Prof. Jimmy Choo’s JCA shows at London Fashion Week City Wide Celebration unveiling Patrick McDowell’s and its first graduating MA Designers’ collections: Angels Wear Nada, Melissa-Kate, Size-A and Sophie Park.
London, 11th October: Prof. Jimmy Choo’s Mayfair based JCA | London Fashion Academy hosted its debut London Fashion Week City Wide MA show featuring 5 new designer entrepreneurs on the evening of Monday alongside JCA’s Designer in Residence, Patrick McDowell.
Attendees included Layton Williams, Ella Eyre, Isabella Charlotta, Chris Grave, Laura Pradelska and Leo Kalyan.
Stephen Smith, Founder and CEO of the JCA comments: “Our London Fashion Week show has been a momentous occasion for us all at the JCA. Since officially opening our doors only one year ago in September 2021 we have nurtured our first graduating MA cohort from our home on Hanover Square. Opening our doors to the public one year on has been the perfect moment to celebrate the successes of these hugely talented designer entrepreneurs as they launch their new brands: Size-A, Melissa-Kate, Angels Wear Nada, Maryam Orchid and Sophie Park.
Taking place across 3 storeys of the JCA’s Grade II Period Building, the show commenced at 6.30pm leading to a private party that took place at the Sketch’s glamorous cocktail lounge. Showing first, British Fashion Designer Patrick McDowell unveiled his latest collection Marie Antoinette goes to Liverpool, merging the uncanny world of Marie Antoinette with his own Liverpudlian background. Opening the MA Show, Noon Khouri presented her nomadic, inclusive and up-cycled denim brand Angels Wear Nada, followed by Melissa-Kate, who showcased For the Love of Venus PT.III, the third capsule in a three-part, year-long series which delves into the spirituality, symbolism and conspiracies behind the planet Venus. Afterwards, Annabelle Barton presented Size-A, a luxury womenswear brand born from the desire for creatively designed, luxury clothes that can fit a range of petite women, followed by Sophie Park showcasing the first collection of her eponymous plant-based gender-neutral footwear brand that fuses whimsical Wes Anderson-esque symmetry with the ambiguous silhouettes seen often in the work of Rei Kawakubo.
Patrick McDowell’s collection comprises 30 looks and draws from lighter pastel palettes that reflect Marie Antoinette’s preference for youth and femininity and strong bold shots of yellow and black. In ‘Marie Antoinette goes to Liverpool’ the designer experiments with varying proportions of waspy waistlines and bouffant skirts, blending these classic silhouettes with modern Liverpudlian twists. The prints from this collection have been created from family pictures of Patrick, his Mother and Grandmother in their childhood years, drawing on the element of personal storytelling that is integral to his design practice.
Patrick’s show; “Marie Antoinette goes to Liverpool’ is a deeply personal expression of who I am and where I come from. I’ve doubled down on my sustainable ethos to create a collection that embodies peacock dressing for now. Working with amazing materials like Taroni silk, Manteco Wool, Tencel and Tencel Luxe has really given me room to expand my offering of special emotionally connected pieces. All the pieces are designed and made here in London with a low carbon footprint in mind. This collection is a big step forward for me as I take my brand into this new chapter. In many ways the show title reflects my own journey as a queer working class scouser to ‘The cake’; the affectionate term we have given to the incredible 5 story Georgian town house at 20 Hanover square where the JCA is located. Pastel colours and plaster work has been painstakingly restored to its former glory, perfectly setting the scene for the show.”
The JCA MA Graduates in Fashion Entrepreneurship in Design and Brand Innovation showing their collections included:
- Angels Wear Nada – an inclusive up-cycled denim brand, collaborative art project and experimental event space founded by Noon Khouri. In Noon Khouri’s words, Angels Wear Nada “is the new eco-friendly alternative, battling the issue of landfills, one garment at a time. Manufacturing denim is one of the most unsustainable practices in the fashion industry, but we pride ourselves on challenging societal norms”.
- Melissa Kate – A demi-couture label that mixes themes of Hollywood Glamour, rock’n’roll and spirituality to create the look of the modern pin-up. In Melissa-Kate’s words, her label is: “a world where the patriarchy doesn’t exist, influenced by the power of the divine feminine energy through witchcraft and pin-up style, hand crafted by a female for the feminine.”
- Size-A – A uniquely designed label for petite women by Annabelle Barton. In Annabelle Barton’s words, Size-A offers ‘‘innovative, creative sets styled purposefully to enhance the ‘anti-fit’ look. Every garment is exclusively for petite women like myself who have struggled to find a luxury brand that fits our personal requirements’’.
