Published on May 16, 2013 | by Bronwyn McKay0
LCF Student Talks FashionWITH summer fast approaching and deadlines drawing to a close, it’s no doubt that May is a month not short of mayhem for UAL students. Although hectic for students in all courses, particularly under pressure are those London College Fashion students working long hours in order to ensure every stitch of their spring/summer collection is nipped and tucked to perfection.
An exciting time for outfit changing, summer brings numerous combinations and bright updates in the world of clothes. Scarves and hats are swapped for shades and beachwear, and don’t forget those pedicures; it’s time for strappy sandals! As it does with every season, fashion transforms with summer, pushing the boundaries for young men and women to live up to the ‘what’s hot, what’s not’ fashion law.
Arts London Now talks to LCF student Oksana Anilionyte, who recognises that fashion is a huge part of society, and the pressure this can cause.
Graduating this summer, with a degree in Fashion Design Technology specialising in Womenswear, Anilionyte gives us the low down on fashion around London, its significance and the strenuous tasks that come with being a fashion student.
With the stress of graduation looming, Oksana has designed, styled and manufactured her collection for spring/summer. When asked about an average day studying at LCF she reveals that being a fashion student is a very full on task:
“Most of the days at LCF are spent from morning to night in our studios either sewing or designing. There are a lot of sleepless nights and of course there are moments when you just want to go home, but it’s worth it in the end when all the hard work pays off”.
Defining the essence of what takes an idea from a sketch into a final garment, Anilionyte enlightens: “I am inspired by what I see, even just walking down the street, if something catches my eye my imagination goes wild. You will always have an original idea, but various tutors are there to throw in suggestions, so it’s a mix of opinions and different ideas which produce the final look”.
The theme of her collection is heavily influenced by minimalism. When designing or styling the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect:
“I’ve been thinking for a long while now, what is the design I wish to represent? While you study you practice a lot of different designs and I realised I have a lot of love for minimalism. And what I love about it is that it can last all year round, and it’s not just for summer.”
This modern simplicity can be seen in her collection with the calm, cool colour tones such as nudes, pale pink and grey. The seam lines in the dresses are very relaxed, which works for a flattering hemline that flows and complements the figure.
Oksana tells us where she took the inspiration from for her collection: “I was really inspired by the work of the Italian filmmaker Michelangelo Antonioni. In his films L’Avventura, La Notte, and Eclipse, he focuses on how people are influenced by the modern world and their feelings.
In his one of his films he demonstrates how a woman’s colour pallet changes with her feelings, and I think the colours in my collection also demonstrate this.” Due to the famously unpredictable British weather the summer collection even includes a coat, while the remainder of the collection is mainly dresses.
Why is fashion so important?
Oksana believes it is more than just the clothes you wear, it’s what defines a person and society: “I think fashion is a big part of what makes society, there is a lot of pressure especially with the media for women today to look cool and modern. For me personally I prefer style. Fashion comes and goes but it is the stylish people who maintain that modernity, that unique look.”
It is no doubt that London is a buzzing climate for new trends and stylish students. Oksana tells us, “London is the best city to study fashion, for me it has so many opportunities, there are so many people to collaborate with and the city never stops.”
The budding fashion designer –who has previously interned for designers such as Giles Deacon and Alexander McQueen- compares London’s bold sense of style to the more relaxed and composed nature of the Parisian student. “I’ve been to Paris, the style there is so much different to London. In terms of new trends, London is quite vibrant and young, whereas in Paris, the trends are much more tamed and grown-up.”
When asked about what’s hot for this summer, Oksana illustrates the desire of young people in this era to stand out and to be different. She mentions that especially in fashion, there seems to be competition around London to see who can wear the weirdest ensemble, the craziest combination and the most unusual outfit:
“I think what’s big for summer fashion in London is festivals, you see a lot of people throwing crazy trends together, I find it very inspirational. I think it’s a lot about who can wear the most unusual combination and stand out.”
To get an insight into her summer collection visit her website: http://showtime.arts.ac.uk/OksanaAnilionyte