Jess Williamson, course leader at London College of Fashion talks to Laura at SSEAMS about the graduating year for Sportswear Design 2021.
Jess Williamson: As the only Sportswear course offered in London, our students are in a unique position, being exposed to everything this city has to offer and allowing them the freedom to design sportswear suited to their interests and ambitions – from technical performance sportswear to sports-inspired fashion but always with a focus on designing for purpose. This year, our students have taken inspiration from the current social climate, which means they are not only focusing on designing desirable and functional garments, but pieces that look at wider social issues like accessibility, inclusivity, adaptability and sustainability too. Mental health and wellbeing became an inspiration for some – connecting with nature, running to work to adapt to pandemic-related changes and creating a cycling community for new immigrants. They have come up with innovative solutions for athletes and for everyday wear, creating new niches within the sportswear market.
Their final year at London College of Fashion has been challenging to say the least, but it’s an incredibly proud moment to see what they’ve been able to do. For example, Jake worked with donated fabrics from Halley Stevensons and C.P Company and collaborated with the charity BlindAid to help design ergonomic and accessible pieces. Caroline worked with a monoskier to gain invaluable insight into the specific needs of the sport and collaborated with a knitwear designer in London, all while studying remotely in Switzerland. During lockdown students became resourceful at expressing their creativity whilst keeping fit and function at the forefront of their concepts – Araba wear tested her protective skating gear in her kitchen and Olivia’s mum filmed her running in her prototypes so she could analyse the correct fit. The best thing about this year is that they’ve stayed positive and supportive of each other while working under challenging circumstances and constant change. They’re ready for whatever the industry has to throw at them!
Araba Dennis: Align
Roller skating and ice skating emphasise the body’s core, requiring strength in movement. This collection is designed to provide supportive and protective garments that face the challenges skating can produce, including; on and off the ice, rollers rinks, the gym and the outdoors. Designing with the entire body in mind, with a strong emphasis on material manipulation and fabrication, through a feminine point of view. By focusing on movement and the key areas that are strained when skating; such as the lower back, hips, arms, chest and glutes this helps to provide support and protection, furthered through highly considered fabric and wear testing.
Every Moment is an inclusive performance brand focusing on monoski athletes, which combines sustainability, improved adaptability and unsurpassed comfort. Celebrating paraplegics and tetraplegic skiers, this brand puts design at the service of their needs to create highly functional garments. Close to their consumers, Every Moment wishes to reinvent adaptive clothing, making it practical to wear while keeping an empowering aesthetics.
This collection has been developed in partnership with monoskiers, as their comfort is essential. This cause is dear to Every Moment, therefore the support goes beyond fashion, as part of their profits will be donated to associations and sport events.
In communion with nature, the brand aspires to blend with the USPmountains but not at any cost. Sustainability is essential, leading them to use zero waste pattern cutting techniques as well as using recycled or natural materials.
A bio-technical womenswear hiking collection for the physical and psychologically resilient female. The focus on traditional seasons and the affect it has on natures appearance and structure. MIN’s design direction focuses on using nature’s biology to affirm MIN’s construction and aesthetic for female outdoor enthusiasts
Instagram: @min_designs & @emmaxmin
Emma Owen: MWAY
MWAY’s purpose is to fuel the male ego through the clothing of the brand. The bold and loud designs that MWAY produces, speaks the voice of the wearer. It is not aimed at timid lowkey people. It is produced with confidence and big egos in mind. With taking aspects of 60’s styled suiting and tracksuits, MWAY is a blend of the casual and formal past and present trends.
My twin sister Daisy, was born with a rare genetic disorder called Prader-Willi Syndrome. A function is a form of problem-solving, wecanflys function is to innovate product solutions for those with additional needs. ‘wecanfly’ strives to make fashion inclusive by creating accessible products which are open to everyone.
The BlindAid Jacket: Jacket created through work with the members of BlindAid UK. Through research I learnt about their experiences with clothing and what garment details could be beneficial to them as a visually impaired person.
– Zips can be a challenge
– Secure pockets for valuables – Material to safeguard
– Feel of garment important
Instagram: @jakeybc @wecanfly____
Jonas Sackey: Sackey Cycling
This collection is representing the Diaspora of Ghana, and the aftermath of colonialism. SACKEY CYCLING is a platform for Africans integrating into the UK to help the acculturation process through the use of the SACKEYPACK. The SACKEYPACK is collection of garments, referenced Ghanaian material culture that stem from a utopian lens of futurism and ‘Hope’ and community within ethnic minority classes. The SACKEYPACK’s aim is to tackle those who are struggling integrating within the system through colour mediums, functionality and ergonomic innovations.
The collection depicts 6 characters on a guided tour the tour guide, mysterious female, the kid, security guard, tough guy and the artist dude from details to its general appearance, every look unpacks the story of a specific character, making hints of who they are, what is their past or what are they doing on the tour the collection consists of references to human behaviour, everyday life comedy and its dramaturgy. the starting point (but also reoccurring reference) were Stephen Gill’s photographs, especially his series “Coming up for air”, which served as a character-building glue and an overall mood definer. I want to invite the viewer to try interpreting the collection through their prism/background/ precautions and assume things about specific characters or even try to spot themselves in some of them. Just to look at them as if they were one of many strangers we pass on the streets every day. We might as well end up on a tour with them one day.
Where is the tour? Most likely in the museum but only if you join them you’ll get to know for sure.
Olivia Baron: Reliv
Functional and adaptable outdoor performance garments. Adapting garments to allow use of technology whilst moving freely when working out/travelling/exercising. When thinking about going for a run, commuting to work or wanting to exercise away from home yet still want to take your valuables with you, the question Is asked; where shall I put my phone and wallet, are they safe/secure, can I access them whilst running…Providing versatility and comfort on every journey.
Reliv a functional but beautiful aesthetic female running brand, combining city with nature. Bringing the subtle, calm and free feeling within nature to the bold, confident and daring city, helping women to escape within their running garments to the happier places they imagine. Functionality within the garments is shown through pocket and zip detailing, ensuring all belonging are safe and secure.
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