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MDX alumnus makes waves at London Fashion Week with working class couture

Adam Frost combines visual art and clothes design to light up catwalk

Middlesex University students on the catwalk wearing bright clothingThe road since graduating from MDX with a Fashion Design degree in 2017 has not been smooth for Adam Frost. But his SS24 collection at London Fashion Week, 'Art is Abundance’ has been hailed a success by industry experts.

Adam, who describes himself as a queer designer, lit up the catwalk with his ‘Go big or go home’ mantra, with a collection that had an overarching theme of “Some of us may be broke, but we are visually rich.”

“When you don’t come from a rich background you have to work really hard,” Adam said, “Me and all my friends are poor - it doesn’t mean we aren’t successful.

“My parents always worked really hard and they were creative. My mum used to make things from bits or tartan. I have always been around people making stuff to sell in order to survive. I’m very aware of my current financial status whilst dreaming of a mortgage and a nice house.”

Working alongside 80 people for the show was a proud moment for Adam, who seeks inspiration from a variety of places including death, depression, sex and music. He grew up on a council estate and believes that his working-class background has shaped the designer he is today.

Blonde tall model wearing a haute couture dress

“My style is a visual artist making clothes so everyone looks like paintings,” he said.

“It’s about dressing in a maximalist way even if you’re just popping to Sainsbury’s, power dressing even though you’re on the minimum wage."

Adam’s collections consist of gender-fluid styles and items include PVC power-shoulder coats, tailored separates and colourful co-ords.

His MDX graduate collection was inspired by the exploitation of the artist – Andy Warhol getting shot, Roisin Murphy’s track exploitation, Amy Winehouse, and the feeling of being exploited by art schools at an early age.

It was this collection that was noticed by stylist Kim Howells which led to Adam gaining sponsorship from Schwarzkopf for his debut fashion show SS21.

“They only support four designers every season so I was really lucky,” he said. “They gave me funding for production for the venue and the stylist Kim Howells remembered seeing my graduate collection at MDX which was lovely.”

After working in a number of different jobs post-university, Adam concluded that it’s hard to work for someone else when having your own label is the ultimate goal.

“The dream is to have my own studio and be able to make art every day,” he said.

“Ideally I’d love a studio by the beach and commute to London to do Fashion Week. I would love to dress Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell or Bj√∂rk. I’ve nearly dressed Lady Gaga three times now so hopefully fourth time lucky!

“This life is everything; if I am not creating I will seize up and die.”

Adam says one of his proudest moments to date was being featured on the cover of Katie Grand’s LOVE Magazine during lockdown.

Already working on his next collection, ‘I Want to Grow Old with You,” Adam, says he loves fashion for the feelings it evokes.

He said: “I want to make art fashion which is really inspiring. Fashion makes us feel better when we dress up; it empowers people and makes them feel good.”

The 30-year-old credits MDX for the hands-on, practical education he received.

“It gave me great training,” he said. “If you want to make clothes you can go there and learn to do just that. It’s rare for fashion schools to be like that. It’s also very grounding there and a great mix of people and different art forms with people just getting on with what they love doing.”

Meanwhile, another MDX alumnus Peter Hawkings has been appointed creative director of American luxury brand Tom Ford, a role he says he’s “been preparing for his whole life”.

And fashion and portrait photographer Danny Kasirye, who studied film and TV at MDX, features in Elle Magazine after shooting actress Florence Pugh for the October cover.

Danny, who is Ugandan-British, says his background in filmmaking heavily influences the way he approaches his still images but his aim is to bring a sense of joy and beauty to his work. He won the British Journal of Photography Portrait of Britain award in 2020.

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