Daniel Lee


Daniel Lee, 23. Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, BA (Hons.) Fashion Womenswear Graduate 2009.

– specialism: Fashion Knitwear.          




Design Background:

I studied an Art foundation specialising in fashion design at London college of Fashion. I have interned for Giles in London then completed a year working as an intern in Paris at Martin Margiela and then Balenciaga. I have worked freelance for Meadham Kirchhoff in London for 2 seasons and also worked on commissioned pieces for Lady Gaga since graduating in July.


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

To work hard and maintain focus.




Project title:

Living Jewels





I was inspired by the concept of representing photographed micro detail typically invisible to the naked human eye.


Where do you get inspiration from in general?

I am typically inspired by art, music, drawing and photography.




How is your process when you design?

I start by collating as much research as possibly then allowing this to lead onto fabric experimentation, drapery and sketching. I then edit this down again and again until I am left with the strongest ideas. Then I develop these by changing elements and working them into conceivable garments.




What do you find most difficult about the design process?

Editing out and deciding which ideas to shelve and use later.


What are your strenghts?

I have a considerable amount of technical ability and so can work quickly to test out ideas and create mock ups and samples.




What are your weaknesses?

Deciding which are the best ideas and which are superfluous to communicating the feeling of the collection.


Describe your collection with three words?

Sculptural, fierce, dramatic.




What techniques did you use:

I created the knitwear using machine techniques. I used pocketing to encase jewels and created quilting effects. I embellished with metal washers and used heat forming to create scale-like textured knit. I also used digital printing processes on woven fabrics to highlight and emphasise garment cut. 




Which machines did you use to create your collection?

I used 14 gauge Dubied machines to create the finest knitted garments I could achieve. I also use a domestic knitting machine to work with mohair and metal washers.


Which technique was the most difficult?

Working on the finer gauge machines is always most difficult as it is almost impossible to correct mistakes.


Do you have a technical or conceptual approach to designing?

Both. I switch between depending on the stage of the collection. Ideas are always conceived conceptually but then I assess technicality to realise and achieve my ideas, therefore sometimes modifying them along the way.




Which garment was most difficult to make?

The crystal jumper as it was 14 gauge knitted in very slippery yarn which easily tangled and snapped.


Which garment took the longest to make?

The knitwear pieces took equally long to make.


Which garment is your favorite?

I really like all the knitwear but particularly the crystal jumper and the scale heat formed one. 


What technique is your favorite?

I enjoyed testing heat formed knitwear as it is not particularly common and I intend to develop this idea in the future.




How long did you work on this project?

5 months.


Is there something you regret not doing in your collection?

There are more pieces and looks I would like to have realised as I experimented with more techniques and garment cuts but I ran out of time.


What made you pursue knitwear?

I am particularly interested in surface and how this works together with garment shape. Knitwear gives you a unique freedom as it allows you to create a fabric and work it into a shape at the same time. I am definitely inspired by this concept.


What designers inspire you?

I love the work of Thierry Mugler and 1990s couture. It changes every season depending on the latest collections but typically I am drawn to Balenciaga, Givenchy, McQueen and Prada.




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

Any which show during the Haute Couture fashion week schedule as these shows are extremely creative and contain many innovative textile elements.

Why did you choose Central Saint Martins?

The legacy and reputation.


What did you think of the education?

I enjoyed the creative freedom and understanding the school promotes. The ethos is very much about ideas and little about technical know-how.




During your education, which project has been your favorite?

Definitely the final collection as it allowed the time to extend and develop ideas to many stages. It is also very meaningful to realise these ideas into a physical collection.


How were the school? Facilities? Teachers?

The facilities at CSM are notoriously limited, however this persuades you to think outside the box and overcome these restrictions. We have worked with numerous industry specialists. Certain ones are more inspiring but this varies depending on your personal style and taste. I enjoyed the atmosphere, it is predominantly competitive and hard-working.


What advice would you give new students?

Learn to work fast and be confident about decision making.




Which fellow students would you like to highlight?

I particularly liked the collections of Dean Quinn and Viktor Smedinge who graduated from the same cohort as me. I think they both worked towards a similar ‘look’ as myself so I guess it makes sense they were my favourite.


Why do you want to be a designer?

I enjoy channelling creative energy and hope to influence with the work I produce.


What was your childhood dream job?

To be a fashion designer, a performer or a DJ. It still is and I hope to achieve them all. My dream has always been and always will be to become the most successful at what I do, whatever that may be. 


With one word, what is your best quality?

I am exceptionallty driven.




What are your plans for the future? 

I would like to have my own label and work as a creative director at a major fashion house.


Will you continue to MA?

I plan to start the MA this October at CSM.


Have you replied for a MA?

I was accepted onto the MA at the beginning of this year as the head of the course met with certain students from the BA. 


Will you be selling your BA collection?

I have remade several pieces of the collection and sold these privately. I also met with the buyer from Browns Focus as I hope to one day sell my own label collection to them. I intend to keep all the samples of the collection for press purposes.




Were can we find more information on you?






Contact info:


+447875 389471

3 Responses to “Daniel Lee”
  1. Maz says:

    this is an amazing work. i love ur drawings and how it all turn out in the end. i see a lot of collaboration from different designers like mcqueen and prada got mixed into ur collections.

    very good, i hope to see more from u 🙂

  2. LIna says:

    omg. your suits are very interesting….i dont have any words to say something….its osm

Check out what others are saying...

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