Posted Friday 18 September 2015
Kingston University's latest crop of MA Fashion students rekindled the buzz of London's famous 1980s fashion markets when they launched their new collections in the heart of Soho. Celebrating the heritage of iconic clothes emporiums such as Portobello and Kensington, the class of 2015 received a rapturous reception as they flaunted their wares to fashion experts and key industry figures on market-style stalls at the Vinyl Factory on the eve of London Fashion Week.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, collections by five of the young designers premiered on the catwalk. From floor length, suffragette-inspired silhouettes of Hope Hudson's ethereal womenswear to an explosion of colour created by Chi Wu's martial-arts-movie-themed menswear, the students took inspiration from far and wide for their latest work.
Su Jeong Paik developed her monochrome black and white collection after hearing her grandparents' stories of life during the Korean War. This set the 24 year old from Seoul in Korea on a journey back through her family history. Looking at old photographs, she became fascinated by the way people fleeing the conflict adapted their clothes to enable them to stash essential supplies and secrete personal treasures as they moved from place to place. To reflect this, Su's androgynous garments are covered in large pockets and hidden compartments. She has blended the shapes of traditional Korean garments with modern waterproof and windproof fabrics to create a catwalk collection celebrating the ingenuity and resilience of her grandparents and their peers.
Course director Andrew Ibi said the market-style event allowed the students to showcase their work to an eclectic mix of fashion luminaries. "The market represents a rich cultural experience and an environment unique to London fashion heritage," Mr Ibi said. "The show's market stall format allowed Kingston University's young designers to get closer to their potential customers, future employers, stylists, journalists and others interested in their work. It reinforced the way we teach Kingston University's MA Fashion students to think freely and broadly about the context of the subject and develop the confidence to articulate this with key figures within the industry."