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London College of Fashion

London College of Fashion
The London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, is a recognized world leader in fashion design, media and business education. Nurturing creative talent for over a century, LCF offers over 70 undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and 165 short courses in all things fashion. The university encourages its students to be inventive, assertive, and unafraid to challenge the status quo with new ideas, while its comprehensive curriculum provides them with the skills, opportunities – and the freedom – to put those ideas into practice.

LCF and Lectra first partnered up in 2014, when the school began using design software Kaledo in its classrooms. Since then, LCF has introduced a new Honours BA program in Fashion Pattern Cutting and expanded its use of Lectra to include Modaris 3D and Diamino, its patternmaking and markermaking solutions. Lectra is now an integral part of the school’s innovative curriculum, which aims to train students on the latest industry-standard technology and provide them with practical skills that will give them a career head start. “CAD technology is being used more and more within the fashion industry, and LCF students who learn Lectra graduate with an edge over those who don’t,” says Sharon Blackford, Senior Lecturer at LCF.

When asked why the London College of Fashion chose to partner with Lectra, Professor José Teunissen, Dean of the LCF School of Design and Technology, can think of a few good reasons. “Lectra is a recognized industry leader whose technology covers all aspects of the design, development, including 3D, and manufacturing process. They have an excellent educational program that provides licenses for student laptops, so they can practice outside of the classroom. And since Lectra technology is widely used throughout the industry, our students are developing skills that make them highly employable.

LCF teaches a range of Lectra solutions that cover design to marker making in several of its undergraduate programs, including Fashion Design Development and Pattern Cutting, Fashion Contour, Sportswear and Bespoke Tailoring. For Senior Lecturer Sharon Blackford, using the full Lectra suite encourages students to work together collaboratively on different projects, and across different disciplines. “The fact that Lectra covers design with Kaledo, product development with Modaris 3D and marker making with Diamino, means it’s easier for students to use software specific to their specialty, while facilitating collaboration and communication between different programs. For example, textile students working in Kaledo can import patterns created by patternmaking students in Modaris 3D, to get a realistic idea of what their designs will look like in proportion to a garment’s individual pieces.”

LCF recently introduced an Honours BA program in Fashion Pattern Cutting; its first class graduated in 2017. Lectra’s Modaris 3D software is at the heart of the new program, which aims to give students hands-on digital experience that will make them highly employable in an increasingly digitalized industry that has been clamouring for skilled patternmakers trained in today’s technology. Tina Fox, who teaches Design Development and 3D Realisation, works closely with Sharon Blackford to strike a balance between Lectra and manual methodology in the classroom, making sure students get a well-rounded education in patternmaking. “The aim is to create strong links between CAD/CAM patternmaking skills and manual patternmaking techniques,” says Fox. When students begin using Lectra’s Modaris 3D, she explains, they are able to appreciate just how much time these digital skills can save them when it comes to creating and modifying patterns.

“Modaris 3D is an exciting element of their process; 3D delivers an instant visual outcome, which their generation has come to expect. The software allows them to adjust and experiment with silhouette, fit and proportions without having to manually recut and sew prototypes, and they can try out different color and fabric combinations easily, to come up with quick solutions and alternative looks.”

Learning Modaris 3D also prepares students to deal with the realities of the industry. “By their third year, our students understand the importance of speed to market and how this software facilitates global production; they learn strategies that help keep product development to limited timelines and within certain financial constraints,” she adds.

With over 350 licenses in use across different LCF sites, and a growing number of students using Lectra software on their laptops, this partnership shows no signs of slowing down. As LCF prepares for a 2020 move to a new site at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, it knows it can count on Lectra for technology support as it strives to redefine the face of fashion education by connecting its full range of disciplines under one roof.