After seeing the London College of Fashion BA fashion design students, I thought it would be a shame to miss out on the Fashion Jewellery and Cordwainers Footwear and Accessories design graduates, again all supported with indepth portfolios online via ShowTime. The calibre of past Cordwainers students include Nicholas Kirkwood, Jimmy Choo and Patrick Cox and no doubt future accessory and footwear designers will have come from this specialist institute or at least got their BA footing their before going on to do further MA studies. Once again, here's another handful of names that leave me wondering where they'll end up or at the most basic level, I'd love to be wearing their piece straight away, which of course is just wishful thinking on my part.
Emily Dillon - Yayoi Kusama's collection for Louis Vuitton will be landing soon and there's a clear mac with black polka dots with my name on it. Except things never go on sale in Louis Vuitton so in fact it doesn't have my name on it at all. I've got something else to go dotty over. Emily Dillon was inspired by the idea of camoflage, using print to distort shape, creating a unisex collection of bags that make you chuckle instantly. Dillon uses 3D pockets to to mimic items like a set of headphones, key, a pair of sunglasses and a camera, and blends these objects into the red polka dots and lilac toile de jouy. on totes and rucksacks. The only downside I can think of is that I'd want to stand against their respective matching backgrounds if I were to have one on my back.
Anastasia Kim - I can only seem to see one shoe on Anastasia Kim's page but the one shoe I did see was a good un'. Its simple cut-out shape and sparse use of materials makes you want to look twice despite the distinct lack of detailing of extra frills.
Sophie Foreman - There have been some memorable luggage and case makers that have come from LCF, namely Sarah Williams and her well-crafted U-shaped and curved cases. Sophie Foreman seems to be falling in line with that tradition with her series of cases that have moulded holders for all the essentials - false eyelashes, a bottle of what appears to be Chanel No. 5 and an extended lippie. A vanity case for the select few that take pride in their falsies so much that they'd want a dedicated case for them. For the tech heads, Foreman has created an iPad, iPhone, iPod charging case.
Lili Colley - Visiting Tatty Devine's studio has revitalised my interest in perspex jewellery and pushing the boundaries of a material that we now take for granted. Lili Colley's bangles, rings and neckpieces catch the eye immediately with their colour compositions and shapes that clash the round with the angular. The use of the clear fluoro acrylics are particularly effective when they catch the light and look extra luminous.
Hiroe Haruki - When I saw Hiroe Haruki wearing her own shoes at the exhibition, I immediately thought of the possibilities should her shoes be taken to production stages. She hasn't just come up with a collection but a brand concept as well to create the perfect city holiday shoes. Travellers and nomads inspired Haruki to create shoes that unify techniques from various cultures. They are shoes that are meant to be well-travelled and well-worn. Using wet-molding, her soles are designed for practicality and comfort and the neon cord detailing gives the shoes the design oomph they need. Here's hoping Haruku and her shoes for Holiday take off.
Tiravan Vanichnam - Issey Miyake's Bao Bao bags no doubt had a part to play in Tiravan Vanichnam's accessories collection. Vanichnam however uses all sizes of triangles to create her collection "Flat to Form", inspired by her obsession with origami and geometric shapes. She seeks to fold leather in the same way as you can do with leather and so creates shapes her triangle-based shapes. Her clutches and bags are more like rigid stand-alone objects that hold up all by themselves but they just happen to be functional as well.
Catherine McAleer - Whilst most designers were looking to design for the future, Catherine McAleer looked to the past and specifically the ornate Baroque era for inspiration. She doesn't reference the period in an obvious way though as the contrasts the scrolls and swirls of leather cut-outs and metalwork with striking shapes and minimal design features such as the tapered spindly heel or an ankle boots that jut out at the back. McAleer also hones in on traditional Irish crafts such as goldthread embroidery to better make her point about connecting the past with present.
Josefina Maria Jara - Sports footwear has some of the most innovative materials development more so than any other sector. It was this specific footwear equation of fit, comfort, innovation and aesthetics that inspired Josefina Maria Jara and her footwear concept RAIGHELT. The shoes specific mouldings for the heels and the soles to create a unique hybrid product of technology and the traditional. Geometric shapes and retro-futuristic detailing are combined with these specially moulded soles to create a strange and unexpected mish-mash.
Yea Ji Sung - Once again the simple triangle consumes a collection as Yea Ji Sung looked at shapes from the art deco period and cubism to inspire what she admits is a simultaneously commercial and directional collection. My Twitter page doesn't lie and as I do like a chunky heel, they don't get any chunkier than these carved wooden ones with triangular cut-outs and outlines.
Lisa Watson - Stacked up together, Lisa Watson's jewellery looks more like an unreal architectural model, mocking up creative buildings that may or may not have gotten planning permission. Separate them out and you have rectangular bangles, chokers and rings that are all constructed as translucent acrylic shells with rods inserted inside. I especially like the square rings where one would be enough to make a visual impact.
Lisa Teng - From Lisa Teng's informative blog, I learnt that she consulted a Singaporean podiatrist before going ahead and formulating her collection. That's enough to get me curious. The clean-up artist Ursus Werhli and his "Tidy Up Art" concept inspires Teng and her collaged footwear, brings together scattered elements such as pieces of acrylic into a minimal and controlled wedge or heel. The complex soles are contrasted with prominent stitches on the upper and almost childish colour schemes with pops of yellow, apple green and aubergine. A more complicated and puzzle-like version of Simone Rocha's perspex brogues comes to mind.