The London College of Fashion x Liberty London Project
Earlier this year three London College of Fashion, UAL recent graduates were chosen to take part in Liberty Discovers, part of Liberty of London’s commitment to championing young designers of the future. The three designers from London College of Fashion, UAL’s class of 2021 – Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen (MA Menswear), Katie Sorrell (BA Menswear) and Hannah Othilie Romberg Marthinsen (MA Womenswear) – were presented with the designs from Liberty’s latest Autumn/Winter 2021’s fabric collection, The New Collectibles, and invited by the store to interpret the themes as broadly or narrowly as they liked.
Working remotely from Berlin, London and Oslo respectively, while concurrently surmounting the challenge of also completing their degrees in lockdown, the designers were provided with metres of Liberty fabric of their choosing. After first working with swatches to discover the qualities and colouration of the bases and prints first-hand, and under the mentorship of LCF Creative Director Rob Phillips, the designers produced spectacular full looks with the most incredible results despite the many challenges of designing and producing during the pandemic,
The designs were first captured on film earlier this summer and recently published to Liberty Discovers, Liberty’s platform committed to championing the young designers of the future by making it easier for others to discover their exceptional creations. More recently, the designs were displayed in Liberty London within their haberdashery alongside the Autumn/Winter 2021 fabrics collection itself.
Hannah Othilie Romberg Marthinsen
“As a designer, I normally tend to work only with block colours – I’ve never worked with patterns. Being asked to be a part of this by Liberty was really exciting, as I wanted to challenge myself and my aesthetics as a designer.
“Even if you’re working with such a big company as Liberty, you still want to put some of your DNA and aesthetics into it – we were so lucky to get as much freedom as we wanted. I found one amazing pattern that’s a bit like flowers and has this dark black colour palette with a dove grey – it really fit into my world as a designer.”
“What we’re seeing in the industry is that we like fashion that doesn’t know any geographical boundaries. In a sense that it was totally okay that I was here in Oslo – it wasn’t a disadvantage in any way, so that’s what I’m taking from it.”
Thi Phuong Thao Nguyen
“From first design to final garment the ideas changed and shifted – the real colour and weight of the fabric is quite important for me, because I’m doing menswear tailoring. In the end, the very thin cotton from Liberty gave my designs a softer, feminine look which I really like – it turned out to have a nice contrast.”
“I think collaborations are very important for this industry – you can learn a lot from each other across different branches. The collaboration with Liberty has really helped me develop my skills, and the creative communication was a great experience. I’m looking forward to my next collaboration!”
“We drew from our graduate collections, and I always knew that I wanted to create something that had a sleek top silhouette, combined with trousers that carried obviously a lot of volume. But when deciding the fabrics, I knew straight away that I wanted a collection that was filled with Liberty’s vibrant, full print patterns that could complement and contrast with each other – I wanted both of the looks to be basically entirely bodied with just Liberty print.”
“It was a surreal experience to work with Liberty, especially at such an early stage of my work. Going into their beautiful offices and being presented so many amazing fabrics to design with was such an experience. I really loved the process of the project, from start to finish. It’s just I think it’s a really good platform to give a graduate – it’s definitely going to do wonders for my work.”