Alexandra Afanasyeva’s graduate men’s jewellery collection is dedicated to polar expeditions. Conceptually the collection evokes the spirit of exploration which is closely linked to such notions as identity and rite of passage.

Climbing gear, survival equipment and various tools including ones from Inuit tribes and those dating back to the Ice Age are the main basis for the collection.

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Alice Callum’s graduate collection, ‘BLOSSOM AFTER MIDNIGHT’, explores the concept of how the body can become an artistic medium through the essence of performance both on stage and in the street. For years the body has been used as a medium to translate the essence of art through performance. Focusing primarily on 20th century performance, she explored a variety of performances from the Ballet Russes and the works of Leon Bakst to Marchesa Casati to late 20th Century performers such as Leigh Bowery, Bowie, Lindsay Kemp and the rise of club and drag cultures.

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Alice’s collection was inspired by historical sportswear silhouettes from her dad’s personal Olympic magazine collection. From these she established large billowing shapes in contrast to tight restrictive bodies, this became the foundation silhouette throughout each of her designs.

Alice enhanced this silhouette through 3D development, using personal swimsuits ranging from different periods in her competitive swimming background.

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Focusing on the body and movement, particularly within dance was a major influence when it came to Alvin Lam’s first collection. By looking into the history of dance and seeing how it has progressed through the ages allowed him to understand how the art is connected to romance and sensuality.

After interviewing dancers Alvin learnt how important the waist and the legs are, predominantly within ballet. Focusing on the muscles in these two areas allowed him to create designs that enhance the beauty of these.

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Merging fashion and illustration, Amy’s collection tells a narrative through surface pattern elements that can be interpreted and told in multiple different ways dependent on the interpreter. Responding to this by using a personal illustrative style to create stories within the garments based upon a primary research project creating a narrative based upon views of beauty; questioning what beauty can be defined as and how stereo types can effect perceptions in society, challenging and encouraging difference.

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Anne Marie K’s collection revolves around a journey down the Nile taken by a woman in the 1940’s. As she travels through an almost ”Timeless” Egypt. Each statement piece tells a story. The colours used in the garments are derived from the scenery in Egypt; a lot of blues, greens, and beiges and mustardy oranges.

The materials used encompass Egyptian ”dying art”, including Tulle bel Telli, Tent-making, glass-blowing, Sadaf Jewelry boxes technique, fishing nets, and more. Anne Marie K chose to use these particular methods to help the women’s position in the Egyptian society and break extremist social norms.

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Having spent her time in the halls of London’s elite fashion schools and surrounding herself with industry peers, Annie began to notice a stark similarity. Black has circulated saliently, a modest staple in wardrobes and central piece to many designers’ collections. She poses the question, how many black items do you have in your wardrobe?

Her research then started off with two simple queries: What is black? Why do people love wearing black?

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The eye often plays tricks on us. We usually see what we want to see – our brains way of filtering out all the tiny nuances that would otherwise be too overwhelming. Anson Lau, a Textile Design graduate from Central Saint Martins focuses on these preconceptions and more often than not misconceptions. Taking some wise words from the wise philosopher Aristotle to heart, “our senses can be trusted but they can be easily fooled”, her collection focuses on the disparity between what we see and what actually is.

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Colour and labour intensive textile techniques are the key aspects of Bethan's creations, as well as personal and meaningful narratives. She designs for a woman who is feminine, fearless and with a sense of humour.

Drawing on her interests in retro aesthetics and interiors, Bethan’s final collection, “NUKE KID ON THE BLOCK”, began with a hunt to find 1970s bathrooms full of vibrant colour and intricate textures. Her own Grandma’s bubble-gum pink en-suite proved one of the most intriguing, with it’s floral tiles and bulb shaped taps, that later went on to inform silhouette and print.

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The utilitarian function of clothing is to house the human body, a body that is always in constant motion. Bo Yang Jiang's collection is an interpretation of this relationship. She dissects the prime functions of what clothing does, on one hand it satisfies the practical demands and on the other, its a manifestation of character.

For her MA Fashion graduate collection at Kingston University, BoYang turned to contemporary dance for inspiration. She looked into female contemporary dancers and choreographers such as Silvia Gribaudi, who is know for her work in body politics through dance. Through this research, BoYang was able to inspect the different elements of dance to identify the correlation between expression and movement. She then transformed these movements into her garment patterns.

