Filipina designer finds her own skin on London catwalk

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Ecdysis Collection on London College of Fashion Degree show 2019 catwalk

Filipina-British fashion designer Faye Arguelles debuts her collection at #LCF19 Degree Show on 18 July 2019. ‘Ecdysis’ showcases a collection of couture pieces underlying the present need for humans to wear masks as protection from pollution, while also drawing inspiration from nature itself.

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Faye Arguelles read Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Textiles majoring in Embroidery at LCF

Stirred by her birth country’s nature and landscape imageries, Arguelles contrasts heritage lands like the rice terraces – carved into the mountains by the hands of Filipino ancestors and indigenous people – with mining sites caused by urbanisation.

“Ecdysis means shedding the old skin. I wish for it to express the constantly changing ways of our earth caused by nature and the civilisations in it. There is always a layer of new skin to find,” Arguelles said.

“J Henry Fair’s photographs of environmental pollution and earth damage crisis were a key inspiration for me as they stimulate the idea of creating something horrifying yet stunning visuals. Furthermore, Azuma Makoto’s celebration of plants and flowers by expressing their inner beauty also motivated the direction of this collection.”

Being in one of the most fashion dynamic cities in the world, the 21 year-old undergrad student from London College of Fashion (LCF) created Ecdysis as her final project. She hopes to embody a season-less collection that prioritises sustainability in designs by showcasing meticulous hand-craftsmanship and delicate hand-rendered pieces. Arguelles also pursues awareness of some Filipino traditions and indigenous practices to help preserve their existence as well as create cohabitation among them and the innovative practices of the modern textiles industry.

The concept of the head pieces explores the perception of beauty found in the toxic and scarred faces of planet Earth. They do not only juxtapose organic against artificial but also fluidity against fragmentation. Arguelles said: “I really enjoyed playing between the mixture and texture of soft and graphic elements by using different weight and opacity of fabrics. I also used natural fibres (abaca, piñasilk, cotton, silk threads) along with synthetics (polyester organza, pvc, crinoline, tulle) to surround the collection with more opposite themes of the natural process versus the man-made.”

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“Our earth is captivating. May we still see its beauty despite the futile damage,” she said.


The #LCF19 Degree Show took place on 18-19 July 2019 at Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E15 2GW. The event is hosted by the London College of Fashion (LCF) of University of the Arts London (UAL).