On June 14th, last week, the RCA held its annual graduate fashion show. I have always tried to make it along but now I am based in LA, its kinda tricky! Luckily I have a spy on the inside, though. Mohsin Sajid of ENDRIME has been a denim design lecturer at the college for the past four years and has been hand selecting fashion design students to recieve Japanese denim mill, Kaihara Denim sponsorship. Past recipients have been Hannah Jinkins who went on to win 50,000 EUR from H&M for her denim collection in 2015.
All photos by @asiawerbel
Of the four lucky denim graduates, Mohsin personally sent me the work of Renata Brenha Ribeiro, above the other day, who produced a pretty beautiful pleated denim creation alongside a unique and gorgeous collection. Renata explains the inspiration behind the collection:
“The collection explores the rites and rituals of Latin America, and celebrates its aesthetic through sculptural garments made from spiritually charged textiles, which incorporate sacred cacao, blood and chilli skins” Renata explains. “A number of techniques are involved in this collection, smocking to devoré, rubber bonding to quilting. Whether hems are finished or raw, the work is heavily dependent on the human hand”
All photos by @asiawerbel
And what about that incredible pleated top???
In the case of this top, I used 25m of ultra light denim on which I hand painted 10x stretched polka dots that once smocked formed the print. The construction technique is quite simple according to traditional Mexican garments, as the ones used by Frida Kahlo.  The pattern pieces are rectangular and have the same length, and are finished with tied straps in an open back.
All photos by @asiawerbel

She also used an amazing dying technique to transform the below denim skirt.

“I am particularly interested in how food can inform and form fabric. Cacao is a ritualistic ingredient in pre-Hispanic communities in Mexico and is used in ceremonies, with the intent to provide courage, once cacao is known for opening people’s heart. I have used the same Ceremonial process to prepare the cacao that was then soaked into the white denim creating this unique spiritual material”
All photos by @asiawerbel

From 23 June to 1 July, the RCA graduate show 2018 will be open to the public in four locations: Battersea, Kensington, Lambeth and White City. Go and check out Renata’s portfolio as well as all the other incredible graduates work on display.

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Trend forecaster, denim designer, industry journalist and author of Denim Dudes.