Tuesday, 15 June 2010

RCA MA Graduate Showcase: Le Lin Tiffany Tang

RCA's MA graduate show is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places to discover the fashion stars of the future. The press show took place at the College in the Henry Moore Gallery on 10 June 2010 and I was able to admire a gathering of some of the newest and freshest menswear and womenswear talent to be be unleashed this year. The thirty four MA students, in menswear, womenswear, knitwear, millinery, footwear and accessories all hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow alumni such as Erdem, Holly Fulton, milliner Justin Smith and menswear designers Aitor Throup, James Long and Katie Eary. Menswear at the RCA goes from strength to strength, re-igniting an interest in design for men. With an emphasis on individual creativity and originality married with impeccable technical know-how, I'm quite sure we've unearthed one or two stars of future in this crop.

This year's Menswear graduates are not only creating an overall look but are breaking new ground in terms of fabric manipulation and experimentation. From weaving metal yarn in to suits, through smoking techniques that create innovative shapes on the body. Inspiration came from J.G Ballard's controversial novel Crash, chavs, Spanish matadors fused with hip hop culture, soldiers and skinheads. It was Le Lin Tiffany Tang's Crash inspired metal infused tailoring that really captured my imagination. Here we talk to the exciting young designer about her time at the RCA, collaborating with an MA Textile student and her hope for finding employment...

A closer look at Le Lin Tiffany Tang's metal infused fabrics.

SS: Congratulations on more than playing your part in a dazzling MA show. How did it feel seeing your finished designs on the catwalk?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: Well, I didn’t see the show until the Gala night and at that time I actually cried. I was feeling very thankful for everyone that had helped me throughout the entire collection.

SS: What attracted you to the RCA MA course in particular? What was the best thing about your course? And the worst?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: The RCA had always attracted me because it is the only college in the world that specializes in the postgraduate degree. Its fashion menswear pathway is quite famous in the fashion industry. For me the best part of the course is that it is so easy to work with other students from other department, and they are all very talented in their field. For example, in this collection, I collaborated with Lynn Tandler (MA Textile) for the fabrics, and jewellery with Vladimir Spasojevic (MA Product Design). When I am working with other students, the result is more difficult to predict but luckily it always turns out great. I enjoyed this process a lot. The worst part for me is the dissertation, it was an nightmare for me.

Le Lin Tiffany Tang's collection references J.G Ballard's Crash and Berlinde de Bruyckere's sculptures.

SS: Can you talk us through the inspiration for the collection?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: The collection is mainly inspired by J.G. Ballard’s novel ‘Crash’. The book explores themes such as the transformation of human psychology by modern technology. The gruesome damage inflicted on car-crash victims is not seen as shocking, but as the liberation of
new sexual possibilities. The book asks why we, as an enlightened society, accept such a ‘perverse technology’ – that kills a vast number of people yearly- as such an integral part of our culture. The image of burning metal and flesh portrayed in the novel is both disturbing and beautiful for me, and I want to introduce this essence to the collection.

Jacket construction.

SS: What was your starting point and how did the the collection evolve in to what we saw today?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: At the starting point of the collection, I tried to archive the concave of the human body (imitating the body after it had through a car crash) through 3D pattern cutting. I got some interesting results. However, I wanted the collection to look more effortless rather than too student-y, so I abandoned the whole 3D pattern cutting thing, and focused on the material. The material that we developed is new and quite difficult to construct into garment, so there were a lot of difficulties in designs regarding the shapes and finishings. Somehow I had to make it work.

Show images from Catwalking

SS: How would you describe the collection in your own words?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: For me, I think it is quite sexy and elegance.

Show images from Catwalking

SS: The fabrics used were utterly beautiful. How did the collaboration with Lynn Tandler come about?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: It is a total coincidence. Lynn and I met in our first year in a group seminar. At that time I thought this girl is amazing, and I never talked to her until the second year when I suggested the idea of collaboration. After that we found out that somehow we have a similar work aesthetic. That’s how we started.

Show images from Catwalking

SS: What type of man can you see wearing your designs?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: The men who dare to express themselves through clothes. For those metal jackets pieces, I can see artists wearing them for an opening of an exhibition or young guys going to parties all night. Also there are lots of toned down pieces like the cashmere trousers and jersey tank top, anyone can wear them in different occasions.

Collection shots provided from Le Lin Tiffany Tang.

SS: I know this is difficult question to answer but have you got a favourite, anything that you were most proud of?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: Actually I am quite proud of my boots that I designed and made. They are made of pony skin and shark skin, I LOVE them (even though no one noticed them)!

Collection shots provided from Le Lin Tiffany Tang. Check out the shoes!

SS: Finally, what would you like to achieve in latter half of 2010 and beyond?
Le Lin Tiffany Tang: GET A JOB.

Collection shots provided from Le Lin Tiffany Tang...
...something tells me she won't have to wait too long before the job offers come rolling in.

1 comment:

Masha said...

your blog is wonderful!



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