For my mentor research we are required to look into 4 main categories of design mentors. Due to the futuristic nature of my collection and in search of fresh inspiration, I begin research by looking emerging international designers who have been in practice for 5 years or less.


The first designer I investigated is Gareth Pugh, who utilises a limited colour palette with introduction of contrast colours. Like Pugh I am prone to subtle colour palettes with one or two electric contrast colours. As a precedent to my graduate collection, Pugh’s work explores futuristic silhouettes around the form (below left) with attention to detail.

Below are some relevant visual examples I found. Much of Pugh’s work consists of figure hugging silhouettes juxtaposed with an elaborate exaggeration of sections of the figure using rigid shapes or flares. Similarly my own work has always been close to the body with exploration of flares and exaggerated focus. Pugh also has a dark aesthetic and deconstructs the figure using various dissecting lines. The fierce feminine persona portrayed by Pugh is something else I have a taste for.

In terms of my sport inspired area of focus, this is not an area seen across Pugh’s work, however his play on panel shaping, cut, fabrication and detail was illuminated in Pugh’s Spring 2011 Ready-to-wear collection (Below middle, right).

Look 5 (Marcus Tondo 2012), Look 2, Look 15 (Gareth Pugh 2011)

Below is a line-up of my own work which explores the sports inspired design aspects discussed above in terms of exploration of panel, cut, line and detail as well as an example of colour palette.

Submerge Full Range (Michelle Zhang 2011)


The next, more recently established (2010) designer I looked at was David Koma whose work I have not explored until today. Looking at many of his collections, his aesthetic  appears to closely resembles my own, Koma also uses a limited colour palette exploring dark, muted colours and brighter contrasts. This is reflective of my own aesthetic more so than Gareth Pugh’s work. Koma uses heavy dissection of silhouettes through line and cut (see examples below), contrasting rigid shapes and straight lines with curves that echo the form. He accentuates the figure by juxtaposing exaggeration and fit with a focus on the waist and joints of the body. The examples below also illustrate how Koma uses panels and texture contrast to create a sense of futurism (below middle) which segregates sections of the body.

Look 4, Look 8 (Marcus Tondo 2013), Look 12 (Alessandro Galofaro 2013)

The next designer I looked at is Anne Sofie Madsen from Denmark, who is an emerging fashion designer and illustrator. Her work is diverse with a focus on detail and fabric  textures. The mood of her designs reflect a combination of futuristic toughness and feminine silhouettes as illustrated below. Her areas of exploration; focus to detail, mood and ability to translate art into fashion, is very much what I aspire to be. Madsen’s work can be of inspiration to my own illustration heavy design approach. However in terms of aesthetic Madson’s work is a lot more fragmented than my own.

Mononoke SS12 - Campaign - 3Mononoke SS12 - Lookbook - 1Sedna AW12/13 - Lookbook - 4

Look 3 (Brian Buchard 2013), Monoke SS12 Campaign 2, Monoke SS12 Lookbook 1, Sedna AW12/13 Lookbook 4 (Anne Sofie Madsen)


The next designer I looked at was Johanna Pihl. Below are images from the collection which drew me to her work, however despite her exploration of what appears to be a sport inspired futuristic theme, I found that this aesthetic was not carried through the rest of her work. This collection however, makes use of some interesting detailing techniques and design ideas.

SS2012 (Johanna Pihl 2012), Johanna Pihl SS2012 (Showtime London College of Fashion 2011)


The emerging duo Vilsbol de Arce has created some inspirational futuristic work. The silhouettes explored (below) is relevant to my exploration of form away from form, distortion and exaggeration of silhouette. Their work explores drape and some sport inspiration, but has a focus on structure.

Vilsbol de Arce (Hearty Magazine 2010), Vilsbol de Arce  ( Anna Lindeman 2011), Vilsbol de Arce – ‘Jovita’ Jacket (Unknown)


The last designers I looked at in my list of emerging designers is Katie Gallagher. Gallagher’s work has a darker feel, similar to my own. The style across her work is minimal with playful detailing, but has little similarity to my Sport inspired focus.

Look 7Look 11 (Dan Lecca 2013), Look 9 (Dan Lecca 2013)

However I found Gallagher’s work exhibits some alternative influences in her work, which led me to look into her earlier work (below). Her previous work displays more alternative influences, which relates to my own aesthetics. Her heavy play on shapes and cut, with playful lines and distorted silhouettes have strong correlations with mine. Her recent work appears to be headed in a new direction.

SS2011 (Katie Gallagher 2011), SS2010, SS2010 (Katie Gallagher 2010)

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