Article: Christopher George
Westminster MA Menswear show at LFWM features the first graduating cohort from the world’s only two-year postgraduate menswear course. Under the direction of Liliana Sanguino, these graduates have been taught by some of the most significant tutors in menswear education including Ike Rust, Matthew Miller, Simon Foxton, Charles Jeffrey, Ben Reardon, Liam Hodges, and Alex Mullins.
This years graduation students showcased an exciting range of ideas, with colour being used in dramatic and strong statements, exciting tailoring pushing the boundaries of gender identity and most excitingly, the process of renewable and recycled fabrics being used in production.
The way froward in design and production lies with the new breed of fashion designers emerging. And it's these students we should be looking at for inspiration.
Robyn Lynch's collection celebrates her Irish heritage and culture. The collection is a tribute to the community spirit and friendship that Ireland retain. Silhouettes capture a youthful attitude, drawing on memories of personal schooldays. Mixing technical sportswear fabrics with soft jersey and wool, the pieces are both striking and covetable. All fabrics and knit pieces are hand-dyed into the colours of the Irish flag.
Priya Ahluwalia's collection is inspired by the lifecycle of second-hand garments. First-hand research took Priya to both West Africa and to Panipat, India – the second-hand clothing recycling capital of the world. All fabrics for her collection have been created from patchworked second-hand clothes. Bold colours and varying textures feature throughout her exciting and multi-layered pieces. Knits contain second-hand yarn and feature intricate patterns and beaded panels. Beading was developed in India with the organisation Sewa Delhi who specialises in fair trade and positive employment for rural women.
An incredibly brave collection by a designer seeking to use renewable fabrics and ethical production. Not only are we excited by these prospects, but also on the design element, where the quality and consistence is of the highest standard.
The disintegration of beauty in contemporary society inspired James Bush’s beautifully considered menswear. Beginning with a series of paper sculptures James has developed a design technique which challenges the lines and volumes of traditional men's tailoring. The interplay between opposites; hard and soft, restraint and release, are referenced throughout the pieces. The soft drape of wool and silk contrasts with the sharp, linear silhouettes. Subtle hints of homoeroticism and a play on gender and sexuality are detected suporting a sophisticated while edgy and contemporary collection. Influences include Giorgio Armani’s tailoring and the sensuous draping found in Caravaggio’s dramatic art.
Christine Shangqian Xu
Shangqian Xu’s collection ‘World Wild Web’ is influenced by 90s techno musicians Jeff Mills and Richie Hawtin, while the styling references iconic magazine, The Face. Minimalism and contemporary art are strong references for this pared-back and elegant silhouettes for men, bringing a daring and dangerous attitude to mens design.
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Westminster MA Menswear