After its great success in 2011, COLLEGE SHOP has returned to London this year at the end of October: A beautiful, proper retail space at Kingly Court off Carnaby Street is home to this years pop up shop initiated by the London College of Fashion. Selling unique pieces by the fashion school’s recent graduates, customers can purchase one-off items from womenswear, menswear, footwear, and accessories to fashion prints and illustrations. Supporting emerging designers is the mission of the fashion talent award “Designer for Tomorrow by Peek & Cloppenburg Duesseldorf”. Now, we offer you a peek into the pop up shop where you get the possibility to invest into tomorrow’s on-the-rise fashion leaders today. A big fan of emerging talent is an up-and-coming fashion designer herself: We met the 2012 DfT finalist, Laura Williams, in London where she exclusively showed us her favourite picks from the COLLEGE SHOP!
With her MA in Fashion Design Technology, Nam Young Kim focused on geometric pattern cutting, working it out with high-tech fabrics. Her signature style: bold silhouettes and interesting structures. Inspired by Josef Albers’ study of space, square, and movement, the womenswear designer transferred this concept into three dimensional works. Always experimental but nevertheless extremely wearable – a design mantra, Laura can relate to. This could be the reason why she immediately fell for Nam Young Kim’s sculptural, silver jacket. She did not hesitate to try it and indeed: It just looks great. And unexpectedly wearable!
“Freedom” and “Social Justice” – two key words with a powerful meaning thinking of the recent Arabic spring. Souhila Halima, a fashion jewellery graduate with British Egyptian roots sells her politically inspired collection at the COLLEGE SHOP. Golden jewellery pieces with integrated Arabic calligraphy function as fashion’s symbols of the revolution – an eye patch reading “The price of Freedom”, a bracelet reading “Free and be Free” and a mouth piece in the symbolic form of the Twitter bird reading “Against every unjust”. Laura’s pick: a mask with an equally clear massage. Using the Guy Fawkes mask, which has been seen as a common brand in protests against tyranny, as the design basis, the calligraphy integrated in the mask reads: “Freedom” and “Social Justice”.
“My concept for the collection are monsters.” What do we think about monsters? Are they just fantasy in films and books? Or do they embody the existence of the unnatural and weird? To Moran Yi, monsters reflect our society – monsters are our alter egos. Laura loved the dress pairing soft towelling and rich embroidery. Just like the DfT finalist, Moran Yi focuses on textiles – combining natural fabrics with recycled materials – and bright colour palettes in her work. For the collection selling at the pop up shop, the Fashion Design Technology graduate specialized in sustainability using abandoned materials like old plastic bags that she transferred into knit pieces.
This necklace definitely left the store on Saturday! It is part of Ashleigh Downer’s graduate collection “Crystallization”. Laura Williams loves the eye-catching necklace. The collection is inspired by organic growth and mutations as well as the idea of a dystopian future and its translation into forms. All in all: a mixture of beauty and disaster. Unconventional materials such as silicone and salt crystals – as used in Laura’s necklace – add that extra bit of depth to the items. And looking at the DfT finalist: The outcome is amazing!
Not only Laura Williams’ personal favourites of the COLLEGE SHOP are worth a travel to London. There is a lot more to explore at the shop. Clothes, shoes, accessories, magazines, illustrations – everything handmade by emerging talents. And would Laura consider selling the collection she presented at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin as well? “No, I thought about it once, but by know, the collection has become a part of me.” Unfortunately, to buy a design by Laura Williams is not possible – for the moment at least. In the meantime: shop the graduates of London College of Fashion!
COLLEGE SHOP is located on G5, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1 London.