Olive Hooper, Fashion Futures 2014
Graduating from BA (Hons)Fashion Design and Development, London College of Fashion
Tell us about your graduate collection:
CYFR is the exploration of how music and fashion fuse to re create how music can make you feel. It is more than a label, more than a collection, it is a collaboration. To fuse music and fashion, you must have an artist and a label – in this case the artist is Ché Lingo and the label is CYFR.
It’s inspired by established brands, art, photography and most importantly music. Brands such as Sacai and Val Kristopher influence CYFR as they both take your everyday silhouettes and fabrications to remix, re-work and re-purpose them into aesthetically pleasing and unconventional garments that you wouldn’t see on the high street.
Within the label, sustainability through up-cycling and re-purposing is a given but is not used to market the brand.
By committing to using discarded materials for the label, CYFR has ensured that partnerships are built to allow an constant wealth of materials. A range of materials have been used to create this collection, pre-existing and end of roll. From Fleece and Jersey to Suede and Satin. But in order to create the final garments desired, simple techniques have been used to execute these easy to wear pieces.
My creative process was centred around interviews and analysis of artists and their audience. By doing so I could put myself in the consumer’s shoes and develop clothing that they would enjoy. By doing so the designs have attracted attention from your ‘mainstream/commercial’ consumer as well as your ready to wear. I am very happy with the visual outlook of my collection but of course there is always room for improvement, in this case in the making.
Now that it is complete I feel that the work has just begun. I’m ready to create more for more artists and share my work with the audience I created it with/for.
How has your uni experience been?
My course allows you to build the creative roster that you want. You’re able to create men’s or womenswear, sports or evening wear, you mostly have creative freedom unlike some other courses. Honestly in my first two years I struggled to keep good grades because I preferred to flourish creatively and not academically. It was only once I had to write my dissertation proposal (free creative reign with the subject) that I began to understand the academic criteria. Since then and especially over my placement year at PUMA, my academic experience has improved. I learnt the most valuable skills of university while on placement. Time keeping, organisation, concept building and the rest. It prepared me for the bumps in the road that final year would form.
Over my academic life, my biggest obstacles must have been money, environment and academics. Money because I constantly felt removed from social circles because I had to work while everybody else was out. I had to be mature and responsible and think smart about my choices from a young age where everybody else was carefree. Environment because it takes you a while to readjust to your surroundings let alone create in an unfamiliar space. And finally academics because that is what I ran away from at secondary school and then forced to do at university. All aspects of like that you can’t control until you know how.
Did taking part in Fashion Futures help you?
Fashion Futures filled the foundation with concrete. Being part of that process confirmed that this is the industry I would like to be in. It helped me to build confidence in a group environment, analyse and present my work for an audience and not just myself, use industrial machines and enjoy the process! The advice I would like to give to current Fashion Futures students is WORK SMART and never HARD. Your life is yours for living and everything you do is for YOU first and foremost. Stand your ground and create how you believe is best, with the assistance of Fashion Futures to remove your blinders and keep your vision bright. Feel comfortable in any room and use your creative mind to mould your academic mind.
What’s next for you?
CYFR is currently working with the next artist, aiming to release the next collection in time for their EP release. I plan to build CYFR as a label that creates and styles pieces for your favourite musicians, otherwise I would love to work for Mens and Womenswear casualwear/streetwear brand to increase my knowledge and skillsets.