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Although Caroline Perino’s collection is clearly inspired by art and painting, firstly it found inspiration in the kinetic sculpture field and the movement of machines. The process started by researching pictures that brought inspiration to the designer, and by doing so she realised most of the pictures were sculptures with complex forms or paintings with many elements and objects spread on the canvas. Some of her inspirations included art work made by Alexander Calder, Miró, Picasso and Kandinsky.

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Chaerin Lee fuses the silhouettes of 1980's sportswear, the expressionism of renowned artist Jackson Pollock and the vibrant colours of Leigh Bowery's make-up and costumes. With these inspirations at the forefront of Chaerin's mind, she set out to create a collection that could have a positive impact on human emotion using Colour Theory.

Knowing that people in busy modern societies often suffer from fatigue, Chaerin Lee developed energetic prints and patterns inspired by the expressive movement seen in the work of American artist Jackson Pollock. She tested these colourful yet subtle prints on different fabrics, familiarising herself with the nuances in the results.

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Charlotte Emma Thompson’s collection portrays a feminine, dreamy atmospheric portfolio that shows the story of her collection, the individual inspiration and design process for each piece.

The concept of her graduate jewellery collection ‘Babygirl’ is a celebration of the strength in sisterhood. In a current world of strong male politics culture her project embodies femininity and girlhood with strength. The main inspiration/concept came purely from icons such as Chloe Sevigny, Tavi Gevinson and Solange. Along with Sofia Coppola’s film: The Virgin Suicides and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s film: Mustang.

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Christina’s research topic is concerned with sexual dependency and interdependency between individuals. Many people in big cities like London have the desire to be independent, but at the same time a craving for the intensity that comes from interdependency. The tension this creates seems to be a universal problem. (Nan Goldin)

In order to get visual inspiration she collaborated with Jelly Luise, another CSM student to create a mood film that would support her final collection in terms of colour, shape and structure. Christina provided image-heavy research that was rooted in Nan Goldin’s ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, Schiele drawings and many others.

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Claire Tagg uses detailed print work in an illustrative style based on narrative to design her pieces. Her inspiration derives from travel and photography but mainly from her previous occupation as an air stewardess.

Claire created remarkable illustrations by drawing in a mixed media style in different scales to create motifs. She would then use Photoshop to allow her to digitally print onto her garments through a mixture of digital and screen printing.

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Constanca Entrudo’s graduate collection is inspired by the whole idea of performance, circus and transgression. By embracing chaos during the creative process she aimed to generate fabrics that would challenge the usual processes of print making through the use of techniques such as dyeing, bondawebbing, melting different materials, pleating, folding and embossing.

In the first phase of her research she started by looking at Circus archives, London based performers and visited various vintage costume shops, such as Prangsta Costumiers, all over the UK in order to learn more about the materials and fittings that have been used in theatres and burlesque performances.

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Desree Akorahson conducted her primary research by visiting Kew Gardens and drawing and collection information about the rarity of the flowers. She wanted to create a hand rendered, botanical look about her prints, which is why she chose to draw her prints by hand using fine liners and using Photoshop to add in the colours. By using this technique, she was able to enhance the brightness in all of the colours chosen.

Desree was inspired by artists such as Bridget Riley and William Morris when it came to creating her prints. She combined these two styles and added in some influences from 60s fashion.

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Eden Keshia’s graduate collection is inspired by the curiously beautiful artworks created during early infancy. The erratic brush-strokes and experimental nature of the paintings and scribbles prove to be an interesting starting point for colourful prints and hand-painted designs.

Always adorned with hand-rendered intricacies, designs feature hand-painted details, bespoke embroidery and tactile embellishments, intended to appeal to all senses. The ethos of this collection embraces the concept of a slower-paced fashion; the design process focuses on creating high-quality wearable art pieces which can be kept and treasured.

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Emily began designing womenswear because, as a young girl, the idea of designing for men simply never occurred to her. It wasn't until her second year at Kingston University that a tutor assumed her clothes were for men, when all of a sudden the penny dropped. Ever since she has been obsessed with Mens clothing, from tailoring and formalwear to sportswear and RTW.

When studying abroad in Asia Emily became extremely aware of the stark differences between male friendships in the East compared to that of the West, and began to question the social construct of masculinity.

