Posted Tuesday 7 November 2017
A Kingston University fashion graduate has combined influence from art and science to create a bold and colourful collection that added a touch of sparkle to the catwalk at the MA Fashion show.
Designer Caroline Perino's contemporary womenswear range, shimmering with Swarovski crystals, wowed crowds at the Design Museum in London, which hosted the event to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the University's MA Fashion course.
Brazilian-born Caroline's collection, A Perfectly Aligned Confusion, combines bold shapes with 3D elements such as beads, foam pieces, ceramics and – thanks to sponsorship by Swarovski – hundreds of tiny, sparkling jewels.
The designer paired shapes and curves with stunning Swarovski crystals. Caroline's love of science and analytical thinking is clear in her latest work, in which she mixes straight lines, sculptural shapes and curves. "The shapes and forms are combined so well that they fit together like a puzzle," she said. "I love to trial and test my work – I did thirty experiments with different fabric and fillings before I decided on my final designs."
This passion for science meant the 25 year-old originally appeared destined to become a doctor following in the footsteps of both her parents, but instead she chose to pursue her creative side and indulge her love of drawing. "I almost went to medical school," she said, "I have two sides; artistic and creative, but scientific too. I decided on fashion because I felt I'd be happier – I've loved drawing since I was three years old, it's a big part of me."
Caroline also takes inspiration from photography, architecture and street style, and then begins to draw by hand as she has done since childhood. She cites Hussein Chalayan as one of her favourite fashion designers. "I love his use of technology," she said. "He usually makes a statement on society, which I find inspiring."
While the bright colours and bold shapes of Caroline's collection might imply an influence from her native Brazil, she explained this is only a subconscious effect – her real motivation is to make people feel happy. "I use colour and impactful shapes so that people feel joy when they see my work," she said. "I think my style is made for the confident woman. The separate elements of the design could be seen as messy and confusing, but together they make sense."
The Design Museum in Kensington is a brand new space which stood as a grand and modern setting for the show. The multi-level catwalk allowed the 10 Kingston University designers to fully showcase their work. "It felt great to be part of it," said Caroline. "It's my first time doing a fashion show outside of Brazil, and I felt that the stunning backdrop of the Design Museum really complemented my collection."
Fashion commentator Hilary Alexander OBE, a Trustee of Graduate Fashion Week, attended the show and said she was thrilled to have seen the students' collections on display at the museum. "The quality of the work, the workmanship, the handcraft was sensational," She said. "There were 10 students showing their collections but they each had such depth it seemed like a lot more and I particularly enjoyed Caroline's work. My advice to the graduates is to be absolutely determined, be passionate and grab every opportunity that comes your way."
Kingston University's MA Fashion course leader Richard Sorger was also full of praise for the Brazilian designer's work. "Caroline's MA graduate collection displays a masterly use of colour, proportion and line," he said. "The simplicity of her sculptural silhouettes is underpinned by an expert craftsmanship that few designers can hope to achieve."
Caroline's ultimate goal is to open her own label in London. She moved to England last year and identifies her love for the country, and for speaking English as the impetus for the move. "London is one of the fashion capitals so it's important for me to be here," she said. "And I chose Kingston University because it is one of the best. I've had outstanding support from my tutors, and the opportunities available to me have really helped my career."