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LISOF’s First-Years’ Fashion Show

Essays Of Africa magazine had the opportunity to attend and judge the LISOF 2017 Orientation Fashion Show in January. As a graduate in BA Commercial Fashion from LISOF, Lauren Matthews shares her experience at the show.

I began working in fashion and beauty at Essays Of Africa magazine shortly after completing my final exams at the end of 2016. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to revisit the campus when one of my colleagues was invited to be an adjudicator at the Orientation Fashion Show that took place at the Pretoria branch of LISOF. Every year, the first-year students are welcomed onto the campus through the fashion show, where they produce wearable creation from completely recyclable material.

Runway Experience

LISOF offers a variety of avenues such as visual merchandising, marketing, media and trend analysis. Even if the student is not studying to become a designer, they still needed to create a garment for the recycled fashion show. In 2014, I walked down that runway wearing a shoulder accessory held together by paper chains (inspired by Lady Gaga) with an unlit cigarette in hand (my nod to Madonna’s infamous cigar appearances.) Fast-forward to this year and the garment creations of the 2017’s first-years were nothing short of magnificent. 

Garments And Creativity

The students’ creativity is certainly put to the test, as paper and plastic do not drape the same way as fabric. It was evident that the fresh-faced first-years were honing their skills in attention to detail, as earrings were fashioned from straws and elaborate neck embellishments were created using sprayed bottle tops fused together.

Garments were entered into one of the three categories: spatial, creative or visual. Each category impressed, with every creation having been subject to rigorous planning and effort. All first-years enter the LISOF realm as novices, but when it comes to understanding garment construction, styling and colour theory, the proof was in the pudding; these students had done their research to ensure that they entered fashion school with a bang!

I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in these students, as well as my alma mater. LISOF has always embraced and celebrated student creativity. As a guest and not a student, it was heartwarming to see how encouraging the lecturers were and how supportive the students were of their friends’ creations. Creative spaces generate one of two atmospheres; they become either highly competitive and dog eat dog, or inspiring and supportive. LISOF has always fallen into the latter.

I left the fashion show feeling nostalgic, inspired and excited to see what the future of the fashion industry holds. If LISOF’s orientation fashion shows are anything to go by, you can bet it’s going to be spectacular.

Images: Kwenta Media

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