Graduate Fashion Week Leaves London Looking Fabulous
Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) is a four-day event in London where students from select universities across the world are able to showcase their work to huge audiences and industry professionals, the largest platform for fashion students.
The 27th annual show will last from June 3-6, at Truman Brewery in London. The event will display over 1,000 students from GFW partner universities in 25 catwalk shows. 40 of those universities will also hold exhibitions for over 30,000 guests.
The charity hosts multiple workshops for students and graduates to learn about how to succeed in the workforce from industry professionals. The event is meant to establish connections between students and recruiters and creates an opportunity for students to network with many brands from around the world.
“The graduates chosen to debut their work in the photoshoot this season embody diverse influences and unique styles, with some focusing heavily on sustainability, using ethical materials and recycled pieces to decrease their harm on the environment” a PR representative for the GFW, Jenny Jones, said.
Just because the designers are students, that doesn’t mean the A-listers aren’t interested however. Celebrities like Victoria Beckham, Christopher Bailey, Vivienne Westwood, Nick Knight, Diane Von Furstenberg and Nadja Swarovski have all shown support to the charity and the show over the years by becoming lifetime patrons. With sponsors like Swarovski, M&S, L’oreal, Ralph Lauren and many others, the charity promises that this year will be the biggest yet.
“The work being produced for 2018 is of the highest calibre and the campaign is truly original and extraordinary, reflecting the talent on show at Graduate Fashion Week. We look forward to seeing the collections used in the campaign on the runway in June,” Martyn Roberts, Managing & Creative Director of GFW, said.
Check out some of the graduate designs that have graced the runway so far!
Evelyne Babin - University of the Creative Arts Epsom
Born and raised in Tanzania, Evelyne Babin’s collection is based on the idea of letting different cultures from various East African dynasties step into conversation over their inherent beliefs and values. Looking into the arts and crafts of the Swahili people of the island of Zanzibar and the banana leaf craft from her native Chaga village near Mount Kilimanjaro, Evelyne merges floral cut outs with dried banana leaves framed onto hessian and embroidery anglais fabrics designing a collection which portrays the vibrant colours and crafts of East Africa.
Sarah Seb – University of East London
Sarah Seb is passionate about making use of discarded material and lowering consumption waste. The collection explores the process of reconstruction in second hand clothing, as a type of mechanism to avoid the creation of new materials and to lower the impact of waste caused by the fashion industry on the environment. Using second-hand and used clothing creates a direct link to culture and history. Old clothes should not be seen as rubbish but as a canvas for each individual’s self-expression. It is vital that the already accumulated waste is dealt with instead of using more resources and causing damage in the name of fashion.
Rose Connor - University of Central Lancashire
Rose Connor’s collection is based on upcycling plastics’ after her research into oceanography and the effects of discarded plastics and their effects on marine life. Rose developed a technique of fusing newly created fabric, through heat pressing, plastics and in particular ‘bath-time’ plastics such as shower curtains’ and mesh shower sponges. The effects of her material manipulation technique, which is heat formed to the body, has created garments reminiscent of other-worldly silhouettes influenced by underwater coral and marine sea creatures. She had the idea of creating beautiful art work sculptures from the ugly devastating ‘islands of plastic’ that are polluting our ocean environments.
Elizabeth Hargrave - De Montfort University
The collection has been fuelled by the ethos of Russian Constructivism - the relation between human subjects and the mass-produced objects of modernity. Inspiring the design process with “the re-organisation of everyday life and calling maximum attention on the simplest things that surround us”, Elizabeth’s designs are simple but poignant. She uses sustainable, biodegradable natural fabrics and natural dyes (e.g. berries, roots and tea) in an attempt to educate and highlight that the use of synthetic fabrics and fabric dyes in fashion contribute to the world’s pollution and that the future of design lies in using these materials and methods that will eliminate the environmental impact of fashion waste.
David Cottington- De Montfort University
David Cottington’s graduate collection “im/maturity” is centred around the concept of maturity and development, something he believes is subjective and not always a negative trait. Each outfit in the collection has its own sub-concept - starting from birth, developing through the stages of life to old age. This really helped David to focus, giving each outfit its own personality but also working towards a cohesive collection.Queer culture, humour and playfulness are also part of David’s everyday life and therefore translate into the fashion he creates. Hand crafted techniques, like crochet and hand painting are mixed with masculine tailoring and smart sport influences. The garments are intended to be masculine but with a softness.
Libby Bowler – Manchester School of Art
Libby Bowler seeks to combine traditional hand-craft processes with technical details and fabrics to produce innovative garments with a sensibility for sustainable design. Research themes which inspired the development of her graduate collection included mountaineering and naval expeditions, Inuit garment construction processes and the environmental protest group, Surfers Against Sewage.
Libby began the research process with a visit to the Imperial War Museum archive where she was able to handle historic expedition garments and equipment. She continuously studied historic and contemporary garments to aid design and construction skills. The colour pallet was inspired from art works from Tibet, the primary nationality of the Sherpas, who help transport equipment for Everest expeditions. There is also text extracted from survival guides and environmental protests that has been developed into graphic vinyl transfers which is a key process running throughout the collection to express a sense of protest in a playful yet informative way.
Jose Cortizo – Universidad de Vigo
Jose Cortizo has always been inspired by architecture and also honours traditional Japanese culture in his work. ‘Weekend Lovers’ is a fusion of these two inspiring motifs.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma contributes to the collection his defense for the local, the artisanal that Jose translates into important interiors of dyed cottons, with rough finishes and transparencies in Swiss organdie. Volumes in the garments are achieved through the superposition, fed by the modular repetition, the scaling of patterns and manual pleating. The choice of outer fabrics is essential to give weight to add firmness to the pieces, at the same time as bringing out the duality in terms of quality with which the designer constantly plays. This is then married to the Japanese floral art of crystal embroideries full of delicacy and femininity, creating a masculine collection of great rotundity.
‘Weekend Lovers’ speaks of the casual lovers and the passion with which they relate.
Maria Hassan-Attah – Plymouth College of Art
The collection draws inspiration from Maria’s West African heritage, which is then fused with a contemporary Western twist, reflecting her upbringing in Urban Britain.
Influence has been taken from the rich West African culture Maria has been exposed to. This is articulated through bright, bold shapes and print. Her concept takes further inspiration from West African miner’s uniforms. These have been incorporated into design details, such as baggy silhouettes, strapping and oversized proportions. Also significant is the print, which Maria developed from West African art into her own modern style.
The collection is about celebrating history and heritage but also the multicultural modern world.