London College of Fashion MA Graduates: We Spotlight Oliver Ruuger

The second in our LCF MA graduate interview series is Oliver Ruuger, whose work was a scene stealer in the ‘MA Fashion Artefact’ show. We were fascinated by the incredibly accomplished and confident pieces that felt more as if they were part of the collection from a very high end and well established brand, with not a small dash of the sculptural mixed with a healthy splash of sadism. This collection was awarded the MA Award in Design and Oliver graduated with a distinction.

CONTEXT

Oliver is originally from Hiiumaa island in the Baltic sea. He moved from a rural village to London in 2004 to study BA Fashion at Kingston University, focusing on menswear. He won a design competition in his 2nd year of BA studies and as a result interned in New York during summer ‘09 for a well known American fashion brand, designing shoes, accessories and outerwear. This experience sparked his interest for accessories and he went on to do several other shoe and accessories based work placements during his studies, including for the fabulous Nicholas Kirkwood.

Oliver graduated with an award for studentship and went on to work as an accessories designer for one year, before applying for the ‘MA Fashion Artefact’ course, run by Dai Rees at London College of Fashion, for which he was awarded the Harold Tillman scholarship. Olivers MA collection of umbrellas, briefcases and sculptural saddles is a result of a personal exploration of design process, material and make. The pieces exhibit a high level of technical ability as he has combined incredibly hi tech processes with low tech manual, traditional workmanship to produce an accomplished body of work. Oliver is making his collection to order and is also interested in collaborative work.

Over to Oliver himself…

THE COLLECTION

The final project for my MA studies is a collection of umbrellas, briefcases and saddles. I view the articles as luxury fashion products however I want the pieces to justify their value on their own without the whole luxury ‘bubble’ and hype. The pieces are sculptural, and although they are fully functional (apart from the saddles) they equally work presented as objects of contemplation in still life. The look of the work is derived from initial choices of ‘charged’ materials (bark tanned leather, tonewood, brass, horsehair) and realized through empirical research. The technical parts are resolved in a manner that they can lend themselves to further commercial fashion product development. Every component is designed and fabricated as an one off. I worked with an engineer and a jeweler for the metalwork, and produced the rest myself.

What would your dream job be?

I would love to collaborate with a fashion brand/film director/an avant-garde personality to produce further work.

Who or what has proven to be your longest standing inspiration?

ma mère

If not accessories/ artefacts, what other creative discipline would you have chosen?

any design based discipline appeals to me… possibly product design or architecture

Who would your ideal client be?

some illustrious eccentric

What is the most exciting thing that you learnt on your MA?

Not to worry too much and just remember that I am doing this because i love it.

What three words best sum up your aesthetic?

presence, sleek, industrial

For more inspirational interviews, just click here. Enjoy!

London Fashion Week- Heel Me! The Joy of Shoes

Stopped stock still and slowly letting out a heartfelt gasp… This was me as I spotted a small, but stunningly effective display of Nicholas Kirkwood shoes in a corner of Somerset House’s LFW exhibition.

You may well have read about our passion for Mr Kirkwood’s creations on the “Blink” blog before. The love affair continues as we drooled over these amazing creations for Jean Pierre Braganza– fresh from the catwalk, looking like pastel powder puffs of heaven in high heels. We also marveled at these hand carved wooden heeled wonders that Kirkwood created for Rodarte’s S/S’11 NYFW show. He is clearly a love affair for them too as he has created the shoes for Rodarte’s last few collections.

Genius in a shoebox, as far as we are concerned…

Nicholas Kirkwood for Jean Pierre Braganza

Nicholas Kirkwood for Jean Pierre Braganza

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte

Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte

Accessories: Nick at Liberty

We were passing by Liberty, peering in the windows as usual, contemplating what we were going to score at the Summer sale preview when we were utterly distracted by this stunning piece of shoe art, shoes, art… Well, whether this is about the shoes or the stunning vintage Liberty Art Fabrics ‘Bounty’ and ‘Santa Maria’ prints, its a winning combination.

We have long admired the work of Mr Kirkwood, and this collaboration as part of Liberty’s year long Flower Power event, has resulted in a three piece collection of limited edition, foot oriented joy.

So, plans to have a spend up in the sale went out of the window, and instead we started working out a crack pot scheme that would result in imminent ownership of the stunning Bounty Platform sandal…

Click here for more on ‘Accessories’.

Nicholas Kirkwood for Liberty