City Lit Blog

London Fashion Week: Explore your passion for fashion at City Lit

Story added 16th Feb 2017

Renuka - Topshop - Moodboard

Today marks the start of London Fashion Week – the biannual event where the great and good of the fashion world descend on London and showcase their latest designs on the global stage.

To mark the occasion, in this blog post City Lit jewellery coordinator Jenny Parker offers an insight into a popular fashion project here at City Lit,  VV408 Contemporary Jewellery.

Designing for Catwalk: A snapshot of a project on VV408 Contemporary Jewellery

Jewellery made for the runway, commissioned for, or in collaboration with luxury fashion brands is in ascendance.  Where Shaun Leane’s well documented collaboration with Alexander McQueen used statement body pieces to create the elaborate narratives he was well-known for, and rarely reached the showroom floor, fashion designers and retailers are now seeing jewellery as a strong source of revenue through catwalk exposure and sales.

City Lit’s Contemporary Jewellery course, in its first year, has been created for students to stretch and challenge their thinking and perceptions around Jewellery design and making, encouraging experimentation, risk-taking with a diverse range of materials and technologies. Embedding ‘live’ client-focused projects in the curriculum to introduce the variety of methodologies and approaches to professional practice is one of the key elements to the course. Developing a ‘Designing for Catwalk’ project aimed to reflect one the types work jewellery designers are consulted for in industry.

Amy - Phillip Treacy - Concept Board

Amy - Phillip Treacy - Concept Board

Working with fashion brands is inherently fast-paced, and such projects present challenges including budget, scale, materials and managing your clients expectations. Students were tasked to choose a client, a designer or brand, and to design a piece of ‘catwalk jewellery’: their chosen clients were as diverse as Phillip Treacy, Paul Smith and Anne Demeulemeester, with one student choosing to design a fashion jewellery piece for Zaha Hadid.

They researched their Brand DNA, developing a concept and moodboard, producing a line-up drawing of 3 designs fit for the catwalk with models, macquettes, illustrations. The lifecycle of Catwalk Jewellery often culminates in the development of a diffusion range which becomes part of the mainline collection, displayed in the showroom, gallery or boutique and is for retail. Asked to consider the factors that differ between a catwalk and diffusion range, they also presented a design for 1 x diffusion piece. 

Tsveta - Zaha Hadid - Design Development

Tsveta - Zaha Hadid - Design Development 

Renuka - Youth Brand - Prototype Catwalk

Renuka - Youth Brand - Prototype Catwalk

Each student was asked to pitch their concepts and design to their ‘client’ in a group critique, presenting their research, design development, proposed materials, budget, cost and how the collaboration would work. Caroline had even worked out her profit margin on a diffusion range to put money back in to the education of miners in Paul Smiths native Nottingham…my advice, go and take this pitch to Paul Smith!

City Lit run jewellery courses to suit all abilities throughout the year.

Amy - Phillip Treacy - Catwalk Prototypes

Amy - Phillip Treacy - Catwalk Prototypes

Jane - Anne DeMeulemeester - Technical Illustration

Jane - Anne DeMeulemeester - Technical Illustration

Jane - Anne DeMeulemeester - Project Outcomes-Prototypes

 

Jane - Anne DeMeulemeester - Project Outcomes-Prototypes

Jane - Anne De Meulemeester - Line-Up

Jane - Anne De Meulemeester - Line-Up 

 Caroline Moodboard

 Caroline Moodboard 

Caroline - Paul Smith - Moodboard

Caroline - Paul Smith - Moodboard

Caroline - Paul Smith - Design Drawings

Caroline - Paul Smith - Design Drawings