Primary Research into Graduate Designers and the Postmodern Consumer Street Style -London Fashion Week AW15 and London Fashion Weekend

My MA Journey began with a visit to LONDON FASHION WEEK SS15 where the diverse, individual street-style I came into contact with in the courtyard of Somerset House, made it clear to me that their has been a shift in how ‘fashion’ is understood.

Engagement with fashion and cultural theory on top of this initial observation led me to hypothesis that a postmodern cultural shift has resulted in an empowered and active consumer market, who approaches consumption on the basis of their individual wants and needs.

It was this hypothesis which went on to frame my 7001 and 7002 research journey, underpinning a business proposal, trend report, live brief and primary research info-graphic. Following this foundational research, I have built my 7003 research culminating in my proposed FMP co-design brand concept on the wants and needs of this consumer market.

In the context of fashion, this market prioritises their own individual style over the season’s trends. They will only engage with trend-centric fast-fashion if it aligns with their individual style.  They appreciate authentic design and craftsmanship and choose to shop in alternative retail outlets such as vintage and charity shops to access ‘unique’ garments they can build into their personal identity narrative.

I attended the APU JAN fashion show at LFW AW15, at the Freemasons Hall run by Fashion Scout.  Renowned for sourcing young innovative design talent, Fashion Scout’s accompanying young designers pop-up exposed me to a variety of creative identities, forming the basis of my Visual Research in this output.

This brief piece of visual research is designed to highlight the diverse and distinct range of innovative and boundary-pushing creative identities that exist amongst graduate fashion designers. The images are a combination of secondary research taken from sites such as susiebubble.com, and primary research images from data I picked up from LFW AW14.  These designers highlight the creativity and innovation I am looking for, for my brand concept, and is the kind of style I wish for the designer I intend to collaborate  with for my FMP to have.

To build on this foundational research on the post-modern consumer I conducted during 7001 and 7002, I dedicated a component of my 7003 research this term to collecting street-style images and informal street interviews, to reinforce the presence of this consumer market my FMP brand concept has been crafted around. Events such as London Fashion Week AW14, Vodafone’s London Fashion Weekend alongside more general times in ‘trendy’ areas of London such as Dalston and Shoreditch enabled me to glean valuable insight into this this cutting-edge consumer group..  In particular this reinforced to me that this is a cohort united not by a particular style, look or product, but by an attitude of individuality and empowerment.

‘I love clothes. I love the transformative power of certain things which allow me to be exactly who I want to be when I am out in the world.  I would never completely shop on the highstreet because then I am just mimicking someone’s else’s definition of ‘fashion’. I have my own fashion and I don’t really care what anyone else thinks of it’.

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