On Monday 24 October, the London College of Contemporary Arts’ new Level 4 BA Fashion students hosted a Halloween Fashion Show.

Having been set a brief by Dawn Burton, Fashion Lecturer at LCCA, to develop sustainable Halloween-inspired outfits, students showcased their completed looks in The Garage at LCCA.

Students, Mariam Bobb and Marnei Williams, have kindly shared the details of their design processes.

Mariam Bobb

My Halloween costume was a Pirates of the Caribbean inspired outfit. The brief was to create an outfit inspired by Halloween that was sustainably made.

For my colour scheme, I stuck with warm tones such as yellow, oranges and browns because that’s what I thought linked most to Pirates of the Caribbean.

My outfit then consisted of a cut-out/cropped long sleeve patterned top that I cut to make shorter. I then wrapped a scarf in the centre to give a bow top effect. This was paired with 2 scarves which I draped around the waist to make a long skirt which was secured with safety pins to give off a rough pirate look.

I wanted to show off the boots that I was wearing, so I made sure to leave a little slit on the side of my right leg open so that they were visible. I wore this with a couple of accessories including a pair of yellow-tinted glasses and a headband cut out of old tights. Around my waist, I wore an old brown belt.

The way I made this sustainable was by using materials that I already had at home. For example, the long sleeve shirt was one I had planned to throw away, and the scarves were found in a charity shop. 

Below is Mariam’s mood board and her modelling the final piece.

Marnei Williams

After being given the assignment to design, style and model a halloween outfit I began my design process by researching Halloween images on Pinterest and began creating a word link chain to go alongside my two different concept boards.

I then marked each element that had drawn my attention the most from the concept boards & word link chain, creating sketch designs to reflect on these elements. Following this, I completed primary and secondary research to learn more about sustainable practices and to see other sustainable artwork. One campaign that really caught my attention was Maybelline's Make up, Not make Waste' which was seen outside of Boots, Shepherds Bush; I then used this campaign to. I then used this campaign to inspire the construction of my prints.

As a new design student, I had limited knowledge towards the technical side of designing, therefore I had to think of a practical and time efficient way to create a design that required minimal sewing. After brainstorming ideas and reflecting on the work done in Dawns sessions, I made the decision to develop a pattern that I had previously learned by altering the length, width and removing the vent. After looking at the spare material I already owned, I began sketching designs incorporating the material, pattern and Boots make up campaign.

Through this process, I decided to solely focus on the ‘Anti-Clown’ as a concept for my projects. I knew I wanted to use free flowing material that held shape (to reference the family-friendly clown) deciding to leave the finish of the material to appear unfinished and have a rigid aesthetic to it, which reinforced the darker connotations usually associated with the Anti clown which helped to support my concept. 

After exploring and sampling my print, I began to drape and construct a sample piece out of calico which the I then used to help me construct the design on to my chosen material - faux leather. I also used a faux leather material to construct the skirt and a blue thread to contrast against the red make up print elements found on the skirt that had derived from the clowns facial features.

Once I was happy with the outcome of my piece, I needed to bring my outfit and concept to life by styling my pieces, this was done by ensuring I had considered all elements to my outfit from head to toe. I also incorporated the punk fashion eras as they tend to be associated with darkness and rebellion. By pairing my designs with a ripped fishnet top layered with a black black corset and knee high leather combat boots I had successfully complimented my design pieces.

For jewellery, it was important to reflect the concept and so I went for a geometric shape and structure as this was significant in my designs. I used transparent bold tinted triangle earrings and bold coloured rings to create balance and a satisfying composition.

Accessories are pieces that can help to further the character of a design piece, so when considering my jewellery pieces, it was important that they reflected the concept too. I decided to style them with bold and bright coloured geometric shaped rings as they were elements that also appeared on the print to my skirt. I then used transparent purple tinted triangular earrings, considering composition, the fluidity of my geometric theme, creating balance and adding subtlety to my styling.

The final step was my hair and makeup. I again used the elements seen and associated with clowns (eye make up and red afro hair) styling and print of geometric shapes by styling my hair in 3 round Mohawk-esque buns.

My make up consisted of a natural base which I then applied bright red blush over to contour the upper part of my face. This then travelled along the bridge and tip of my nose (creating an artistic expression of what clown make up is known to look like)

Sadie Clayton, BA Fashion Course Director, said: “I’m pleased with how rapidly these students have progressed since starting with us in October and how they’re creating consciously with sustainability at the forefront of their minds. This is the first project that they’ve been able to showcase and I cannot wait to see how they develop over the next three years.”

Next step

Now that you have discovered more about Mariam and Marnei’s design process, why not kickstart your own fashion career today at LCCA! Find out more about our BA Fashion course here.