About Dagmara Reczka

Polish born and bred (and proud of it!) but a Londoner at heart, I am currently studying at London College of Fashion's Journalism course, writing for .cent magazine and spending my free time discovering what the city has to offer. Apart from the obvious (yes it starts with an F and ends with and N) I am interested in everything new and exciting that surrounds me. Specialising in broadcast journalism, filming or photographing something always seems like a good idea to me. My life goal it to own a pug and travel the world with it.

Brogan Toyn

Being an intern for one of London’s magazines last Spring, I sometimes had a chance to attend fashion shows and if I was lucky enough there was even an empty seat in a second row that needed to be filled for PR purposes allowing me to feel like a real fashion personality. One of the events I got an invite for was  London College of Fashion’s FdA & BA runaway show. Being LCF’s student myself I knew it was a not-to-be-missed opportunity and guess what? I got a front row seat!

Now, here is the thing about graduate shows – they are long. Comparing to your usual 15-minutes-then-go-home fashion week events, these are serious business. And sadly, in times of Twitter and Instagram our attention spans get shorter and shorter – even if you breathe fashion, staring at clothes for an hour and half on a really hot day will make you bored. So here I was, trying so hard to concentrate and look like I was not just an intern but a FASHION EDITOR while my mind slowly started taking me other places and then, all of the sudden, there it was – Brogan Toyn’s “Jamaican Me Crazy”, a  breath of fresh air that really grabs your attention.

“Jamaican Me Crazy” is the Brogan’s graduate collection for S/S 2013. Created as a response to frequent homophobic dancehall lyrics, it presents expressive streetwear for the modern man, not ashamed of who he is.  For the collection, Brogan worked with textile designer Zoe Sterling to create a real feast of colours, fabrics and shapes. In “Jamaican Me Crazy”, oversized holographic bomber jackets are worn with pastel, sequin trousers and neon crochet tops are must-haves.

Brogan is the fashion’s fresh blood – her collection does not only bring us playful and colourful clothes but also makes a statement and tries to start a discussion, provoke your thoughts. For me, that’s what you should do when you are a fresh graduate and the recognition Troyn has got after showing “Jamaican Me Crazy” to the world proves my point. Apart from the media coverage, recently she was awarded by i-D magazine as a part of their Diversity NOW! Contest.

To end her show, Brogan asked her models to dance like no one was watching, play with the convention and that is exactly what her designs do – entertain while being different, memorable and thought-provoking.

To find out more about Brogan and her designs, visit her portfolio page.

LCF: College Shop

Haven’t done your Christmas shopping yet and want to surprise your loved ones with something special? Or maybe want to reward yourself for your hard work this year with a pair of beautiful shoes? Are you always on a hunt for finding new, exciting, up-and-coming designers? Whatever your answer is, you will surely be happy to hear about the newest pop-up opening on London’s Carnaby Street on 11th December – London College of Fashion’s College Shop.

Being on my final year at LCF’s BA Fashion Journalism course, I have a really special bond with the university itself. Of course, there are times I hate it with a passion (closer to hand-in dates) but in general there is a lot of love and pride that I can rub shoulders with some of Britain’s next big things. That’s why, when hearing about the opening of the College Shop, I was nothing but excited to find out who the designers my school choose to feature in this year’s pop-up store were.

Ever dreamed of owning a pair of pumps with donuts on them? What about baby-pink coloured ones with chunky, yellow heel and bunnies’ faces on their backs? For the shoe lovers, there is Camilla Elphick and her brightly-coloured and bold designs. Even if that does not sound like something you would wear, just looking at Camilla’s designs can brighten up your day. Another of the featured designer is a BA Fashion Technology graduate, Valentina la Porta. Inspired by her childhood memories of being brought up in a traditionally religious, Italian family, Valentina uses colours reminding her of the Christian iconography, creating beautiful pieces with a modern edge. For all the boys out there, LCF decided to collaborate with Domingo Rodriguez. Being a recent sensation in the menswear world and showcasing at London Collections: Men, this MA Fashion Design and Technology graduate is definitely the one to look at.

