Thinking in 3D, conceptual womenswear designer Lucy Upsher enjoys getting obsessed with her design process. Inspired by nature’s warped, intricate structures, her debut collection dissects the secret life of insects.
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Playing with the illusion of shadow and light, 23-year-old Westminster womenswear graduate Lucy Upsher used hundreds of metres of bungee cord, hand dyed in hues of pink, orange and peach, to create sculptural woven pieces for her graduate collection. Captivated by the spider trees emerging from Pakistan after the recent floods, Lucy attempted to encapsulate the energy from the insects’ carefully considered structures by manipulating different textured fabrics into constructed silhouettes. Obsessively studying colours and patterns and diligently replicating each minute detail, Lucy describes her final pieces as “insect monster queens”. Her dream woman to design for would be HRH the Queen. Currently residing in Florence, working as Junior Designer for womenswear print at Roberto Cavalli, Lucy recalls the first moment she fell in love with fashion as the moment she discovered Geri Halliwell! Excessive, outlandish and outrageously talented, Miss Upsher is our new obsession. Understand why….
What are you wearing right now? Vintage Roald Dahl-esque crocodile cardigan, Mary Katrantzou floral/cockerel printed chiffon trousers and an orange lasercutty lace Cavalli gym top (with computer screensavery-print strap top peeking through from under) and hot pink slippers.
What has been your best outfit ever? I do have a soft spot for a wedding outfit Last summer I wore a floor-length ultimate Disney-dream pink crystal beaded dress with pin tucked lime green rubber bodice panels. I topped it off with peach pvc, pink suede and silver glitter platforms. I planned and then made the thing for months… I needed to beat the bride.
What aspects of your personality does your dress sense portray? I do wear lots of print, which maybe shows some sort of indecisiveness and an inclination towards excess. I like lots of what I like. I have been described as dressing like a ‘wizard’s assistant’ before, whatever that means. I feel like it evokes quite an accurate image.
What is your earliest memory of your mother’s style? Matching nails, lipstick and eyeshadow. Every day. She still does it
What is your favourite colour? I like royal blue a lot. I’ve got quite sickly pale skin and fair hair so it makes me look great.
What kind of woman do you design for? Women who are unashamedly outlandish. Not someone who shops looking for fashion really, but is instead drawn to clothes that she finds exciting and that intrigue her own strong sense of style. I don’t think she’d go saturday shopping for her staple outfits… Someone who just falls in love with something and has to have it.
Text: Milly McMahon
Film: Thomas Walden and Sam White
Music: William George Kettle
Photographer: May Lin Le Goff
Model: Diana Sar @ Storm
Hair and Make up: Oonah Anderson