LIAM JOHNSON X R+D

Liam Johnson graduated from Central Saint Martins last June, where he studied BA Fashion Print.

His graduate collection featured severely over-sized coats made of foam, playing with the idea of using print in three dimensional form, rather than the expected 2D printed surface.

Growing up, he would watch his dad work in the garment manufacturing industry and naturally develop his own passion for fashion and design. With the Alexander McQueen scholarship, as well as a year working with John Galliano at Maison Margiela, he has a promising track record under his belt.

Fashion Communication and Promotion students Dean Hoy and Reece Owen collaborated with Liam Johnson to make a film featuring his graduate collection, which will also act as part of their teleshopping film series.

What moved you to the decision to study fashion Design?

I grew up in an old coal mining village in Wales. Despite loving my family to death, I felt really different to everyone around me. I had an extreme imagination growing up and I spent a lot of time mostly in the clouds. I think visually, fashion as a medium offered me an escape, something that had no boundaries, at least in my head. Everyone seems to have an opinion on what it should or shouldn’t be and I wanted to question that. so I decided to go for it. I would travel two hours everyday on a bus to my local college to study garment construction. My tutor encouraged me to apply to Central Saint Martins – ‘The School of Dreams’. So I did my foundation year there and then got a place on BA Womenswear and Fashion Print.

How did working at Maison Margiela influence you as a designer?

Working at that house was magical. It was really mystical, poetic and everything you could ever imagine. It offered so much insight creatively. It had such a presence and taught me so much about myself, my work and how important it is to stick to your own vision.

What inspired your graduate collection?

My graduate collection was about pushing and questioning the extremities. It was born out of anxiety and hyperrealism.

Why did you decide to present your collection in a video format ?

Reece and Dean approached me to do something special. It was a really natural fit. I knew the video would offer the collection a different visual context, which was important. It would be a shame for it to exist in only one format. Now it’ll exist virtually, forever.

What do you want to bring to the fashion industry?

The fashion industry is so old, it’s going through a bit of a midlife crisis. I want to offer a different prospective, and explore the limits of ultimate creativity. The world is changing and I think that a few of us in our generation are hungry for something new.

Describe the woman wearing Liam Johnson.

I wouldn’t say it’s just a woman. Anyone, if they have the balls, can buy into it. It’s about expanding your mind, being uncompromisingly brave and letting yourself go there. It’s supposed to feel transportive and somewhat sensory. It’s going to get better and better as time goes on. I am sure of it.

What is next on your agenda as a designer?

I am working on some small projects and about the start my master’s degree at Central Saint Martins. I’ve also been given a studio space which allows me to grow.