Apart from the ones I mentioned, the university will stock a lot more of young designers’ creations so if you are in London between 11th-18th December definitely visit the College Shop and have a look! Remember, as a real pop-up it is opened for a week only.

 

For more information visit the College Shop’s Facebook page.

Eleanor Davies

For every Londoner, trying to do some shopping on Oxford Street sounds like planning to spend next couple hours of their lives in hell. However, this reckless decision may surprisingly change to an opportunity to get to know some of the brightest British creative talents and that’s what happened to me when I found myself staring at the Selfridges’ window in the middle of the really aggressive crowd of shoppers. Thanks to Eleanor Davies’ work, it was worth it and I made it, alive.

So, who is this artist named one of the Bright Young Things of 2013 by the iconic store and honoured with having her work displayed in the famous Oxford Street windows?

Eleanor is a sculptor artist who graduated with First Class Honours from Goldsmiths University of London’s BA Fine Art class. In her work, she likes to be experimental and playful with different materials, particularly thread of different colours and lengths. The outcome is breathtakingly beautiful – Eleanor’s creations are playful, visually engaging and original.

My favourite of hers is “Over 200 Beautiful Colours” – the artists’ graduation project in form of a giant pompom made of wool, newspaper and rope. The combination of colours and wool’s structure makes a strong and dramatic statement, truly provokes and inspires at the same time.

Eleanor’s recent work focuses on the role of the accessory and performance and fetishisation of objects.  Hopefully, thanks to being featured as the Bright Young Things, her work will get a bigger exposure and her name will become known not only to art lovers but also those who just glanced at the shop window and fell in love from the first sight.

 Eleanor’s website 

Charlotte Rutherford

A lot of words may come to your mind while looking at pictures taken by Charlotte Rutherford, 21-year-old photographer and retoucher from Norwich but, there is one that you just can’t use to describe them – boring. Her work is, always bold, colourful and intentionally kitschy drag you into the crazy world of Charlotte where everything is covered in glitter and more is more.

Charlotte’s photographs are playful in every sense; they flirt with convention, make use of pop-cultural references (Myspace era anyone? Oh, I bet you did have a glittery background on your profile!), reverse roles and find beautiful in plain ugly. Apart from them, the photographer sometimes becomes a filmmaker and creates short fashion films or band videos while still maintaining a consistent personal style.

In the times where most young photographers are expected to present a polished, good-looking version of the world, Charlotte hits us with an extreme. There is no place for beige, neither there is for imitation and trying to be someone you’re not.

Oh, and did I mention that she is the loveliest person to talk to? I’ve had an opportunity to ask her a couple of questions on her work by e-mail and can ensure you she is as fun as her projects!

Enough with my talking, let’s see what she has to say about her work:

So, Charlotte – how did it all start? Getting your first camera? Lusting after someone’s perfect selfies on Myspace? Boredom?

Ha, yep exactly! I wanted a cool dude Myspace picture so I took pics of myself in the bathroom and did a horrible selective colour on them! And I’ve just been doing the same exact thing on a larger scale really.

You have your own, bold style and a clear vision of what you want your work to look like. How long did it take you to find your artistic voice and somehow define yourself as a photographer?

It took a while to kind of “get” what I wanted to do, but I think I’m getting there now. I used to take photos and not like them at all then it all just clicked that there are no rules and it is only a photo so it’s fun to do just anything you like.

Are there any pictures or collaborations you are particularly proud of?

I just shot the Gogo Phillip collection with Soki Mak, she’s mega fab and it was super fun to shoot. I think that’s my lil fave project at the moment!

Do you think living in Britain affects your work? Inspires you?

I think it does! Even if it is trying to take photos which are escaping looking at Britain.

Apart from you, who do you think is the one worth watching?

Photographers – Dominic Clarke, Nadia Lee, Hanna DiAmond are all so fab.

What are your plans for the future?

I wanna learn spray painting (you know, like the horrible graphics of women on 80s fun fair rides) and work more on set design and make some lil films!

If you want to see more of Charlotte’s work (and I know you do!) head to her website.

