports jackets.

Jo Miller (Millinery)
Miller in London Collection is called I Follow You. A luxury rain hat collection inspired by following and studying people on the streets of London. Looking at how people are willing to wear more extreme and impromptu objects on their heads in the rain. Materials used include paper, resin, fabric as well as braids and veiling.

Chloe Orange (Knitwear)
Many of the garments incorporate woven fabric as well as knit. Collaborating with print students and inspired by Alan Davie, bold prints break up the knit. Print designs by Sally Orange (sister) and executed by Caroline Cox.

Katie Roberts-Wood
The collection marks a synergistic approach between textile technique development and silhouette. The linking layered technique creates fabric and form through repetition of a single unit: a wave; reflecting natural and mathematical influences.

Eva-Maria Suviste
Inspired by ‘Doom Town’ – a fake town in Nevada where the 1950s atomic bomb took place. The garments are heavily treated based on an acid treatment that breaks fabric into loose yarns and is designed to mirror the burned clothes and textures of the mannequins in Doom Town. These broken yarns are then draped into soft and round shapes.

Janni Turtiainen
Shapes inspired by a bottle that has no discernible inside or outside. Playing with garments draping tops combined with rough denim to come together as a single visual experience.

Janni Vepsalainen (Knitwear)
This collection is researching space around the body. Layering creates movement and the ruffles lend a playful element. White brushed mohair combined to synthetic yarns and materials are used and the line changes from white to full colour, mirroring nature. Inspired by Arctic dress and the Japanese kimono.

Zoe Waters
Collection inspired by an amalgamation of a leather biker jacket and a box. Taking inspiration from box construction these biker shapes are built with multiple outerwear pieces to present a collection that starts with the simplest version of itself and builds to a crescendo of the multi-layered ending. Fabric is heavy leather with hints of wool and jersey.