By Roshannah Bagley
LONDON, United Kingdom:: Staged in the superb Raphael Rooms at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the London College of Fashion held its annual MA fashion show last month offering audiences a glimpse into the future of British fashion. The event as always exhibited a fantastic array of work – menswear graduate Sven Hoppe displayed one of the strongest collections of the night and subsequently took home the award for Student Collection of the Year. Unusually it was an accessories designer – Sarah Jane Williams – who has stirred the most interest since making her catwalk debut. Entitled “Crafted Fashion” Williams opted for a quirky yet traditional approach to craftsmanship:: based on the “loss of craftsmanship in the fashion industry” (Sarah Williams press release) three key methods were applied to the design process: “Metamorphosis, Anthropomorphism and Presence”. With the range sponsored by industry specialists Metroplitan Leather Ltd and Macneil Metalcraft, each luxurious piece features unique bridle leather and brass frames. The handcrafted treasures were the culmination of a year and half’s work as part of the institutions Fashion Artefact MA course which aims to provide students the opportunity to “explore new methods of production to create Fashion Artefacts that challenge and push boundaries in the area of fashion and lifestyle products.” Only a few years old, the programme has already produced an impressive alumni:: FAULT favourite Una Burke graduated with a range of leather and studded ‘artefacts’ inspired by the human body. Williams takes some time out to tell FAULT about her impressive collection.
FAULT:: What has the reaction been towards your MA collection “Crafted Fashion” since making your debut last month?
Sarah:: I have had a lot of really positive feedback after the MA show. I have been approached by a few different companies and received a lot of press, which is a great start.
FAULT:: What were the advantages of working by hand?
Sarah:: Using hand craftsmanship skills allows the maker a much higher degree of freedom in the production of pieces, as the maker you are in total control and can change any aspect of design at any point. You are not limited by the constraints that machinery can enforce.
FAULT:: Are there any plans to extend this collection? If so, how do you plan to achieve this?
Sarah:: I have started to design another collection. I am looking for funding to be able to kick-start my label.
FAULT:: Are there any fashion designers or labels you would like to collaborate with?
Sarah:: I would love to be able to work with the likes of Hermes, Louis Vuitton and Mulberry, because all of these companies value hand craftsmanship.
FAULT:: What are you up to at the moment?
Sarah:: At the moment I am working on new designs and setting up my label. I am also undertaking some freelance design work for companies.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Sarah:: My FAULT is my stubbornness when it come to realising the ideas which I can see in my mind.