Monday, 6 February 2012

LCF MA Graduate Showcase... Joseph Turvey

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Last Thursday, the London College of Fashion unleashed its future fashion stars as it hosted its annual MA student showcase in the ornate surroundings of the V&A museum. Twenty two students unveiled their collections in a true celebration of emerging design talent. Unfortunately, I was tucked up in bed with a debilitating case of man-flu but thanks to the live stream, Susie's catwalks shots and the ever insightful student showcase that is Showtime, this blogger's aches and pains temporarily evaporated whilst my appetite was whet for the class of 2012. As always, to celebrate the cream of incoming crop of graduates we aim to speak to each of our favourite students to learn more about their collections. First up, one of our real favourites, the smile inducing printed sartorial world of Joseph Turvey.

Now, if the name sounds familiar that's because his illustration work has long been admired by us (we still love gazing at his E. Tautz illustrations) and many, many others. Originally from Shropshire, Turvey actually began his training with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Womenswear Fashion Design. His interest in exploring traditional pattern cutting techniques and transferring them to unconventional fabrics soon became apparent with his first womenswear collection which took inspiration from the original Miss Marple, Margaret Rutherford. The collection was duly selected to be shown at Graduate Fashion Week and deservedly received many plaudits. Despite this success, Turvey realised that his heart lay elsewhere. "It was never really an option for me to study menswear design, during my BA the focus was primarily womenswear," the design talent remarked before continuing, "it wasn't until I applied to do my masters at London College of Fashion that I stopped to think about who I really wanted to design for."  Thankfully, the talent turned his attention to menswear as he furthered his design education at LCF. "My now course director pointed out during the interview that my womenswear was extremely masculine. I think he was the catalyst for shifting my focus onto menswear. When I think back I've never actually designed or wanted to make dresses I think I should have been designing menswear from the start." Womenswear's loss is our gain. Today, his clean illustration style transfers into his menswear as the talent explores the application of surface design through digital print. Here, he talks us through the influence of Albert and David Maysles's documentary Grey Gardens and shares extracts from his research and garment development drawings...

"My starting point was the amazing documentary Grey Gardens. Years ago my Mum introduced me to the documentary and the two Edie's have stayed with me ever since. Their amazing attitude towards life astounded me and I wanted to try and capture that in the collection. Little Edie has a distinctive style and is an endless source of inspiration. This prompted me to look at all the unconventional style icons that I admired. Hattie Jacques, Margaret Rutherford, David Attenborough are just some of those icons. Their ability to wear amazing clothes in their own individual way no matter age, size or shape was a true inspiration to me. I then began to research fabrics and I was lucky to gain sponsorship with Hardy Amies, Aquascutum, Sophie Hallete Lace, Halley Stevenson waxed cotton and Alcantara. This meant I had the opportunity to work with such high quality fabrics. Alcantara sponsored me with some of the digital printing of my original illustrations within the collection. This gave me freedom to fully explore the use of print. In Grey Gardens Little Edie was searching for her “Libran husband” so I started to illustrate my vision of this and before I knew it my grey garden boy was created."

Captivated by the world lived by the two Edie's, Turvey was drawn to unconventional style icons. His sketchbook was alive with illustrations of real and imagined icons. With the support of sponsorship from Alcantara, the designer was able to explore digital printing of his original illustrations throughout the collection...

"The way I work in my sketchbook is very messy. I like to draw and scribble everywhere. However, for my portfolio I try to extract my favourite pieces of research and present them in a similar way I illustrate and design clothes. So I am sharing with you some of my garment development and research pages as my sketchbook is far too chaotic to share."



"My design aesthetic is very clean. I like simple wearable shapes that take reference from traditional menswear which I juxtapose with my unconventional fabrication, print and knit." Turvey takes inspiration from traditional menswear tailoring and textile surface design, fusing them with iconic figures such as David Attenborough and Edie Bouvier Beale scribbled, sketched and reimagined in his notebook. These iconic figures from the past and present enable him to create interesting and original designs. It is Turvey's ability to explore textures and print within his designs whilst challenging traditional menswear that pushes fashion design to new and interesting areas. When asked how he'd describe the collection, Turvey simply summarised it as "Fun. I want people to smile when they see my Grey Garden boys." The runway shots certainly raised a beaming smile on my face...

A colourful selection of catwalk shots snapped by Susie.

If the above leaves you desperate for more, I happily point you in the direction of Joseph Turvey's tumblr and blog that both explore his inspirations and illustrated world. However, on the the basis of his accomplished MA collection, something tells me that we'll be hearing a lot from this talent in the seasons ahead and beyond...

"I have a few different projects coming up. Some I'm not allowed to talk about just yet. However, I am very excited that I have my first stockists. So I'm looking at starting production with this collection and hopefully starting research for next season."

I'm looking forward to watching this talent make his illustrated and delicately crafted mark on the London menswear design scene.


Duck said...

OK, thanks for posting this! Eyes opened to a new designed I shall have to track down :) I really like the illustrations, although it's making me sad that I never bought any of that Jil Sander collection with the creepy sketched faces. And the pink/orange see-through lace number! I hardly have the body for that but maybe if I wore something else underneath it...

Hope you feel better soon xx

SAP users lists said...

Wow ! Wonderful Designers at their best work.

Anonymous said...

Stunning work. So colourful. Thanks for brightening up my grey Tuesday.


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