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Sneak peek at RCA Fashion 2020

MA Fashion students have rallied to find new ways to present their work online. Showcasing their final collections as part of RCA2020 (launching 16 July) they have also organised a number of social media ‘happenings’ to share their work.

On 20 June, the day of the summer solstice, RCA Fashion gathered online to share an intimate exchange of their work across their global community. Students worked with their mentors to hold small, private sessions where invited guests from the fashion industry and the arts sector were invited to watch, listen and discuss their work. These sessions started with a sound bath at 4.30am and finished with a DJ set, ending at 9.44pm. While aligning to the UK time zone, participants connected from London, Paris, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong, New York, Portland and Los Angeles, reflecting global fashion culture.

Below 11 of the graduating designers discuss the inspirations behind their collections in their own words.*

1. Andrew Culloo, MA Fashion Womenswear

Andrew Culloo, pleated look and silk print.
Andrew Culloo, pleated look and silk print., Andrew Culloo

My final project is called Art Darlings and is born out of my experience of working in the contemporary art world. The women who I would see at private views have inspired me to create fun and colourful clothing.

2. Ellen Fowles, MA Fashion Menswear

Ellen Fowles, Nan
Nan, Ellen Fowles
I have produced a capsule collection about and for my grandmother, analysing her life at home, in hospital and as a clinical outpatient. My intention was to provide her with garments that would grant her the freedom to live according to her desires rather than against the constraints of her medical clothing.

3. Erica So, MA Fashion Menswear Knitwear

Erica So
Erica So, Erica So
My work symbolises the beauty and tragedy of the current political situation in my hometown, Hong Kong. Combining my emotion towards the ongoing protests with the beauty of Hong Kong's history, I created couture-like piece that express the power of protest, anger, sadness and anxiety toward the unknown future. My biggest inspiration has been the graffiti on the street that is erased by the government with leftover marks, as well as the power of female protesters.

4. Isabel De La Roche, MA Fashion Womenswear Accessories

Isabel De La Roche
Isabel De La Roche, Isabel De La Roche
What we carry with us today combines essentials – phone, cards, keys – with indulgences – lipstick, chocolate. I have designed a collection of handcrafted pocket accessories that form a conversation between themselves and the body. These pieces are functional, wrapping around the body and defining it. I see accessories in the same light as footwear, where the shoe is formed around the anatomy of the foot to support it.

5. Jaden Cho, MA Fashion Womenswear

Jaden Cho
Jaden Cho
My collection is about 'Diversified Women'. Historically, 'couture' means how the garments fit on their customer physically but, in my opinion, making creations by understanding the modern women's needs, ideas and voices is a new way of creating couture. I will try to figure out a new method [for] 'made to order'.

6. Jonathan Rayson, MA Fashion Womenswear

Jonathan Coleman, White Jacket
Jonathan Coleman, White Jacket

Symbiosis is the exploration of the symbiotic nature between anatomy and architecture through a vehicle of 'visible engineering' and progressive tailoring.

From a conceptual design standpoint, my inspiration has been using 'fashion' as a networking gateway into other realms and industries, such as creative coding, architecture, Virtual Reality and 3D printing. Then distilling it all into 'new worlds' and wearables.

7. Marcela Baltarete, MA Fashion Womenswear

Marcela Baltarete
Marcela Baltarete
Entitled MARCEL/A – digital introspection and relief, I would describe my work as being at the intersection of transhumanism and postgenderism, which generated from my own experiences with gender dysphoria, depression and chronic illness. Realising all my body's limitations made me want to create a variation of digital selves in a world where I could visualise myself in a less constricted way and just be. I've treated this project as a therapeutic way of working where I let my instincts lead the direction in which I'm going followed by an analysis of my choices.

8. Marie Issacson, MA Fashion Menswear

Marie Issacson
Marie Issacson
My work is about the embodied presence players have with their avatars in MMORPG (Massive Multi Online Role-playing Games) and how to bring those worlds closer together. I wanted to show the two extremes of one's identity, one that is linked with the reality and the second that is not. My interest and inspiration for the work are grounded in the freedom in expressing identity beyond physical boundaries, the understanding of the connection between a player and its avatar, and then if the clothing living in the parallel worlds is informing connections between them.

9. Peter Donghun Han, MA Fashion Menswear

Peter Donghun Han
Peter Donghun Han
I would describe my project as a representation of our generation. We now live in the world where the question, 'Where are you from?' has become old-fashioned and pointless. I believe that understanding oneself is not about asking their nationality, race, numbers at all anymore. It's about listening to their real stories. It's about paying attention.

10. Sam Jamieson, MA Fashion Menswear

Sam Jamieson
Sam Jamieson
My practice currently decodes masculinity in order to explore the relationship between desire, intimacy and community, challenging iconic garments and updating them into a contradiction of tension and rhythmic fluidity. I am inspired by the community and spaces in which I exist. A reaction to gesture, movement and materiality.

11. Yufei Hu, MA Fashion Womenswear

Yufei Hu (crop)
Yufei Hu (crop)
Souvenir of time is the title of my final project. I have been collecting receipts for over seven years. I keep them as my special diary as it records the places I have been to, the items I purchased, the date. I see the beauty of a personal collection as it tells the most intimate [parts] of a person's life. In my work, I always look at the collected object because it tells the story about itself, about the person who uses it and about the time.


MA Fashion will showcase online as part of RCA2020 from 16 July.

This story was originally published on Grazia. Head there to read the interviews in full