Class of 2020: Lonica Palmer

Name: Lonica Palmer

Age: 23

University: Kingston University. Course: BA (Hons) Fashion Design                      

Describe your design aesthetic in 3 words? Tailored, thought provoking and Exaggerated

What message or story do your designs portray?  

I see fashion as a way to communicate ideas that are not initially linked to the physical, with many of my initial concepts being derived from the dark underbelly of society. Chaos of a fractured mind translates the tendencies seen within numerous serial killers through subtle nods within the clothings silhouettes and design features. These tendencies can be hidden within the layers or pushed to the forefront of the overall design with tendencies such as filling an emotional void to addictive personalities intertwined within each piece.    

What is one career aspiration that you’d most like to achieve?    

My dream is to own my own high end fashion brand that inspires new talent to go into the creative industry, like so many designers did for me. Working on projects that I am passionate about alongside talented individuals I have met throughout my fashion journey. To create theatrical runways that will immerse the consumer and make them think. Whether it be good or bad!                                                                                                     

What do you think is the biggest issue facing the fashion industry today?         

The fashion industry consists of students and graduates gaining experience and connections through internships, with many being unpaid. This can provide two problems within the industry, firstly many unpaid internships exclude the students who cannot afford to commute, live or have funds for everyday living expenses without an income. Meaning upper class families get greater opportunities to improve their careers whilst less fortunate students are limited with their opportunities. Secondly, with the turnover of unpaid students working at fashion brands, the need for full time employed staff is minimal, meaning jobs for graduates are much lower.

How do you think the pandemic is going to change the way we consume fashion? 

Online shopping has seen massive growth in the last few years, particularly accelerated due to the pandemic. I believe this area of consumption will continue to grow with a large majority of people continuing to stay home, online shopping allows them to view new styles without leaving the house. I predict that high end brands and high street stores will adapt to how they target their audience and begin to use online marketing tactics to add inclusivity to a larger consumer demographic and increase sales potential.

How is your concept design going to translate to something people can wear in everyday life?   

Many of my collections have developed from mundane clothing, found in everyone’s wardrobe. Although designed to appeal to a catwalk more than a pavement, my concepts and overall designs can be pulled back to create a more simplistic ready to wear collection. Chaos of a fractured mind went through numerous stages of development starting with only a shirt and suit being draped around the body. Due to the simplicity of the ‘source’ pieces behind all of the designs, I feel the pieces can continue to adapt and develop to fit perfectly within any area of consumption.

What has been your biggest inspiration to create fashion?       

My biggest inspiration to create fashion is to make people see clothes as not just an accessory to dress the body, but a way to translate an emotion, story or personal identity. Focusing on thought provoking or uncomfortable concepts allows me to create conversations between people. Speaking to family and friends and watching them consume clothes so quickly made me question what clothes mean to an individual. Throughout all of my collections my biggest inspiration is simply to make people think and see fashion as more then just fabric sewn together that they can wear once.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?         

I think the world is so unpredictable that no one can truly say where they see themselves in 5 years. But I hope that I will be either starting my brand or designing for a fashion brand that I love. Working in an environment where I can allow my creativity to remain unrestricted, continue to learn from talented individuals and forever push the boundaries of what fashion can be. But with the way the world is going, who knows?

Interview: Sophie Roberts