Got a minute? Here is all you need to know about London college of Fashion Designer Bora Nam, a one to watch ahead of the BA(Hons) Fashion Design Technology catwalk showcase next week.
Where are you from?
I’m from where Gang-nam style was born…South Korea.
Give us one interesting fact about yourself…
I was training to be a theatre actress when my mum decided it was about time and I give design a go considering 90% of my books were covered with doodles of girls, cloths, and shoes.1 year into ever studying drawing and design at my art school, I earnt 2 page worth list of awards from national competitions back home in Korea. Everyone thought I was cheating. But I was just enjoying what I was doing.
Talk us through your final project/collection/research/piece…
I begin my research by re-visiting the past, mostly my teenage-hood. Coming from a Private school, I saw a lot of friends who were neglected, perhaps their parents or teachers due to .. many reasons, money or family issues.. They used to always say how they wanted to leave because no one cares. Most of them had left the school then. What happens after? My collection is about their culture. They are sentimental, damaged but positive, youthful and strong.
In the their society, things that we throw away become something useful. They can make a guitar out of a broken skateboard, distorted nails, and few fishing lines. It’s so brilliant. So, in most cases, things are developed from other pieces. Sleeves are developed from top patterns, or my collars are developed from trousers etc. Then I find a way to connect one and another to travel in and out within the look. I loved working on the unusual details. On top of the designs, print and embroidery designs are added in geometric form following the construction of details in and out.
What techniques or theories did you use to create your final piece of work?
It was a lot of garment engineering. I deconstructed few garments like many designers do these days and tried to imagine what a person do to cover up if all he/she had were damaged things. I naturally pick up complex details and work my way out to refine them. For this collection It was all about to hybrid things to come up with new details and designs.
Describe your work in five words…
Deconstructive. Detail-focused. Empowered. Emotional. Elegant
Do you have a muse? If so, who and why?
There is this woman that I briefly met when I was 19 in NY. She was all in black and I’ve always been a person that is full of emotions. I was naïve and innocent. Walking up the infamous 5th ave of New York City with a friend laughing like little girls, I saw this woman, tall, tight biker jeans, chucky high-heeled buckle boots, over-sized coat tightly fastened at the waist, black sunglasses and leather gloves. She had both of her hands on her waist and looking right at me. At first, I was scared and confused but I was sure she was looking at me.
As I was getting closer and closer to her, I think she smiled at me. And two of the beautiful guys who were hanging around her looked at me too I think. I wanted to sort of run away because it was so intense. I was slowing down because I didn’t know what to do but she walked over to me. She told me “Don’t be afraid. Don’t show them you fear. They will see you for who you tell them you are.” I think she saw that I was very intimidated by the Upper east side crowd. She was telling me to become strong. She looked confident, strong and had the whole world under her foot. Ever since then, she has a very strong influence on me. I am still myself who is emotional, romantic and fragile inside but I want to become her. The woman I look up to is the woman I want to design for and the woman I want to become. My work is a blend of me and this woman.
What inspires you?
Emotions and youth. When I was a teenager, I was an observer. I constantly think and try to understand people. Emotions are all beautiful.
*Photograph by James Rees