Editor’s Column. Number 2.
All photography taken backstage at the MA press show 2011 by Morgan O’Donovan.
In a room at LCF there is a white wall, calico laid out on the floor and a table with three chairs, three notebooks and three glasses of water. I’m hid in the corner… not all that inconspicuously in blue fake fur and green hair. First the judges, ahem- tutors enter and take their seats. In the room next door there are about thirty models being scrambled and egged into garments- unfinished zippers are pinned by sweaty palmed students and with double sided tape and a prayer the first collection is sent into our room.
One by one for the rest of today and the rest of tomorrow nervous MA students will send in their line ups to be viewed by the tutors for the first time. All of the research and pattern cutting and steaming and long hours puzzling over shoulder pads with technicians now manifests in 10-12 garments per student. These are the bones of the final MA collections… the fashion vision that will appear polished and effortless and walk the V&A runway in two months, before dictating the direction of fashion. Let’s just say right now there’s more meat on the bones in some cases, and two months suddenly seems extremely close.
Each look is scrutinised. Remove that snood. Number 3 go to number 9. Number 6 take off that skirt. Shuffled like a deck of cards. Some go smoother than others- but then you get the impression that the ones most messed with where coats are swapped and things unbuttoned and rebuttoned and unbuttoned and rebuttoned are the ones that will be taking their glory lap on the catwalk… pressed and fitted within an inch of their life. A girl whose collection comes in with one look topped off with a blue grey furry hat (like a Persian cat curled on top of the models head) – is asked to make the hat in four different colours for all the other outfits- gulp. Expensive. It’s a fascinating insight to how much work goes into those collections, and the final show itself. Like going to the shows in London or Paris certain stories start to emerge and I wonder which ones Darren Cabon (the MA Director) will want to spotlight in the press show. How to show the quieter, more technical work alongside the showier loudmouth collections (of which there are a few! So exciting…)
The clothes today look how the models look when they turn up at a shoot. Definitely beautiful- but after a coffee and an hour of hair and make up you know they’ll be proper corkers. I can’t really give much away other than to say the show is definitely going to be a special one. As it’s Christmas I’ll give you 5 little clues to some of the collections and what you’ve got to look forward to: tapestry, printed neoprene, Military, embossed rubber and a gold jumpsuit.
Happy Holidays P&P’ers