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Many words have been penned about the differences between the East and the West. The list is rather extensive, subcategories under umbrella categories. Emily He, a graduate from London College of Fashion BA Jewellery program, can speak extensively about this subject - a subject that inspired her graduate collection.

Having spent an equal amount of time in both Hong Kong and the UK, Emily’s voice on culture difference, habits and behaviours comes from experience.

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Islanders is a project that celebrates the lives of the people in the Philippines -Ericka’s place of birth. She wanted to portray the happy and colourful lives of the people that inhabit the Islands. She was particularly fascinated by the mode of transport that is widely used in the country - The Jeepneys. They are known for their crowded seating and decorations which have become a symbol of the Philippine culture and Art.

As someone who did not grow up in the Philippines, her view of the country is different to those that have lived their whole lives there. To the Islanders, the jeepney is a vehicle to get to work, school and home. To Ericka, it is a special reminder of the diverse culture that she is a part of.

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The use of print throughout Frankie Dean’s collection is based on the Siamese fighting fish. Their territorial behaviour provided a parallel to how people assert their possession of space exterior to themselves and circle around each other in the same way as the Siamese fighting fish do when they are about to attack. Each drawing is layered with both straight and tape lines that expresses an externalisation of presence in space.

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Georgina’s graduate collection was inspired by Yayoi Kusama, a Japanese artist and writer. She would look through her arts pieces, painting and sculptures to help her to develop her own work. Finding out Yayoi suffered from obsessive-compulsive neurosis and hallucinations played a big part in how Georgina was influenced by the artist. She found both her work and her story mesmerising and fascinating.

Following on from this, Georgina discover a sculptor from South Korea called Choi Xoo Ang who is mainly known for his unearthly but highly intricate human figures. Distorted, haunted and definitely not one for the squeamish, Choi’s work reveals his deep concern for the human condition in society.

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1960s China witnessed the rise of the cultural revolution, a political movement that was reflected strongly in the fashion of its time. With the importance of these newfound sociopolitical ideals, utilitarian and unisex fashion was rife – the idea was to place emphasis on collectivism. Clothing throughout the masses were very similar, a sea of dark blue or green tunic suits paired with white shirts.

The idea of the collective through clothing in contrast with later eras of fashion that emphasised individualism sparked an interest in Womenswear Design graduate Haipu Zeng.

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Having always been inspired by ancient stories within Chinese history, Han used this passion and tailored it to fashion. By bringing the past into the present she was able to embody both Chinese heritage and craft innovation, which allowed her garments to transform and seamlessly blend ancient culture into the now.

For her final collection, Han Zhu used traditional embroidery fabric and waterproof materials mixed with leather. Han believed she had a responsibility to her Chinese heritage. She did not want to see traditional elements disappear, which is why she chose to develop them in a more modern way.

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In a time where gender neutrality takes precedence, how has the conventional notions of menswear changed? James Reeves poses this question and through his designs, tackles some of these complexities.

Historically speaking, men’s dress was simply put, very straightforward – military uniforms, suit variations and white-collar attire. These styles were often crafted in traditional prints such as herringbone and houndstooth. These stiff dress regulations formed the foundation of James' garments.

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Jin Lee’s collection is themed around a combination of coexistence and conflict condition within feminism. Inspired by Colette, a New York feminist artist in the 70s, Jin’s designs would follow a similar aesthetic, in which both were affected by a maximalist environment and contrasts between soft materials and outdoor chaos.

Being a woman in the 21st century is very different from what it was like thirty years ago. Nowadays, women are told to be independent, strong creatures and not just soft and nurturing. Jin’s graduate collection combines the two emotions, both delicate and vigorous.

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Jisu’s graduate collection was strongly inspired by the city she grew up in South Korea due to its many contrasting contradictions. Her hometown was both nature friendly and scientifically developed. Jisu picked up on these two juxtapositions and learnt how they coexist in one city. Combining both science and art from her hometown, Jisu used this to develop a flexible way of thinking when it came to her work.

Her influences continued to grow through how she began to express her thoughts and emotions through her surroundings and experiences in daily life. She turned her negative experience with depression into something positive by using it to inspire her graduate collection.

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Jiyeon Lee’s graduate collection inspiration came from washing machines. One button is pressed and everything is spinning and all twisted together. She felt that her identity was also tangled up within that. Following the wash, the clothes are hung out to dry, which is where her thoughts also straighten out.

