Thursday, 17 June 2010

Graduate Fashion Week 2010

Here at Earls Court, fashion graduates from all over the UK and also a few international college graduates were able to showcase their collections to the press, public and most importantly to the fashion buyers and designers. Now in its 19th year, Graduate Fashion Week ended with a spectacular Gala Show enabling the nominated graduates for the coveted Gala Awards to show their collection on the catwalk.

Hosted by Caryn Franklin, the show opened with “Britain’s Got Talent” winners Diversity doing what they do best- wowing us with their acrobatic dance performance.

Fashion Promotion and Media Awards were presented by supermodel Erin O’Connor, fashion director Hilary Alexander, Biba Barbara Hulanicki, Sugarbabes’ Amelle and Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud to name a few. Jessica Dance of Arts University College Bournemouth received an added bonus of a trip to the Maldives when she won the Per Aquum Creative Marketing Award.

Alberta Ferretti presented the top prize of the River Island Gold award (plus £20,000) which was won by Rebecca Thomson from Manchester University School of Art.

Rebecca’s inspiration for her nostalgic future collection came from photographer Roman Vishniac’s work documenting Jewish children in Eastern Europe and Arthur Rackham’s 1930’s book illustrations. Here we see comfort and construction together as Rebecca experiments with both historical and modern techniques and textures. Colours are neutral in white, soft greys, pale blues and nudes. Crisp wide collars on classic white shirts and a volumous ankle length shirt dress were accessorised with long floppy bows in navy or greys. Pants were a cross between joggings and harem pants. Loved the white sleeveless top with the embroidered grey lace yolk and polo neck. A romantic feminine collection that was definitely wearable.

Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne College won the River Island Menswear Award presented by Dylan Jones of GQ. Crisp’s collection of bright metallic jackets and tops brought life and colour to tailored suits and pants. Titled “Gilded Youth”, metallic colours included green and silver. Here the inspiration came from 18th Century French rebels and layering is the key. A plain black kilt was worn over skin tight pants, whilst a black satin suit was paired with a green metallic top. Accessorised with loose neck scarves. A collection making menswear much more interesting.

Lorraine Candy of Elle presented Rhea Fields of Northbrooke College the Best Womenswear Award. Titled “About a Boy”, Fields collection’s take on men’s tailoring was feminised with the use of light fabrics and soft nudes teamed with black. Here we saw a latex black and nude striped jacket; latex striped bibbed tuxedo blouses with large latex bow ties and a muted orange large polka dot blouse in chiffon. All teamed with masculine tailored trousers or black leatherette leggings.

Presented by Zandra Rhodes, the Zandra Rhodes Textile Award went to Anna Lee of De

Montfort University. Brightly coloured with oranges, blues and golds the bold prints were of mythical Chinese tigers and dragons. Not a plain fabric in sight even down to the tights and shoes. To complete the look, gigantuous golden necklaces of dragon and tigers heads were worn.

Rachel Stevens presented the BHM Knitwear Visionary Knitwear Award to Ledina Zhang of Northumbria University. Zhang’s quirky sportswear-inspired designs were a mix of wide and narrow horizontal stripes in greys, pinks, yellows and reds. Swatches of knitted squares hanging loosely and extra pair of sleeves knotted together created the detailing.

Graduate Fashion Week has been sponsored by the high street chain, River Island, for the last six years – and we’d like to say thank you for sponsoring such a great event..

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