We first met Angelou at the Royal College of Art’s graduate fashion show at the atmospheric Averard Hotel. In this interview Angelou talks about what inspired him to study fashion, why he choose to study London and about his aspirations for the future. You can see more of Angelou’s work here: http://www.angelouzhu.com
Hello Angelou, could you please introduce yourself?
My name is Angelou Anzhe Zhu, I am from Tianjin, China. I have recently graduated from the Royal College of Art (RCA) with a MA in fashion womenswear.
I had previously completed an undergraduate degree in Beijing. After college I was working for a Chinese company on their runway collection for Beijing Fashion Week but there was a big emphasis on commercial designs to fit a particular market. It is contemporary fashion that really interests me and as a result I came to London. I studied for a graduate diploma in fashion at Central Saint Martins (CSM), a college of the University of the Arts London, before following this up with a MA in fashion at the RCA.
Why did you decide to study in London?
London is the number one choice for fashion as it home to the worlds best schools, such as the RCA and CSM. Many famous fashion labels can trace their origins back to these two universities alone. Last year, the RCA was ranked number one in the world by Business of Fashion and QS World University Rankings. Studying at such world leading schools is certainly a plus for my future career prospects in the fashion industry. Another important factor is that the students here are very friendly and approachable and people get on with each other very well.
Could you briefly explain your graduate exhibition?
My final collection was inspired by the French writer Simone de Beauvoir and her book, The Second Sex. As a designer I consider the wearers perspective and in this collection I have tried to create chic, luxurious and effortless fashion.
This collection was also created with minimal cuttings. The shapes of many wool pieces were created by just 1 or 2 cuts. At the same time, laser-cut leather lace, laser-cut wool as well as the methods to assemble pieces together have brought modernity to the collection.
How busy was your course?
Fashion is renowned for been extremely busy, this is especially true when studying at Masters Level. I spent every moment I could in the studio perfecting my collection.
What are your plans for the future?
I would like to visit Paris for a while before eventually returning to work in Shanghai.
About the Royal College of Art Graduate Exhibition
For the first time in 20 years, the Royal College of Art hosted their graduate fashion show outside of the College’s Kensington campus. It was moved instead to a stunning location of a disused hotel north of Hyde Park. The derelict and atmospheric Averard Hotel hosted work from graduating students who were majoring in menswear, womenswear, footwear and accessories. Zowie Broach, head of fashion at RCA, was behind the move to the new location to coincide with London Collection Mens and to encourage students to think creatively within a unique setting.
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