This influence came about when Lee was in Tokyo, she saw an old woman carrying a laundry basket whose floral print outfit she fell in love with. She watched as the woman stopped to put her garments onto her drying rack.

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Joohye Emma Park’s manifesto talks about emancipation of women’s bodies that is especially based on feminism. However, it led her to question herself, ‘Am I truly a feminist or just someone who is following the trend?’

Today, feminism is regarded as an important issue at every corner of society. ‘The third wave of feminism is now, and it is intersectional.’ (Land, 2013) It contributed on her thinking about the authenticity, generating a question: why have I become a feminist. She thought back of her old school days to question whether she was an angry rebellious teenager.

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Juliane used organic lines that part and come together, to represent celebrating the beauty of migration. This then led her towards a unique design approach which applies to both her fabric manipulations and creative cutting.

Despite the very topical and current nature of the concept, Juliane applied strict design rules to allow her to create timeless signature shapes and fabrics. The coherence between her fabric innovations and creative cuts creates a seamlessly recognisable signature style.

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Kelly’s work is informed by the experimentation and development of a variety of textural forms including knitwear; sculpted into wearable garments. Alongside these more experimental processes she uses Lectra pattern cutting software to complement and enhance the design process, in order to achieve a carefully considered shape.

Kelly was inspired by her surroundings in the summer of 2016 spent in a rural part of Connecticut. This land previously owned by native American tribes 100 years ago, is now used to continue the teaching of traditional dances to keep skills alive for generations to come.

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Laura’s graduate collection is about the journey of a mysterious woman living in a far away world. This collection is inspired by two very different yet both highly detailed types of clothing. On one hand, it was influenced by the 1870s Victorian fashion which is well shown in the handcrafted detailed elements.

On the other hand, there is the modernity and cleanness of space suits and science fiction, which has led to a dramatic but realistic fashion story.

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Maddie’s graduate collection was heavily inspired by the Wilder Mann documentary by Charles Freger. It is about how the transformation of man to beast is a central aspect of traditional pagan rituals that are centuries old, which celebrate the seasonal cycle, fertility, life and death.

Each year throughout Europe, from Scotland to Bulgaria, from Finland to Italy, from Portugal to Greece, Switzerland and Germany, people literally put themselves into the skin of the ‘savage’, in a masquerades that stretch back centuries.

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Maria Ivanescu Cotuna’s designs are filled with stereotypical cultural meanings. Each piece is created using dissimilar materials and colours, allowing her to explore enigmatic analogies while designing. She aims to both subdue and regulate desire. The cunningness of the collection is unpredictable and adverse.

Mischief is represented by the tongue, that twirls invitingly, the gesture is sarcastically provocative. The cross stands for pure appropriation yet the association with the tongue defiles the propriety and the sanctity of the religious symbol.

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Megan wanted to present the idea of reflection, layers and silhouette through her collection.Through her design process she would refer back to her concept and colour boards to gain inspiration on how the layering of the images could develop into garments.

The silhouettes are inspired by the transparent flower photographs and how gentle yet impactful they were. The layering of the images inspired Megan to create the pleating throughout her collection, she wanted to use a range of pleating techniques to create depth and detail.

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Inspired by a combination of both manmade and natural settings, such as buildings in the rain, Meiqi’s designs are unique and everything in life can be considered as an inspiration.

Strong characteristics and skilful techniques come together to create an artistic aesthetic, in which the quality and shaping of the metal she uses as a material is a priority in her collections. As well as considering the movement, tiny details are also important when it comes to the qualities of the stainless steel and laser-welder used to combine steel and metal together beautifully.

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For many Third Culture Kids, the curiosity of one's ancestral heritage is a growing enigma. Embracing her Third Culture Kid status, Melanie Yau, a British-born Chinese fashion design graduate from the University of South Wales, had always been genuinely interested in her roots – places she visited as a child had an instantaneous familiarity yet at the same time sowed feelings of displacement. To get in touch with her family history, Melanie started watching Chinese period dramas from an early age.

Fashion and history had always shared a mutually beneficial kinship, where looking back helped fashion move forward. For Melanie’s first collection, this kinship was the core of her inspiration, “ The over exaggeration of Chinese period costumes mesmerised me. Traditional wear only ever went out of fashion due to the inconvenience of the clothes, and I wanted to reinvent that”.

