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.
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 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?
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!