I seem to love confusing the hell out of streetstyle photographers when I spell out the names of what I'm wearing during fashion weeks.  They're probably annoyed at me for not wearing the easily recognisable roll call of names (Balenciaga, Givenchy, Acne etc etc) that they can take down on their notepads in simple shorthand.  This season, I'll be spelling out the following names as three London College of Fashion MA students have very kindly lent me a few pieces to gallavant around Paris in, proving a) their viability in a situation outside of professor crit meetings and student catwalk shows and b) that if I'm going to be supposedly "peacocking" around the shows, at least let it benefit those where any sort of exposure, be it my spelling out "Nishiyama" to a journalist/stylist/buyer or the pieces being street-snapped may lead to a positive path.

LCF kicked off London Fashion Week with their first ever MA show at LFW, enrichening (not competing as some would think…) that first day in the February A/W season when Central Saint Martins also have their on-schedule MA show.  Most people in the know will see that there is a fantastic diversity in British fashion schools with standout London names graduating from schools that aren't Central Saint Martins.  Along with the Royal Academy of Art, London College of Fashion has an impressive list of alumni, which include J.W. Anderson, Lucas Nascimento and James Long.  Their place at LFW is yet to be cemented of course but this stellar start saw a select edit of ten students showed that they were serious contenders either to start up on their own, go into the business or otherwise.  It really makes that first day of London Fashion Week in February, an exciting prospect with LCF kicking off the day and CSM finishing off the night, filling you with a head of names to watch out for in the future.  With such a tightly edited student show, you remembered each and every LCF MA grad and in all honesty, I could have picked out all of them.  For pure aesthetic pleasure though, here are three that have made their way into my suitcase, which has exploded in my Paris apartment and will hopefully make a visual imprint on a few people's brains.    

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Keiko Nishiyama 
- When Keiko Nishiyama's English gardens fully bloomed on the stage of the sun-filled Royal Opera House, her carefully placed prints were a no-brainer for me.  After studying BA fashion and performance in Tokyo, she moved over to London to complete her MA at LCF.  She never left behind her Japanese roots though as she married Japanese technical production and printing facilities with the picturesque traditional English garden.  Turning to landscaping and horticulture skills, she created that sense of spatial illusion on her garments in the same way a garden might be designed.  Flowers start off big and full at the bottom of a dress, jacket or skirt and grow small as they disappear at the vanishing point.  We've seen florals time and time again, but t's the hand drawn finesse of these prints that really makes this collection sing as well as Nishiyama's dedication to working with Japanese factories to get the printed textiles just so.  On the body, I feel like I'm blooming as I'm walking.  I may not be able to keep flowers or plants alive in my house but at least I can legitimately wear some and feel there's something naturalistic about all this flora and fauna creeping up and around a well-formed trench coat and a matching skirt and shirt.  

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Min Wu  – Fashion courses in London continues to see students from China on the rise and Min Wu, hailing from Suzhou, China, after her BA at the China Academy of Art in Shanghai knew LCF was the place for her.  Her collection smacked of technical precision, inspired by the multi-disciplinary artist Anthony McCall and his "Solid Light" series as well as the object "Schizo Vase", produced by Studio OOOMS.  So far, so lofty but Wu interpreted those inspiration points by pushing boundaries of pattern cutting so that fabric reinforced by strips of foam would bend and moulded into structures, supported by thin rods, creating both angular and curvaceous sculpture.  Eschewing digital print, Wu also painstakingly hand dyed her fabric to have colours of pale and deep blue and aubergine gradiate beautifully into a blanket of white.  Wu also got it spot on with her moulded plastic heeled laofers that sparkled like boiled sweets on the catwalk.  There's something scarily delicate about the structures built into Wu's garments but at the same time, they put those art references in a context that is ultimately wearable.   

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Nadia Scullion  - Unexpected fabrics.  Check.  Unexpected textures.  Check.  Nadia Scullion's collection is one that needs to be appreciated up close.  Using fabrics normally confined to interiors and furnishings and using moulded rubber as a motif running throughout the collection, she creates clothes with a quiet and yet interesting appeal.  The rubber panels on coats and dresses and separate collars are actually based on the broken basket weave bases of rattan chairs, something, which underscores the interiors-based theme of the collection.  Scullion's collection is probably the most rail-ready of the three with coats, knitwear, separates and even edged socks ready to get people to embrace a touch of rubber in their lives.  I'm going to enjoy wibbling/wobbling about with this subtle but effective use of texture.  

