MEET ONE OF LCDF’S UP AND COMING FASHION DESIGN STUDENT - NGUYEN THU NGAN
Nguyen Thu Ngan, (born in 2002, Hanoi), is a freshman at London College for Fashion and Design. Through only 2 terms at the school, she has proven herself to be a promising future designer people should be on the lookout for. I sat gown with Ngan to know more about her and how she navigates the fashion world.
So Ngan, what brings you to fashion in the first place?
Growing up in an artistic household with my family encouraging and influencing me to pursue the arts at a very young age, I found myself being fascinated by art and fashion ever since I could remember. The three generations before me in the family were all in the garment industry, so I had a good chance to experiment with fabrics and garments and thus nurturing my love for fashion. I am also very proud to continue my family trade as a fashion student.
Though you’re just a freshman in LCDF, you’ve had an interesting journey in the fashion world since highschool. Care to tell us more?
My fascination for fashion turned into a certain drive in highschool when I joined the Lamode Fashion Club. Though it was only a highschool club, it opened a lot of doors for me to build my network with former club members and professionals in the industry that I still cherish and utilize to this day. By being one of the leaders of the club in my sophomore year, I gained plenty of valuable lessons of leadership, friendship, and organization from my peers and from the experience itself. My work during my time in the club also helped me build a solid portfolio to apply to colleges later, so I highly recommend it for young people wanting to study fashion in the future.
Now that you’ve been through two terms at LCDF, would you say that it changed your perspective on fashion at all?
I would say it changed tremendously. With better knowledge of the process of creativity and a clearer view of the industry, I love fashion more than ever because being at the school makes me realize fashion is so much more than just garments; that’s only the tip of the iceberg. It is also so inspiring now that I'm surrounded by talented and hardworking classmates, as well as the best mentors I could ask for.
My approach to designing was uprooted and rebuilt totally. With each term, I try to challenge myself as much as possible and with as many styles as possible, but i do find myself drawing inspiration from my Asian heritage, my upbringing, and generally the things that made me who I am today; I like to think of my works as an extension of myself honestly. For example, my term 1 work was inspired by German Expressionism post World War I - the art movement that blossomed amidst a society of turbulence and uncertainty. Something about that resonated with me - a young person trying to make art and figure out life in a post covid and late-stage capitalistic world.
My second term work was also personal to me as it was inspired by my Vietnamese heritage. Trying to balance between modernity and streetwear culture and the Vietnamese inspiration was a mounting task, but i think the final outcome reflects who i am as a designer. I like to think of the project as “new streetwear for old souls”.
My next project, though unfinished due to unforeseen circumstances, was inspired my Buddhist upbringing and the women behind it - my mom, and my grandmothers. In the project, I explored Buddhist philosophies, Tibetan Buddhist culture, and my personal relationship with the religion.
Do you think anyone influenced your career in fashion?
Yes, definitely. Every single person I met during my journey has been of tremendous help for me of course; I could learn from every single one of them. But for the people who influenced me the most, they have to be Mr. Gary Wilson, my mentor at LCDF, who guided me and pushed me to my limits during the terms, and my employer Cuong Dam, who is a prominent fashion designer, a great boss, and also a mentor that I cherish.
Nguyen Thu Ngan - freshman at LCDF - Hanoi
Student awarded with Distinction for the assignment “WHITE SHIRT PROJECT” with the final garment displayed in the university lobby.