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Tanja Novak’s collection was inspired by the First Wave of Feminism. While researching the Suffragette’s she came across images of the first female boxers from the Victorian era. These images would form the basis of the collection concept. The female boxers are dressed in corseted cutoff dresses or ruffled and loose pieces, completely impractical for any form of sport. Tanja explored different forms of combat sports, and sportswear, both from a historical and contemporary angle.

The collection creates a bridge between historical Victorian and sports luxe infusion. Novak designs a wearable but alternative sportswear inspired line.

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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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Trang Hoang’s graduate collection ‘Colonialism’ started with an image of three Vietnamese female prisoners, entrapped by ladders over their heads. They were prisoners of the French, revolutionists under the French colonial rule in Vietnam during the late 19th - early 20th century. The ladder, which Trang envisioned as the symbol of the oppression of the Vietnamese under colonialism, became her main inspiration. She started to experiment with wooden structures to create ‘cages’ into clothes.

Her aim was to recreate the illusion of wooden ‘cages’ using wooden rods, which she either inserted into the garments with tubes or built a separated wooden structure to frame the garment away from the body.

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The initial inspiration behind Valia’s vision was the irregular beauty of the hammock, its construction, behaviour to movement and function. The interaction of movement with light and the human body are translated into dimensional installation pieces with playful colours and intriguing handcrafted details.

After vast experimentation with different materials and techniques, the final compositions consist of hand woven polyester yarns and other polyester materials which have been dyed with dye sublimation, while their core structure is the result of the wire that is woven together and incorporated as a backbone to the dimensional constructions.

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Vincent Lapp’s atheist vision of life settled the ground of his collection. The horror of Paris and Nice terrorist attacks always in his mind, he decided to dedicate his project to the development of political and social statement. His sister’s conversion to judaism triggered a deep interest in the conversion process and particularly in the religious symbols that have the power to attract individuals into faith. He fulfilled his focus by watching documentaries, movies, and especially the french movie Le Ciel Attendra which depicts how teenagers are lured to join jihadist movements through social media.

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To create her SS19 graduate collection, entitled “L’amor perduto”, Viola Menchini took inspiration from topics that affected her personal life when she moved to the city and started to be in the fashion field: loneliness and today’s idea of love and relationships.

Loneliness is a significant topic particularly among women due to the fast lifestyle and long working hours, women prioritise themselves and their careers instead of their personal lives and feelings, also neglecting the need of a partner / family.

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The concept of Winnie Yeung's final project is ‘Growing’. The initial inspiration comes from aerial photography of tulip fields in The Netherlands. Instead of using pen or acrylics to draw and paint, Winnie uses the knitting machine as her drawing tool, and the different kind of yarn as the medium.

Winnie loves experimenting with a range of knitting techniques and yarn combinations. Her first samples have become the visual and haptic inspiration for her next works. In addition, her research method is by observing the details of her samples and taking photographs to make further developments and improvements in the following iterations.

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During Xiao Qian's studies in BA Fashion Design at the University for the Creative Arts, she became fascinated with the knitting wear industry. As one of the important sectors in the manufacturing industry, it's constantly evolving with new materials, styles of knitting and machines being introduced. Enraptured by the different types of knitting machines, ideas came flooding to her.

These structures, large in their size and their power, can be fatal. At the same time, these specific machines, overwhelming as they are, are able to produce fine and delicate material.

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Xiaoqing Liu focused on the relationship between solid and liquid. The texture, structure and colours of the opposite materials reflect a variety of moods, which is what Liu based her collection on.

Liu was inspired by these diverse matters in the world as they exist in every aspect of our day to day lives. In order to understand what they demonstrate to each individual it was important to explore their materiality.

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Dubbed “Little Prince” (after the famed fable of childhood innocence suitable for all ages with its underlying philosophical treatise) there is no better name for Xiao Zhu’s first collection, which probes into the fragile friction between adulthood and childhood perception.

Through the view of both lenses, her designs take inspiration from kid’s drawings and childhood toys reinvented for adult appropriate dress. Bright, vivid colours were selected as backdrops to playful prints, building block inspired shapes and childlike scribbles. LEGO pieces were used to create whimsical accessories such as sunglasses, handbags and hats whilst some pieces were simultaneously applied as embellishments.