Isa Afren

Out of four ‘fashion week cities’ (New York, London, Paris, Milan), London really is the place for emerging talents, fresh designs and the youthfulness. While it makes my job a lot easier sometimes (so many genius young designers to write about!), it is also extremely difficult to pick the collections that stand out the most.  This time however, it was a quick decision; as soon as I saw the designs of London-based womenswear brand Isa Afren I was sold. And in love.

Isa Afren is a brainchild of Serafina Sama – this Central Saint Martins graduate worked for such big names as Louis Vuitton, Chloe or Acne before deciding on coming back to London and setting up her own brand. Growing up in Ravenna, Italy, Serafina was surrounded by strong female figures and considers their individual and eccentric styles as a main source of inspiration for Isa Afren’s designs. Founded in late 2011, the brand mixes canons of Italian style with British quirkiness while focusing on beauty and wearability of garments. As Serafina says:

“To me fashion is about desire, beauty and fun. It’s not about dressing up in a costume. Isa Arfen is about a real woman dressing for her real life and really enjoying it.”

Being extremely easy to wear, Serafina’s designs are also innovative and eye-catching thanks to her great attention to colours and fabrics. If you don’t think bubblegum pink, emerald green and stiff satin may work together, you will be surprised by the outcome!  Having a touch of Chloe (where Searfina worked as a design assistant) aesthetics, Isa Afren collections are not boring while being classy and wearable.

In London, you can find Isa Afren in the Opening Ceremony Covent Garden store (35 King Street, WC2E 8JG). To find out more about Serafina and her brand, go to her website.

Kim Thome

How many times do you look at your reflection daily? The thirty-minute long standing-in-front-of-a-mirror session before going out just to finally convince yourself you have NOTHING TO WEAR, a quick glance at a shop window, to make sure your hair didn’t decide to start living its own life again, reflections seem to be something that just IS and you don’t need to question that, leave alone focusing on their meaning even for a minute. For some people though, mirrors and reflections are something more, a whole new mean of creative expression.  Meet Kim Thome, Norwegian designer, working and living in London.

Kim uses a reflective magic of mirrors to create a new, colourful world of patterns, shapes and colours that mesmerizes its viewer immediately. His artworks are not only interesting to look at; they question the established perception of reality, make the public think while not being pretentious or over the top. Simple and bold, they make a statement and present a coherent designer’s vision.

Apart from showing his installations in galleries (his recent exhibition, Work on Reflection II was held at William Benington Gallery), Kim is also a successful product designer. One of his furniture series, named Reflection Range, investigates the behaviour of reflection by using colours, shapes or mirrors.

To find out more about Kim and all of his latest projects, visit his website. All photographs by Kat Green.

Jessica Ng

Jessica Ng, a recent graduate from London College of Fashion’s BA Design Technology: Womenswear course, should be a one to watch for every keen fashionista wanting to keep hand on pulse of London’s fashion scene.

With her graduate collection “So Wrong It’s Right”, Jessica explores the concept of twisted innocence by combining familiarity of personal experiences with a touch of the forbidden. The outcome is a highly wearable and beautiful collection full of contrasts. The designer chose a candy-coloured pink Harris Tweed as the primary fabric used in the collection and confronted it with oversized masculine silhouettes and rough textures. Keeping a great attention for tailoring while not forgetting about the originality and individuality of finishing, Jessica created modern and interesting garments that make a bold fashion statement.

Jessica’s not scared of admitting that her collection was partly inspired by works of controversial artists such as Sally Mann or Irina Ionesco. Contrasting them with the designer’s own childhood memories and Egon Schiele’s paintings created the core of “So Wrong It’s Right” designs.

What I particularly like in Jessica’s clothes is that they are not one-dimensional. Many of young designers often make a mistake of either focusing on their message and forgetting about the clothes or wanting to make just a pretty dress that will look good on a model. “So Wrong It’s Right” does not only aim to create a discussion, juxtaposing corrupted and purity but also consists of beautifully-tailored, original designs with a strong sense of the designer’s individual style. They can be worn by a stylish lady in her 70s and a young, hip student from East London. Versatile clothing with a meaning – what else could you want from a recent graduate?

 Images: http://showtime.arts.ac.uk/