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KU students showcase designs at London Fashion week

By River Reporter Feb 23, 2012

By April Whitlow

A select group of talented Kingston University students had their work showcased at London Fashion week.

Twenty first-year students exhibited their work and MA Fashion Design student Richard Thorn, 23, showcased his designs on the runway at the Fashion Awareness Direct’s 10 year celebration charity show.

His collection, The boy’s school uniform, explores a deeply personal story of Thorn’s past experiences with wearing a school uniform when he entered the foster-care system.

He said: “I draw inspiration from a concept I have created around ‘the boy’ having a troubled narrative, a real life story of his own producing.”


Thorn’s designs are filled with meaning. Each fabric choice, cut, and illustration had a story from his past and were given new life in the form of extremely elegant, skillfully-simple, and striking menswear. All his designs were in monochromatic black, white and shades of grey.

Thorn felt that his time at Kingston University studying fashion and working for his tutor Nancy Tilbury’s company, Studio XO, was invaluable to his development as a fashion designer.

KU first-year students Susanna Wen, Stephanie Smith, Rebecca Partington and Juan Spade all had fashion projects displayed at Vauxhall Fashion Scout last week.

Each first year was paired with a classmate to work on a no-limits knitwear design in collaboration with sustainable fashion designer, J J Hudson (aka Dr Noki) who is known for out-of-this-world, mismatched designs and his signature ‘SOB (Suffocation of Branding) Mask’ made of old t-shirts.

Fashion Freak

Susanna Wen, 19, said she worked with fellow fashion student, Jessica Sharpe, for the week-long project by JJ to create a masked ‘Fashion Freak’ made from second hand sustainable materials that they were told to buy from charity shops and “beg, steal or borrow”.

Stephanie Smith and Rebecca Partington also crafted an outfit by shredding, joining and knitting back together garments they bought.

Stephanie was excited to be a part of London Fashion week and said: “To be honest it has been so exciting and fun to take part in and I am already so happy with the outcome of the project; I can’t imagine it getting any better!”

Her project partner Rebecca said: “It is an amazing opportunity to have our work shown in London Fashion week and shows if you work hard and are passionate about something you can produce something amazing. I am so happy it was picked.”

Chaos of colour

Juan Spade, 22, and Renee Bedell created their own garment which Juan called “a mannequin dressed in second-hand clothing, shredded, dyed and processed to look like a monster”.

Each creation is a chaos of colour and silhouettes that are sure to fit right in at London Fashion week.

Though economic times may be tough for many, this event is one of the best and most exciting platforms for launching their careers.

The designs of the first-year students were shown in the Estethica exhibition during the February 17-21 at Vauxhall Fashion Scout. More information can be found at: www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/estethica.

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