Fresh out the Dustbin

There is always a thrill that washes over me when I reminisce about the unabashed creativity LISOF allowed me to explore when I was in first year and this, paired with the freedom to do whatever, wherever with whomever, rendered in my mind as a memory that shall be eternity cherished.

This year’s first years, however, shall have more to cherish: From a new and stimulating environment to a plethora of excitingly fresh courses and lecturers.

To orient this year’s first years into the fast-paced world of fashion, the design lecturers – including Tyra Banks (played by Shana) – gave all the competitors’ one, simple brief: Make a garment made completely out of newspaper and a pile of recent Elle magazines.

“I’m not sure I can do this”, said a learner in passing, who looked like she hadn’t slept in a fortnight. The two days leading up to the fashion show was remarkable: Seeing such raw creativity and watching tomorrow’s ‘it-designers’ starting to plant their seeds riled me right up. More so, seeing the process from conception to garment is one so organic and beautiful that it always serves as a reminder as to why we chose this particular industry.

When Friday reared its head, the excitable atmosphere that came along with it was almost palpable. Like a scene from MTV’S ‘Running In Heels’, girls – and some fabulous boys – clicked around in their stilettoes finishing off hems, stapling this and pasting that. Luckily, no one – contrary to popular beliefs about fashion – had a nervous breakdown.

The show was spectacular. From the impromptu front row, I saw dresses that ranged from haute – absurd to commercially viable; two concepts that you fully explore throughout ones first year and, on a macro scale, in the world of fashion.

“If I was a buyer, I’d but this entire collection”, said LISOF Socialite Nathacia Mokoena as our tongues wagged from the craftsmanship; especially considering that the material used was not conventional. Obviously, there were garments that stole the show; like Cleo De Gennaro, who made a cape and cap combination made of crisp white paper, folded and manipulated like the great oriental oragamists like Humiaki Huzita or cutting-edge patternmakers such as Tomoko Nakamichi. I approached the designer afterwards, who panted saying it had taken her two days just to prepare the folds. Another hit was by the fascinatingly dark Lyndsay Samson, who translated her sense of style straight into the garment. Both these learners won first and second place respectively for their dedication and sever attention to detail.

All in all, LISOF first years keep getting better and here I thought our class were the dons – we were clearly delusional. Take a look at the rest of the garments that had me frowning in bitter envy.

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