Q&A: Liverpool John Moores graduating student Olivia Iwediebo

We asked Liverpool John Moores Fashion Communication students to speak to their peers in Fashion Design ahead of their upcoming fashion show. Here Charly Calvey and Jennie Blake catch up with Olivia Iwediebo to find out more about her work

Feature by Charly Calvey and Jennie Blake | 01 May 2014

Name: Olivia Iwediebo
Age: 21
University: Liverpool John Moores
Contact: olivialouliverpool@hotmail.com

Collection Title: Enslave and Restrict

The Skinny: Where are you from?

Olivia Iwediebo: Liverpool

What made you want to study fashion?

I love making clothes for other people, it's something I do in my spare time outside of University. I like starting something from scratch and watching it transform into my own design.

Which designers inspire you?

Zuhair Murad; I like the way his designs are graphed onto the skin. They look like a second skin; I think it’s really interesting. I like the shapes he uses as well; they always seem so structured but also extremely natural to the body.

What inspires you?

Music inspires me; I usually get my best ideas when listening to music. I like a variety of music styles; I really like house music and musicians such as Kanye West and London Grammar.

What was your main inspiration for this collection?

I started my research by looking at my family tree. I’m half Nigerian and half British. I was going to base my collection on my own family tree but as it developed it led me to the subject of slavery and freedom. I wanted ‘Slavery and Restriction’ to represent the abolition of slavery and how the idea of ‘freedom’ has changed. I have used free flowing fabrics to express the idea of freedom through the fabrics.

What has been the best advise you have ever been given?

Do what makes you happy, not what you think you should do.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

When I finish university I want to continue my studies on the Fashion MA programme that LJMU is introducing this year.

What have been your main highlights of this year?

I found writing my dissertation really interesting. I studied ethical fashion and slave labour within the fashion world which linked with the development of my collection. I received my dissertation mark recently and have achieved a high mark equivalent to 1st class!

What other than fashion interests you?

Music definitely. Travelling abroad as well. I love exploring new cultures and I love food!

How would you describe your personal style?

I don’t particularly follow trends. I usually see something on someone and take inspiration from that. I can go from wearing something really simple to wearing a complex detailed outfit.

Where are you most happy?

With loved ones. When I’m with my family and boyfriend. And also when I’m in the studio with the girls. It’s cheesy but it really relaxes me.

Liverpool School of Art and Design Degree Show, private view (all welcome) Thu 29 May, 5pm-late, with the Fashion Catwalk Show commencing 8.30pm, by advance booking: phone 0151 904 1216 or email lsad@ljmu.ac.uk

Exhibition opens to the public 30 May–13 Jun, 10am-6pm, 12pm-6pm weekends

Held at the John Lennon Art and Design Building, Duckinfield Street, Liverpool

Olivia Iwediebo: @olivialou, Instagram: olivialou_2012