Holly Fox-Lee

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Holly Fox-Lee, 25. Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, BA (Hons.) Fashion Print Graduate 2009.

– specialism: Menswear and Printed Textiles.


Design Background: 

 I began studying fashion formally at A-levels at Esher College along with art and English literature, moving on from there I studied a foundation course for a year at London College of Fashion and then straight onto the BA course at Central Saint Martins. I decided to take a diploma in industry studies for a year in 2007 as part of my studies which led to me working for Jeremy Scott in Los Angeles, Tatty Devine and Brewsters LTD in London. 

 

What was the most valuable you learned before starting at your education?

Before starting my education I learned not to be lazy!, that to be successful you have to dedicate yourself to your specialism. 

 

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Project title:

Krump Sojourn!

 

Inspiration:

My graduate collection centres on  krump, an urban street dance form characterized by free, expressive, and highly energetic moves involving the whole body and elaborate face painting. I discovered this movement during an internship with Jeremy Scott in Los Angeles in 2007.

The subculture of krump began in South Central Los Angeles, an area which has become almost synonymous with urban decay and street crime, the movement is intended as an outlet for anger and as a nonviolent alternative to the street violence.

Krump sites influences from African tribal ritual and costume, I aspired to creates a synthesis of modernity and ancient craft work by researching tribes dreaming up an imaginary dystopian future where troupes would ritually battle and dance was paramount to survival in an apocalyptic, dog-eat-dog society.

I was inspired by films such as Blade runner and Escape from LA, I took that sci-fi futurism and translated that into the fabrics I created. I manipulated  p.v.c‘s with foam tubing and tailored hardwearing canvas for trousers and shorts, to keep their exaggerated sportswear silhouettes. My colour palette and print designs are a ultra-modernised take on tribal prints from the Himba tribe of Nambia, the Ndebele tribe of Zimbabwe.

 

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Where do you get inspiration from in general?

 I take inspiration from anywhere, sometimes It is something as small as a colour in a magazine or the way someone is wearing their jeans down Oxford Street!. At the moment I am thinking a lot about dinosaurs and fossils and watching apocalyptic films!. That all began with a twisted up metal binder on a notepad! It just reminded me of a Kentrosaurus skeleton. I also think going out at night is a good way to get inspiration, what people wear at clubs and how they wear it.

 

How is your process when you design?

 Well as I mentioned, I like to take an idea or concept and just get fully involved in it!, I don’t often have a muse for my projects so I guess I just get into character that way!, by watching films that inspire me and sketching all the time, visiting museums, listening to music. I then experiment with fabrics and prints and work out the possibilities. I like to create unusual shapes it is a big challenge to work unconventionally when cutting but very rewarding.

 

What do you find most difficult about the design process?

I find cutting is always the hardest part, it takes the longest and makes me quite frustrated, but is always a good challenge!

 

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What are your strenghts?

I think my strength is my ability to think outside the box.

 

What are your weaknesses?

My weakness is that I am my own worst critic!.

 

Describe your collection with three words?

Playful, Extreme and Krump!

 

What techniques did you use: 

I tried to use as many techniques as possible, I used flocking, foil, screen printing with pigment, digital print, devore and dying. I chose to do this so that the garments would have a unique appearance that may not be readily avalible in sportswear.

 

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Which technique was the most difficult? 

Whenever I produce a digital print using photoshop I always draw it by hand first then source the colours online. Digital print leaves a lot to chance in terms of how the colours will translate onto your chosen fabric, for that risk alone it is a is a very expensive format, things can go wrong. Luckily I didn’t have any problem with mine but I know a few people who spent a lot of money and were less than impressed with their results. I liked devore best because although it is a bit of a painstaking process the end product was just as I had envisaged. So two contrasting techniques which carry their own quandary!

 

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Do you have a technical or conceptual approach to designing?

I would say both must come into it eventually, I begin conceptually then get technical.

 

Which garment was most difficult to make? 

The huge PVC jacket was defiantly the most challenging to make, to build something of that scale took so many fittings! I wanted it to be oversized but needed to ensure it didn’t just look big for the sake of being big, everything had to be considered including the weight of it.

 

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Which garment took the longest to make?

The huge PVC jacket!