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Meng takes inspiration from Chinese calligraphy, architectural forms and curves and gestures of the human body. Curves constantly change and form unexpected lines; this tells you a lot about the wearer’s personality. The energy within movement shares the same philosophy and logic as Chinese calligraphy.

Meng connects intangible movement to tangible volume with every stroke. She combines modern elements of architecture shapes to further enhance her designs.

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The collection 'Two Spirits' has been strongly influenced by the topic of gender.The main inspiration has risen from transgender Native American and XIX century cross-dressing women that strongly questioned gender norms in that age and had major impact redefining gender perspectives.

Inspiration came from various periods and cultural backgrounds such as American Natives, Two Spirit is a culturally distinct gender that describes Indigenous North Americans who fulfil one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans. Also late 80's transgender life experiences facing social acceptance within LGBT community had an impact upon Monika's collection.

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Ningyao Zhang combines traditional Chinese culture with modern fashion design to create her pieces. Having a strong interest in historic Chinese painting and calligraphy helped her create her graduate collection.

Before coming to London to study, Zhang was very interested in Chinese culture but found that it could be quite limited when it came to evolving her personal style and developing an understanding of fashion. However, when she started her overseas university life this all started to change.

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Odella Yue is originally from China, growing up in China and England was an interesting experience, she enjoyed her exploration in the two very different cultures, both of which have influenced her design style greatly.

Odella appreciates Chinese traditional culture as well as modern digital culture; her work is often inspired by her Chinese heritage and transformed into fashion designs with a modern digital twist. Growing up as a child, she was always the nerdy one and used comic books and games to dream and escape to a world of unfettered imagination.

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Olivia used her abstract photography as the key development when it came to designing her collection. By capturing the uncontrollable reactions triggered during physical and chemical changes she aimed to use her photography to spark a vivid colour palette, pairing pops of citrus tones with translucencies.

Initially inspired by David Mcleod’s 3D digital illustrations that represent movement and fluidity. The synthetic surfaces in Mcleod’s abstract compositions used in the IBM Outthink campaign illustrate the transition between different states of matter such as liquids, solids and gases. The idea of distortion emerges as surfaces combine creating an entrancing visual experience.

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Throughout the years it has become noticeable that culture tends to have an influence on the way individuals experience and perceive life. Paloma has always had a profound admiration for Peru, its culture and its people.

Being bought up in Lima, the capital of Peru, developed her interest and admiration of their architecture and textile manipulation. Their colourful layered houses and diverse historical locations such as Macchu Picchu and Chan Chan provide meaningful illustrations of ancient art.

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Inspired by the way insects are constantly renovating and breaking their own inherent patterns in order to become brand new, vivacious and beautiful beings, Peng Yu focused on breaking original lifestyles when it came to creating his collection.

Moving on from this, Peng Yu began observing himself and how he immerses himself into the world, and more importantly, into a chaotic society. Through this he learnt who he wanted to be and how to achieve that goal.

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Drawing on her initial theme of magic, she expanded to a more abstract approach as her work progressed. Focusing on elements such as transformation, distortion of reality and secret knowledge allowed her to express her research in a more individual way. Graduations in colour, obscured patterns and glitches all contribute to the illusive mood of her designs.

The concept behind her final outcomes were that they were talismanic fabrics, with specific protective elements woven into their design. It was important for her to capture the sense of mystery from her research while creating a collection that was still sophisticated and new.

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Classic beauty is no longer adored, imperfections and the bravery to show them are treated as a symbol of uniqueness and of a well-defined personality. The media portrays ideals telling us who, what and how we should be. Pravjot wanted to explore imperfection in our daily lives focusing on textures, colour and silhouettes. She turned this negative view and embraced it into something of beauty.

During the research stage of the concept, she had looked at model Winne Harlow, who has Vitiligo which is a skin pigmentation caused by lack of melanin pigment in the skin. The designer was enticed by Winnie Harlow’s beauty and how she embraced herself in society. Winne is now one of the most recognised faces on the international fashion scene and a vocal advocate of body confidence.

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Qi Wu found inspiration for her collection through quirky, chunky objects from all over the world and was captivated by Kintsugi, an ancient craft skill. On her travels, Qi would buy different items in a variety of countries and would use them to decorate her living spaces. She then decided that if these items can be used to decorate her house then why shouldn’t she use them to decorate herself and give them multiple purposes.

Qi Wu didn’t like the idea of old things becoming abandoned. The potential and fascinating aspects of certain items can be discarded so easily in the rapidly developing modern society that we live in.

