Ninela Ivanova, an MA Fashion student at Kingston University , uses fungi as both an inspiration for her designs and as a material which she has incorporated in her latest collection. “Mould is extraordinary,” Ninela, 24, said; “It thrives when nothing else can grow. It prospered in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster – it even grows on the outside of spaceships,”  

Ninela has aimed to create delicate and feminine womenswear despite working with a material that might seem repellent. She has grown mould and then translated the patterns it forms on to chiffon drapes. She has also reproduced the patterns in silk and sealed them in close-fitting silicon garments, which cling tightly to the body like a second skin. And three of her looks actually incorporate the mould itself, sealed in PVC shoulder pads and a top, where it grows.

Ninela’s collection will be showcased in Kingston University’s Body Laboratory during London Fashion Week. The students’ work can be seen at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden, on September 16, between 5.00 and 8.30pm.