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Inspired by the visual aspect of physical changes that occur with time, Yana’s collection focus on wrinkles and the body’s shape. Her work is based on her personal feelings provoked by the ageing process of her own skin and the anticipation of its future changes.

According to Yana’s research there are two main opinions formed by social norms as well as personal feelings. One of them is positive: age is viewed as something to be proud of, as a testimony of valuable experiences and the visible part of our personality.

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Yana Myronova collection is about heritage, her roots and personal background, mad modernity. It is about challenges inside and outside of her, reflecting her history and creating the future. It is her past and wanting to break apart from this past somehow that has determined her to want to create something new.

“The future is looking for something new”

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To provoke individual’s narratives, pareidolia phenomenon is used as an inspiration for ‘What or Who’ collection. This ubiquitous psychological illusion is especially pronounced when you see face-like objects and is translated as an individual story by the reminiscences, facial expression or signification. In the design process, Sim focused on transformation of the shape balancing between obviosity(the features of a face) and ambiguity(little scope for the imagination) so as to enhance wearers’ involvement.

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Yehua took primary inspiration from three elements: Rococo, Mari Antoinette and Crinoline. His collection mainly consists of oversized black suits, ruffled see-through blouses and white crinolines. Most importantly, he considers crinoline to be crucial in his collection for its resemblance with a birdcage, a symbol of limitation on absolute freedom. His collection had a focal point: the total self-liberation from negative feelings or opinions that people had on him, and the need to be sociable in order to blend in with the rest of the society. At first, the disrespectful attitudes received from many others had made Yehua feel slightly uneasy, and maybe even marginally upsetting.

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I was particularly inspired by old or antique paintings and murals-the postures of individuals are a bit naive compared to realistic paintings but that is where it attracts me.

As a human being born with curiosity we often wonder about everything around us. I always love looking up to the sky and star-gazing since I was young, for me, astronomy is the exploration to the universe, the universe is actually everything that exists.The dark sky always leaves us with endless curiosity, imagination and expectation.

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Nigerian designer, Yingi Goma’s graduate menswear collection draws inspirations from a street vendor in Nigeria. By viewing the African country with a third eye, she captures her Lagos car ride experience, the lifestyle and environment.

There is a mix of unusual garment fabrics such as tech net, plastic and hessian; shapes and oversized silhouettes. Draw cords passed through button holes, Detachable bags and draw string sack-like shapes that reference items street hawkers carry on their body. The use of embroidery and print for text reference is a key aspect that brings curiosity to the collection.

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“LOVE” a topic that has been heatedly dissected and debated and has become a never-ending source of enquiry, a subjective emotion that has been time again in pop-culture, sociology, psychology… As Plato and Socrates saw it, love was a mental disease, echoed by Haddaway’s infamously catchy song, ‘What is Love? Baby don’t hurt me’.

Yu Ching Shen, a Taiwanese designer, also reflects these realistic sentiments. During her studies at Kingston University for her Fashion MA course, she focussed heavily on textiles research, namely the concept of communicating emotions through textiles.

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“Have you really felt a natural world, a world which is full of various types of wildlife? I can only say that I have seen a small part of it, some of the last parts left behind in the process of urbanization. They are to me, unforgettable”. Yue Cui’s collection Animated Companion takes visual inspiration from the active postures of animals. The first idea came up when she saw the vivid posture of preserved animals in the museum which evokes the good memories of her childhood in a countryside.

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Zexi Yu is redefining menswear. Her graduate collection, ‘Dandy In His Garden’, received a magical makeover via dazzling designs embroidered with flowers. Inspired by tailoring and corsetry history, each piece translates an approachable feel.

Yu enhanced her garments through complex lining and shoulder pad silhouettes. This allowed her to create innovative designs that were further heightened through skilful tailoring.

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Zhaoshen Wang, a Chinese jewellery designer, designs in an open society. This tolerance allows Wang to link cultures and create a mixed design language in his MA collection. Wang started with the observation and research into the frequent social events surrounding identities, that are a characteristic of contemporary European cultures. Events such as gay pride, national naked ride, festivals, marches, and gatherings.

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