Recent graduate, Elisha Quarman, showcased her final year project at Fashions Finest LFW event.
Having studied Contour design for 3 years at De Montfort University, Leicester, the only UK university to have this specialisation, she became interested in lingerie and the potential of leather as an intimate material.
The structure and the material of the designs are intended to empower women through lingerie.
Photographer Joanna Mitroi
Quarman also plays on the conventions of lingerie through incorporating historical Chinese symbols. She says that the figurative symbols she incorporates into the leather material hints at the history of desexualisation of women in China. Collating the contours of lingerie, the fetish material of leather, and a historical context of desexualisation, Quarman subtly challenges the material history of women’s global battle with oversexualisation and desexualisation.
Moving between Rome and London over the last 18 months, Giulia Valeri of Ad Astra has been continually inspired by multiple sources. On the day, Valeri wears Ad Astra knitwear which typifies her approach to her collections: the white ribbed puff sleeve knitted blouse is accented by a multicoloured zigzag hem around the wrists and the neck of the blouse.
Choosing bold elegance, her collection is a dynamic conversation starter rather than a bold declaration of being present.
Photographer Joanna Mitroi
By combining tassels, bows and frills to standardised uniform of trousers or skirt and blouse, the collection highlights the malleability of feminine contours. A black mini dress is not simply that but embellished with a subtle flounce on the shoulder strip, thereby exaggerating the character and silhouette of an individualistic approach to this classic. Valeri's designs are simplistic, yet on a closer look rich in details and never boring. Every single piece is gorgeously figure hugging and favourably accentuating the female silhouette.
A constant theme throughout this collection are geometric bold cuts and colour pattern combinations, most prevalent in three designs merging a fiery red, nude and rosé tone. The unusual pairing with lavishly embroidered tassels in varying length make the pieces interesting and unique, adding an unexpected twist to their form. They especially come to retribution whilst in movement, steadily flowing in accordance to walking speed.
Structured knitwear that inverts with the corset, draws attention to the waist rather than restricting. Ribbed shirts feature adjustable sleeves, numerous fabrics are hold together by bows, and corsetry tops can be freely adjusted in width. Thereby, Valerie minimises stiff fabrication closures like zippers and buttons and allows the customer to individually contrive the pieces to their best comfort. This collection contrives new daring and fresh ideas by adding distinct twists to established silhouettes and forms.