Ruby Iqbal

By Roshannah Bagley

LONDON, United Kingdom:: The middle of the year is fast approaching, in Britain this can only mean one thing – the end of the academic year, thus ‘graduate season’. Come June London’s Earl’s Court will be taken over by the country’s top fashion and design schools parading their final year collections. Running parallel to this is the London College of Fashion’s annual BA Fashion show and exhibition. With the first of several previews, FAULT presents an exclusive look at LCF student Ruby Iqbal.

FAULT:: How long have you had an interest in fashion?

Ruby:: I can’t really pinpoint a moment where I decided that I want to study fashion, or be a fashion designer; I think it’s happened without me realizing! I’ve always loved anything arty and creative but I’ve never really known what exactly I want to do. I don’t really plan ahead and my decision to apply to LCF was quite last minute…it sounded exciting so I thought why not! It was only once I got into the course that I really started to appreciate fashion and developed a love for embroidery and print in particular.

FAULT:: Where did you seek inspiration for your final collection?

Ruby:: My collection is inspired by deformity, malformation and abnormality. My aim was to create a collection that is beautiful on the surface, yet it roots from somewhere not conventionally ‘beautiful’. In my research workbook, you’ll see images of bruised and wrinkled skin, skin malformations and plastic surgery gone very wrong; it might appear to be slightly gruesome! However I wanted to take these themes and using embroidery techniques, turn something unsightly and unconventionally pretty, into something beautiful.

FAULT:: How did you materialize these ideas?

Ruby:: I wanted the embroidery to appear as if it is growing over the garments; inspired by the idea that if we get a bruise, scar, boil, rash or wrinkle it will grow over our skin suddenly and out of our control. I came up with an embroidery technique that was inspired by the rough, uneven and bumpy texture of skin…it is essentially quite unsettling and peculiar yet beautiful and organic at the same time.

FAULT:: Which fashion designers or houses do you admire and why?

Ruby:: There are so many but one of my favourite designers is Hussein Chalayan. His work is so out of this world and truly limitless, and his designs have got a surreal visionary quality that sets him apart from other designers. I think his use of crazy materials and technology within his shows makes him much more than just a ‘fashion’ designer. I also love Basso and Brooke …they do lots of colour so beautifully.

FAULT:: What do you intend to do once you have completed your studies?

Ruby:: I’m hoping to do work experience with a few designers before I find a job; I’d love to intern with Vivienne Westwood. I loved making my final collection, the whole process from start to finish was such a learning curve and hopefully it won’t be long before I get to make another one. I’m also hoping to go traveling now I don’t have to be back for the start of term!

FAULT:: What have you learnt from your time at LCF?

Ruby:: I feel very lucky to have studied at LCF. I have been studying here for 4 years in total and in that time I’ve learnt so much. The projects have been extremely varied yet they’ve all enabled me to be highly experimental and play with ideas and processes I’ve never tried before, whether it be a new print or embroidery technique, my creativity was never limited. I definitely think that I’ve learnt more from things that have gone horribly wrong! That’s why I think it’s really important to not be afraid to take a risk or completely experiment.

FAULT:: What is your FAULT?

Ruby:: I think too much and I stress too much!

To contact Ruby email:: [email protected]