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Rebecca set the mood by incorporating her own experience and stories as part of an initial concept, such as foreign travel, for example the concept for her collection was inspired by a visit to the ‘Kunglia Slotten’ or Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. The overly ornate and magnificent state rooms of the palace oozed luxe and excess; colour coordinated interiors in regal reds and greens and hanging with tapestries were edged in an overabundance of gold.

Her design process alway starts at the knitting machine; swatching inspired by research further into the mood set. She then bring swatches to a stand or photograph for collage and sketching.

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Stereotypical references have labelled the women of society with what is expected of a female. Rhiannon used this as her main tool for inspiration. The equality of the sexes and how gender ideals have been developed link feminine qualities such as body image and beauty to a feminine role.

Rhiannon wanted to use fashion to change this strongly controversial view within society and refigure the image of the feminine gender ideal. This would not only be determined on the history and culture but also the activities of new fashion trends. These show how feminism has evolved from the history of women’s rights to the influences of the male form and sportswear.

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The collection explores the relationship with the clothes we wear and the sense of protection they give us. This originated from questioning the role clothing plays in everyday life. In the most basic sense, clothing protects us from the elements and keeps us warm and safe. But it also holds a strong emotional attachment.

Ruth plays with mixing functional clothing and objects such as sportswear and tents and the traditional art of knitting.

By taking inspiration from tents, sportswear and a beloved knitted jumper, the collection is designed to question our practical needs and explore the emotional attachment we have with our clothing.

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Jewellery is an object that carries more than just an intrinsic significance, for it is not merely an ornament but also a medium for expressing one’s individuality.

In this project, Sara chose to use gallium and bismuth because she believes these two metallic materials possess symbolic attributes that can be employed to reflect the emotional state of the wearer. This is inspired by her obsession with heat, exploring the possibility of using temperature to assess one's emotional state.

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The main theme of Sarah’s collection was revisiting her 13-year-old self, trying to be an Emo Goth Kid and rebelling from her Eastern European Jewish heritage. What sparked the idea for this concept was when she visited Israel, and learnt to appreciate her Jewish identity not through religion, but through the arts and culture.

It wasn’t just the late 90’s trend of visible underwear that inspired Sarah, but also the layering of sports bras under vests than many young women wear today, as they fit workouts with their busy lives.

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Shamima’s collection ‘Conflicted Heritage’ focuses on the inner struggles that exist within all of us in various aspects of our lives, which shape us to be the individuals we are. This particular project explores her own conflicting thoughts and emotions that arise out of a need to construct an identity that considers all of the flavours of her different cultures.

Shamima is a British-born, Bangladeshi Muslim and very often the values of these different identities can clash with one another, meaning mixing together the aspects of each culture is perceived as a paradox.

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Steve Jin's capsule collection titled ‘Between Solidity and Fluidity’ is a work of self-reflection. In order to discover the persona behind the pieces, one needs only to look at the pieces themselves. Steve likes to describe himself as a clean person.

He likes to be tidy and organised yet he revels in small explosions of intricate details, a fine juxtaposition of structure and chaos. By adding an effeminate touch such as flower embroidery acting as decorative accents on a palette of periwinkle blues and blush pink, the collection alluded to the 70s era; and the whole of it, a coming together of the ‘free-spirit’ and the ‘neat freak’.

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Thomas Cox looked into how and why stereotypical homosexual men appear to be less intimidating and less of a physical threat to society but to the church and religion are considered a physical threat.

Historically and still in some cases today the church do not accept people who are different and do not fit into their tightly restrained world that is governed by rules and commandments. These men are therefore trapped by the vision society has of them in the cage they are forced into by the church.

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Wen Yue Zhang’s graduate collection drew inspiration from the cult favourite Chinese movie Farewell My Concubine (1993), which upon its release had a lasting impact on young people of Wen Yue’s generation. The film is a harrowing narrative on history, politics, romance and drama that centers around two boys who grew up as apprentices to an opera school set in the mid-1920s. It follows them on their journey of rigorous training to master the art form of the Peking Opera.

In the film, the line “yet I am by nature a boy, not a girl”, is recited over and over again which points to the age old tradition of men performing female roles on stage, namely one that is a ‘female of the coquettish type’. Sparking Wen Yue’s interest, this particular aspect of traditional Peking opera expanded into what became her motif.

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