 

Which garment is your favorite?

I like the tribal print trousers personally, because the concept worked really well, I merged the influence of African priests trousers which are not unlike Indian salwar trousers, and American football pants. I wanted to make them in heavy, course fabric so that they would hold their gathers and keep a casual street wear feel.

 

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What technique is your favorite?

Foiling is instant gratification!


How long did you work on this project?

The whole design process from sketchbook to catwalk- 10 months!

 

Is there something you regret not doing in your collection?

I designed a puffer jacket with a maasai necklace inspired collar, It was probably the most difficult idea in prospect, I think I left it out in fear that I’d run out of time! I know I would have so I don’t regret it but if I had more time I would have like to have gone for it!

 

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What made you pursue fashion print? 

I actually began my career at saint martins studying Menswear but noticed very quickly that I was actually meant to be a print student! Unsurprisingly it was the abundance of print and fabric manipulation in my project work! I think it helped me to have that first year in Menswear because we were taught a lot of tailoring techniques you don’t get on any other pathway and I managed to pick up on most of the print processes relatively quickly in the second year.

 

What designers inspire you?

Romain Kremer, Henrik Vibskov, Walter Van Beirendonck, Bernhard Willhelm, yoji yamamoto, Jeremy Scott, Kim Jones, Christopher Shannon,Rei Kawakubo, Patrick Söderström in his brief fashion career!, karl Lagerfeld, Gareth Pugh, Judy Blame, viktor and rolf, Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood
and most recently I love komakino!

 

Which designer would you like to work for in the future?

I would be more than happy to work with any of the above!

 

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Why did you choose Central Saint Martins?

I chose Saint Martins because it’s reputation proceeds it, I also heard that London College of Fashion sets projects on Tescos so that put me off quite considerably! I didn’t want to move out of London, I love this city so it was the natural choice. 
Saint Martins has been a fantastic place to study, I have been inspired by many of the tutors there and feel privileged to have been taught by them. I think at CSM you are given the freedom to stand by your convictions and are encouraged to be an individual. I am going to be studying on the MA course next year and look forward to even more of that!

 

What did you think of the education? 

Very good.

 

During your education, which project has been your favorite?

I don’t really have one specifically, maybe the project we did for Grayson Perry.

 

What was the project about?

We had to design and make him a dress. I had a lot of fun making it, I can’t bare doing womenswear but transvestite wear was hilarious! …..I made a Alice in wonderland shaped dress with cocks all over it! -He hated it but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fun!. 

 

Which techniques did you use?

A lot of womenswear lessons were learnt, then in terms of surface design, I used screen printing and embroidery.

 

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How were the school? Facilities? Teachers?

All good, we could do with some more space in the print room at CSM but aside from that no complaints!

 

What advice would you give new students?

I have no idea, I guess the normal advice we all ignore in the first year, work hard and don’t spend all your student loan on your nightlife and wardrobe!.

 

Which fellow students would you like to highlight?

I loved knitwear student Kevin Kramp’s collection and Shaun Sampson, William Green and Neil Young from Menswear. 

 

Why do you want to be a designer?

Because I love it.

 

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What was your childhood dream job?

I wanted to be a cartoonist. I was hooked on the Beno like crack!

 

Have you ever been nominated or won a design competition?

Levis Centenario customising competition, I received first prize. Also won a best designer award at the Asia earthquake charity catwalk show. 

 

With one word, what is your best quality?

Dedication.

 

What are your plans for the future?

Hard to say at this point but I am looking forward to studying more.

 

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Will you continue to MA?

I have a place on the MA course at CSM which starts in October which I’m really looking forward to!. I chose Saint Martins again because I know being taught by Louise Wilson and Fleet will bring the best of what I’ve got out and I look forward to seeing it!.

 

Will you be selling your BA collection? 

I am hoping to see to boutiques as soon as I can find the correct production company. 

 

Were can we find more information on you? 

Yes I am due to have features coming out in Dazed and Confused magazine, Arena Homme +, Vogue Homme Japan and Wound Magazine. Also If you google my name there are a few blogs and also a youtube video of my BA collection ala trampoline!

NJAL

 

Contact info: 

Hollyfoxlee@yahoo.co.uk

 

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