- Sophie Park – a plant based, gender-neutral footwear brand bringing a range of innovative designs and ideas to the market. In Sophie Park’s words, her label pairs: “stylistic originality with rigorous ethics” making it “the perfect collection for fashion-forward individuals who not only reach for their classic go-to staple shoes but also enjoy adding an avant-garde edge to their style by customising their pieces”.
Mark Eley, comments: “The first graduating cohort clearly illustrates the diversity and entrepreneurial ambitions of the programme with all 4 designers showcasing a myriad of creative business concepts through their design practice.”
After the show, Professor Jimmy Choo OBE hosted drinks at the JCA I London Fashion Academy, where french champagne by Moët & Chandon and sweets from Fortnum & Mason were served. Afterwards, VIP guests and designers were invited to Sketch’s cocktail lounge to further celebrate the show. Following JCA’s and Patrick McDowell’s commitment to sustainability, Ecologi planted a tree for each guest.
JCA | London Fashion Academy is a pioneering fashion school and professional incubator founded by Prof. Jimmy Choo OBE and Mr Stephen Smith. It opened its doors in Mayfair in September 2021 to play a pivotal role in re-galvanising London’s fashion community post-pandemic and has been established as Mayfair’s international hub for all those interested in design and luxury brands. Taking inspiration from and disrupting the boundaries from the likes of the V&A, Royal College of Art, Parsons New York and Somerset House, the facility will be more than just an educational academy, providing contemporary co-working spaces for fashion start-ups, gallery and exhibition space and a calendar of networking and fashion-focused events.. Since its opening in September 2021, the school has helped many students launch their projects, like Melissa-Kate, a Master’s student invited to show at the Northern Fashion Week, and Scottish mature student Paul McCann, who has launched his label whilst in the first-year of his degree. It houses a number of professional designers, including its Designer in Residence, Patrick McDowell.
ABOUT JCA MA Fashion Entrepreneurship in Design & Brand Innovation
The MA Fashion Entrepreneurship in Design and Brand Innovation has been designed with enterprise creation as a central distinctive feature. Students on the course will establish themselves as freelancers or micro-SME’s and will be encouraged to develop a commercial enterprise from the outset.
ABOUT PATRICK MCDOWELL
Based in London, Patrick started his career studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins. Whilst learning his craft Patrick worked at Burberry, working under Christopher Bailey before going on to launch his own brand at London Fashion Week in 2018 with discarded Burberry fabrics and Swarovski crystals. In 2019 Patrick was nominated by Anna Wintour for the Stella McCartney today for tomorrow award. In 2020 Patrick became a Graduate Fashion Week Global Ambassador while also receiving a British Fashion Award nomination. At the beginning of 2021, he was appointed Sustainability Design Director of the Italian womenswear brand Pinko and Sustainability Ambassador for Prof. Jimmy Choo’s newly founded JCA London fashion academy, moving his studio into the Academy as Designer in Residence in 2022.
Patrick has been featured in global fashion press, such as, WWD, Vogue, Dazed and the Guardian to name a few. He is considered a Leading voice on sustainability speaking on many global platforms most notably in summer 2022 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and the BFC Institute of positive fashion annual meeting. Patrick continues to work across the fashion industry developing Reimagine collections while pushing the boundaries of what sustainable fashion can be in his own name sake collections to reduce fashion’s global impact and supporting his brands three founding pillars: People and the planet, Uplift the queer community, and Support Creative Education.
ABOUT PROFESSOR JIMMY CHOO
Malaysian born Jimmy Choo grew up in a family of shoe designers. From an early age Choo took an interest in creating beautiful shoes, making his first pair at the age of 11 under his father’s guidance. After graduating from the London Technical College in 1983, Choo opened his first shop three years later and subsequently became one of the most successful shoe designers in the world. His unique style and beautiful designs become increasingly popular with high end clients including Diana, Princess of Wales. Jimmy Choo sold his share of the company in 2001 and in 2002, Jimmy Choo was honoured with an ‘Order of British Empire’ to recognise his service to the fashion industry.
ABOUT STEPHEN SMITH, FAUA, MBA (Dist.), PGCE FAHE, BA (Hons,) CEO & FOUNDER
Stephen Smith, has more than 20 years in leadership roles across the public and private higher education sector. During his career, he has undertaken roles such as Head of School, Dean of Faculty, Vice Principal, Provost, Registrar, Managing Director and now CEO. He has worked in large Metropolitan University’s, specialist College’s of Art and Design and international educational institutes of Design. Stephen has worked closely with international, UK and local governments to develop and deliver strategies aiming to build a sustainable creative industry. Threading together Stephen’s career is the focus on education and its bridge to enterprise.