This is an interview with Lucinda Roberts that I wrote for Suitcase Online. Lucinda will be one of 15 talented young designers representing the UK universities at London Fashion Week’s Fashion Scout as a FAD finalist in a weeks time.
There is only one thing to be talking about in London: Fashion Week is coming! Not only a platform for great fashion designers to showcase their latest collections, LFW also offers a space for young talent to gain recognition, thanks to Fashion Scout, the international showcase for fashion innovation and the Fashion Awareness Direct charity. Since 2008 this collaboration has been providing a unique opportunity for select students to participate in the largest fashion event in the UK, whilst also gaining valuable industry and press opportunites prior to graduation. Next Tuesday at the FAD show you will meet Lucinda Roberts from UCA Rochester, one of the 15 students who have been selected out of hundreds of undergraduates to showcase her work.
Lucinda has created five garments for the event, tailored to the theme of ‘Future Optimism’. With monochrome, neoprene and leather to be expected, influence has been drawn from minimalist architecture. Lucinda has been using clean lines, sharp corners and cutouts to create designs that reflect the simplicity of colour and silhouette.
I was surprised to learn that a talented young designer could be so level headed when talking about what could well be the cusp of her professional career. After starting an Art Foundation course in 2009, it was a fashion taster day that changed everything. From then on, in Lucinda’s words, “It has always been about fashion”. Fast forward three years, and at 22, Lucinda is now approaching the last few months of her university course, with LFW soon to be under her belt, and the Capital calling.
I met with Lucinda in the historic Rochester (former home of Charles Dickens, I was informed) to talk about juggling Fashion Week, design, and university over the past few months.
So how does it feel to be presenting your collection at Fashion Scout in a week’s time?
It’s very exciting! It feels weird though. Everyone’s like ‘oh my god, that’s so good’ and obviously it’s really great but I don’t know if it’s sunk in yet, it doesn’t feel real. I’ve been working on it for a while now and I sent the clothes off last week so it’s all ready to go.
How have you found juggling university and Fashion Week? Has it been difficult or manageable?
Well I’ve had a little help; uni really understood that I’ve had a lot of work to do as well as my final collection for my course. They understood that I’m not Wonder Woman and I can’t do everything, which is nice! It’s been quite a juggling act but I’m a very driven person. Some days it was purely my university collection and some days it was just FAD with only a quick break for dinner in between. It’s fair to say I’ve had no social life lately.
What are you favourite and worst things about the fashion industry?
My favourite part is the freedom and ability to create whatever we want, and get across our ideas in the medium of clothing. I suppose the worst thing is the hours as they can be horrendous and as I said, you barely have a social life at times. I’m not complaining though, as when you’re involved in it it’s really good, but it get’s to a point sometimes when you just want two days off to escape.
How did you get involved in the FAD competition?
It was through UCA. It wasn’t a compulsory competition for us to do, you could either do this or another set unit. The people who wanted to do FAD submitted illustrations to our tutors and they selected three that were then put forward for the finals of the competition.
Did you ever think that you would be one of the finalists?
No, I just thought that this is the best that I can do, but it’s so nice to be recognised for doing things to a high standard.
Are you excited about watching your own show?
It’s going to be really exciting, I actually can’t wait because it will be the first time I’ve seen anything of mine really come to life. It’s going to be a highlighting moment. It’s just surreal to be showing at London Fashion Week, it’s incredible. It’s a great thing that FAD is doing.
How important do you think FAD and Fashion Scout are for up and coming designers?
I think it’s vital. I did work for Raphael Ascione who was at Vauxhall Fashion Scout last season, and I think it provides somewhere for you to just showcase your work and get it out there for people to be aware of it. I think it’s invaluable to get recognition, and for people to see what you’ve worked so hard to create. It’s so nice to have a chance, as the industry is so competitive.
Do you have any dream collaborators that you would love to work with?
Well I am really inspired by Jill Sander and I love Maison Martin Margiela as well. I would really like to work for a few years with COS; their simplicity and their attitude are so clever. I love their fabrics and shapes and cuts and how they bridge the gap between designer and high street.
To see the illustrations come to life on the catwalk, watch the FAD finalists’ show on Tuesday February 19th at 7pm.