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Fashion School Q&A: London College of Fashion, UAL

By Esther Hut


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London College of Fashion (LCF) is part of University of the Arts London (UAL), in London, England. LCF offers courses in all things fashion, from business to design and fashion curation with over 60 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, and 165 short courses. FashionUnited spoke with London College of Fashion about the university's future plans, courses, and community.

How is everything going at London College of Fashion? Are the physical classes back?

Since the start of the Autumn term we’ve welcomed students back onto campus. Libraries, workshops, studios, classrooms, study spaces and other resources are open. We’ve worked hard to ensure the safety of our staff and students and we continue to closely monitor and follow UK government advice.

Over the past year, an enormous amount of work has taken place in designing the delivery of courses to give our students the best possible learning opportunities. We’ve learnt what works best in different situations for different courses and different groups of students and we have developed innovative ways of doing things.

Engaging with the full mix of on-campus and online learning, ensures all students have a comprehensive student experience at UAL. We know from experience that things can change very rapidly, so we have plans in place just in case we have to adapt to further restrictions or other events.

How would you describe the student community at London College of Fashion?

LCF’s community is made up of people from all over the world and from diverse backgrounds, which presents an opportunity to learn from others and broaden perspectives. Our students are changing the world: not just by designing with an awareness of environmental and societal issues, but also by connecting and innovating to blend fashion technology and the expertise of other sectors to create forward-thinking outputs.

What kind of courses does London College of Fashion offer? What is the focus area?

We’ve been nurturing creative talent for over a century and the subjects we teach at LCF are immensely broad – from filmmaking and jewellery design, to entrepreneurship, fashion illustration and cosmetic science – but across all of our courses, we teach students to collaborate and look beyond the traditional notions of fashion in order to question, challenge and innovate the industry from within. We are pioneering new ways to consume and practice fashion, using fashion business, media and design to shape culture, economics, and society. And through fashion, shape lives.

What do we need to know about London College of Fashion?

With the broadest range of specialist fashion courses in the world, LCF is the place to experiment and grow. Psychologists collaborating with illustrators, journalists working with female offenders, textile designers creating augmented reality experiences, the opportunities are yours to imagine.

Our facilities include the biggest fashion library and archive in the UK, sample and sewing rooms, a 3D modelling room, cosmetic science labs, visual merchandising suites and make-up studios. We've got machinery that you won’t have seen in many places before, and wonderful technical staff to show you how to use it. From the Digital Anthropology Lab working with augmented reality at John Princes Street to the dye and flax garden at Mare Street, we make sure you have everything you need (and a lot more you didn't know you needed).

It’s also a very exciting time in LCF’s history – in 2023 we will be moving all six of our sites to East Bank in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. We’ll be creating a single campus alongside new sites for other world leading organisations including Sadler’s Wells, V&A and BBC as well as Loughborough University and UCL. We are moving so that we can finally bring all of our students and staff together, to increase opportunities for collaboration and to build a community focused on fashion with our world class neighbours and incredible local area.

What are the plans for this year? Any new things coming up?

We’re currently planning for our postgraduate showcase MA22 in February and then our undergraduate showcase BA22 which will follow in the summer of 2022.

We also have lots underway across our social responsibility initiatives, Better Lives partnerships and at the UAL research centres based at London College of Fashion including:

  • Making for Change – a training and manufacturing unit within HMP Downview women’s prison. Established by the Ministry of Justice and London College of Fashion in 2014, the project aims to increase well-being and reduce reoffending rates amongst participants by equipping them with professional skills and qualifications within a supportive environment. A new studio was opened in March 2020 at Poplar Works in the heart of East London to provide opportunities for women from the local community and provide a pipeline of talent from the studio at Downview.
  • Mending for Good - through this collaborative training programme London College of Fashion in partnership with Mending for Good, an agency proposing a holistic approach to address fashion waste problems, will be empowering women from marginalised communities by providing opportunities to develop practical artisan skills in hand embroidery, creative stitching and mending on knitwear.
  • FashionSEEDS - exploring what a transformed education system in Fashion Design for Sustainability could look like. The FashionSEEDS project is led by the team at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, based at London College of Fashion, and aims to develop a holistic framework to embed sustainability into higher education fashion design.
  • Do you have any tips for future students who want to study at London College of Fashion?

    We encourage students from all disciplines to apply to LCF, creating fashion industry leaders from all walks of life. Take time to look through our website and book onto any of our where you’ll meet the Course Leaders and current students and get to know more about our courses and the LCF community.

    Photos: image 1: UAL campus by © Allies & Morrison, image 2: catwalk image by Roger Dean

    Fashion Education
    London College Of Fashion