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Comments (32)

  1. SACRAMENTO says:

    How FANTASTIC of you to give a chance to those less known, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhh.
    Great choice, but my heart goes to Keiko Nishiyama’s English gardens.
    love and admiration, Susie
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  2. Lady Vintage says:

    I’m fan of Keiko Nishiyama!

  3. christina says:

    its great that you get to support young designers!
    at the end some of them will end to be the designers behind major brands as Balenciaga, Acne etc or even have their own brand!
    so its good for people getting to know them!
    Bisous from STYLE FEST

  4. Brigadeiro says:

    Oh my! Those florals by Keiko are stunning! The tailoring and attention to detail is beautiful. Min’s sculptural and textural pieces were incredible too, love the gradient colour!
    xx
    http://brigadeirochoc.blogspot.com

  5. Absolutely LOVE Keiko’s floral prints. Stunning!

  6. Kirbybee says:

    I always love the authenticity and ambitiousness of young designers. Constantly pushing and pulling and trying to find something new. And while that might be a little about getting attention from a sometimes very remote fashion community, it should still be applauded and appreciated. It’s always nice to see something different. Having said that, there are some very wearable pieces here.

  7. Sam Regatta says:

    Keiko make some stunning couture encompassing floral prints. Beautiful, stunning and triumphant love it.

  8. Lizzy says:

    Love it!
    Yours Lizzy
    lizzyebelingkoning.blogspot.com

  9. Lizzy says:

    Love it!
    Yours Lizzy
    lizzyebelingkoning.blogspot.com

  10. Regatta says:

    Beautiful Clothing stunningly created.

  11. Workwear says:

    Not sure about the shoes but the dress shaped and inspired by petals are beautiful.

  12. Nadia Scullion says:

    Thank you for the lovely write-up Susie!
    Nadia x
    http://www.nadiascullion.com

  13. Amazeballs.
    hermindbloggles.blogspot.com

  14. What beautiful pictures. I love it.
    Love, unicorns and glitter on you. <3
    Florian,
    http://www.like-enchanted.com

  15. Serdane says:

    So edgy pieces !
    http///www.younglington.wordpress.com
    http://www.thefashionmellow.tumblr.com

  16. Sugar Vendil says:

    I love working with fashion students! A lot of them are quite bold and daring because they don’t have to yet worry about selling. We’ve worked with Parsons students/alumni to pull from their thesis collections for our performances. The designers you’ve featured here are clearly talented. Wishing them the best of luck in the future!

  17. Those are some stunning garments! I am loving the floral pieces!
    A new post on Milan Fashion Week is up on Local & Opulent.
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/299/

  18. Those are some stunning garments! I am loving the floral pieces!
    A new post on Milan Fashion Week is up on Local & Opulent.
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/299/

  19. Those are some stunning garments! I am loving the floral pieces!
    A new post on Milan Fashion Week is up on Local & Opulent.
    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/299/

  20. Morenike says:

    Keiko Nishiyama : mind= Blown!

  21. Hi Susie, just a little correction – think you mean Royal College of Art and not the Royal Academy… x

  22. Love this!!! I really like how you’re wearing not well known designers. You go girl!
    xo
    Hillary @ http://www.thebrunetteshake.com
    Like me on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Brunette-Shake-by-Hillary-Gail-Stewart/

  23. Lynnsay says:

    This is awesome! It’s so cool to see fresh fashion being worn as well, normally you don’t get to see this kinda stuff until they’ve become a “famous” name!

  24. Elen Ellis says:

    Amazing pics!!! Absolutely stunning materials and themes!!!
    Come and take a look at my blog Elen and the City:
    elenellis.blogspot.com

  25. Zoey says:

    Impressing alumni indeed. Also, let’s not forget that Central St Martins and London College of Fashion are actually one and the same university (along with Chelsea College of Arts too) namely University of the Arts London. So with that alumni combined UAL must be the best fashion school, probably in he whole world.

  26. stylizacje says:

    stunning creations, like the models and photos!

  27. Emie says:

    Love this idea! All three designers have great designs but I especially love Min Wu’s collection. The detailing is amazing and something I haven’t seen before.

  28. BC says:

    It is fantastic that you’re supporting students’ work! <3 There is a graduate from LCF MA this year called Eva Wong, she wasn’t at the show (for whatever reason), but I think her collection is no worse than the others at the LFW. Please check her out!

  29. Thanks for your marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. http://www.ejaketkulit.com

  30. Yogawear says:

    Create your own style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others

  31. Love this!!! I really like how you’re wearing not well known designers. You go girl!

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