Meet the Graduate Fashion Designers

To celebrate the arrival of the highly-anticipated collections from some of Kingston School of Art's finest graduate talent in store at Bentalls Kingston, we've caught up with the designers to find out a little bit more about them and their collections.

See the collections from Saturday 17th June - Sunday 2nd July in store. Join the designers and Caryn Franklin - British Fashion commentator, The Clothes Show presenter and Kingston University alumna - for a Q&A session on Saturday 24 June at 1pm. reserve your space here - it's the perfect opportunity to discover a day in the lift of fashion designer.

See the collections on the Ground & First Floors at Bentalls Kinsgton.

JAMES ANDERSON

Within my collection, I want to inspire new ways of approaching women’s femininity, encouraging women to take a more hedonistic approach to their style and life by not accepting the characterised roles places on them by society. This translates into my design work with the placing of large pleated patches over oversized coats that interrupt the rhythm of the garments. The pleats are brutally sized to resemble a masculine image but decoratively positioned across the garments creating shapes that distract the viewer's’ eye. I use a bonded, waterproof coated cotton that resembles the material used in Mackintosh raincoats - a material that is historically more commonly found in menswear - on my oversized coats which I coloured in rich, deep tones of blue and pinks, colours that stereotypically separate men and women.

LYDIA FERGUSON

My collection is based on a group in Nigeria called hyena men. These men wear gorgeous tasselled kilts. Taking the kilt idea I’ve combined Nigerian tribes/ heritage with Scottish traditional clothing. Taking print, texture and colour from both cultures and combining them together to create a striking collection!

HAEMIN LEE

My artistic inspiration for designing focuses mainly on silhouettes. Silhouettes in garment design are important aspects I focus on when designing. Using garments with classic silhouettes keep the designs modern and recognisable, then physically playing with already made garment on the stand to create new shapes and lifting details from the garments is a method I mainly use. The concept for my final collection is based on ‘Concealed Layering’ it explores the ideas of ‘Undressing’. The act of undressing and taking off layers of clothing revealing what is underneath is what I wanted to capture. The actions of the garments coming off the body, the way they would cling, hang, bulk and bunch on top of each other is where I drew my silhouette shapes. Each of the designs are carefully thought through the idea of ‘incomplete’ and ‘irregular layers’ which capture the spontaneous act of undressing through the use of irregular textures and materials to create more depth to the designs.

LOU LOU HICKS

To me, conveying current issues, may it be political or environmental, through conceptual design gives my clothes character and distinction. Primarily focusing on the practical and emotional implications climate change has impacted upon Inuit settlements, my collection deals with the seam that runs between the diversity of function, from the Inuit’s traditional culture to modern day luxury sportswear.

SUN-AH LEE

I am particularly interested in classic movies because I like identifying hidden meanings of the movies. The basis of my graduate collection is “Rear Window,” a movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Through the movie, I came up with a concept of “A peeper that observes another peeper”.

EMILY CLARK

My collection focuses on the idea of a strong, masculine identity. Using vintage ice hockey photographs as my starting point I combined details and silhouette from their uniforms with bold colour and prints inspired by Salvation Mountain in California.

YUJIN AHN

London-based womenswear designer from South Korea. The collection ‘Beautiful Stranger’ creates a bond between the modern and elegant woman living in the UK with the traditional world of an old oriental black and white photograph. Matching wool and rib fabric with sportswear motif changes the heavy mood of grey colour and the A/W season to young and modern but still
luxurious.

FRANCESCA COOK

I'm a menswear fashion design graduate who majored in knitwear design, allowing me to create my own textures, patterns and colourways. The concept of the final collection 'The Lost Art of Being a Dandy Gentleman' explores the reading of dandyism for today, with an emphasis on exquisite finishing and a more effeminate silhouette. I have been moved by the youthful notion of what it means to be dressed freely, where I feel it is comforting to look back at the past to the dandyism of the seventies.

LOTTIE BROWN

My Graduate Collection, looks at a set of old photographs showing workers in railway lost property offices, laden down with items that have been forgotten somewhere along a journey. Layering of traditional garments such as coats, shirts and trousers form the base of my looks. A bulky silhouette is applied with the addition of multiple drawstring bags, pouch pockets, stacked hats and umbrellas. Long cords and ties with eyelets fasten the garments.

ZEXI YU

My collection is called ‘Dandy in his Garden’ because I am inspired by historical mens’ corset fashion culture and I want to collaborate it with tailoring suit to perform a feminine menswear collection.

CHARLIE BOND

Fashion Design graduate specialising in menswear. Graduate collection is founded on research of the ‘Rebel soldiers’ of the Afghanistan War 2001-2014. Heavily routed in vintage military apparel, reimagined using contemporary fabrication and print design alongside hand knitted pieces.

KASUBIKA CHOLA

I consider myself an artist, and with my artistic background, this has influenced my work greatly in the fashion industry. It has also allowed me to bring creative vision to my work ethics. My collection embraces the elements of two cultures: bringing Western and African cultures together and embracing their different heritage and ‘roots’ and uniting them through my designs.

EVIE REDDY

Womenswear designer focussing on the distortion of gender roles, the female heroine who is dominant through her femininity and not strictly masculine attributes. I have organically combined masculine elements with those considered to be overtly feminine. References came from filmes including What a Way to Go and actresses such as Jane Mansfield as well as Playboy.

OMID TAHERKHANI

My focus as a fashion designer is to create wearable pieces that are outside of time through combining my interests in science, psychology and politics, as well as a curiosity in philosophical research based on an idea of the future. The complexity in my designs, that I achieve through my mathematical and technical way of thinking combined with my singular vision, enable me to create garments and sculptures that could be from thousands of years ago, as well as from a thousand years in the future.

TARA KHEMIRI

I have recently graduated from Kingston University with a Fashion Design BA (HONS) degree, specializing in Womenswear. I consider my design philosophy to be abstract, defined by moods and feelings from everyday life. As a womenswear designer, my work draws inspiration from people and places, and focuses on the authenticity of a mood and feelings of belonging to a place.

XUEZHI LI

My concept comes from a current social issue in fashion industry- Fast Fashion. There are too many clothes in the world. However, we do not need. Many fashion brands and fashion factories produce clothes, not fashion.

KATE CLARK

Childhood delusion focuses on my feelings of leaving childhood behind and entering an adult world that seems to be crumbling around us. When I was younger I believed I was a princess from another world and that one day I would return to that world. This project is the merging of two worlds. Carrying the princess into adult life.

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