I’m sure anyone within the fashion and creative industries understands the importance of fashion weeks. As the curtain prepares to fall on the official fashion week schedule we turn our attention to the aspiring brands of tomorrow gibing you an insight into five new designers for 2019. This summer, graduates from across the UK had the opportunity to show their collections in front of leading members of the industry. Crowds of journalists, photographers and VIP guests piled into the catwalk arena which was held in the iconic Truman Brewery on Brick Lane — a particularly trendy area in Shoreditch, East London.
5 new designers for 2019
Bournemouth Arts University strutted their stuff down the pristine white runway on Tuesday 5th June, and oh my what a wonderful show! Beginning with a short introductory film, the beat of the music kicked off as the lights slowing faded up. First up was Larissa Reims. Her collection took us through a journey of beautiful, vibrant coloured fabrics (with the added luminous yellow shoe!) It certainly made an entrance and brought the 60/70s style back on the runway.
One that particularly stood out from the crowd was Megan Crosby’s graduate collection. Previously inspired by renaissance art and pastel paintings, her unique designs caught my attention as soon as they hit the runway.
Photo by Official Graduate Fashion Week
Similarly, fellow graduate Tabby Coaker also presented a beautiful, vivid collection. Once the catwalk had finished, I was able to catch a few words with her as she explained, ‘’My collection was originally inspired by my childhood, my mum sent a photo of me when I was younger, dressed up in all sorts of colours and textured fabrics.’’
Next up was Brighton Arts University with their student graduate collections. Design student Masie Edge told us her menswear collection took inspiration from ‘’a polish heritage, with bold, graphic colour and prints.’’ The red and blue block colours gave it an edgy style which worked well with the occasional prints and layered fabrics. The layering effect is a feature that will surely be entering our wardrobes this winter! One piece in particular included blue, white, red and black striped tie’s sewn onto the front of a blue velvet tracksuit. Masie explained after watching her collection down the catwalk, ‘’It’s been a hard year but so worth it, I can’t stop smiling!’’
Beth Duhigg, fashion design student showed her architectural inspired collection shortly after, stating she took the idea of 70s glam, London architecture, wanting to express it as ‘’more about construction – a silhouette for women’s fashion.’’
Anna Chandler presented an eye-catching collection from an oceanic view point. Amongst people congratulating and hugging the design graduates after their runway show, we managed to grab Anna as she tells us, ‘’Great Yarmouth in the 1900s particularly inspired this collection, along with 50s glam.’’ An aspect very unique to Anna’s work is that her garments are hand made with silk. Specifically, the caged lobster pot dress was woven from front to back by hand. With Anna already on the idea of hand crafting, I’m sure she won’t be shy of a catwalk anytime soon.
An incredible amount of effort, artistic design skills and patients allowed these young designers worthy of a place at such a global, prestigious event. To present your own collection at Graduate Fashion Week as an upcoming designer is probably the perfect place to gain recognition and overall press coverage. It truly was a wonderful experience.
Later on, we headed backstage to catch a glimpse of the Kingston University graduate show. As you can imagine, the atmosphere was like being on the set of America’s next top model. Graduate designers making last minutes changes as safety pins were flying in from left, right and centre. Luckily, I was able to grab a chat with womenswear graduate Nia Winstanley who explained, ‘’I based my collection on hoarding – in a controlled way!’’ Full of sequins, textures and screen-printed fabrics, the Kingston fashion scene certainly is one to watch.
Gala Award Winners of 2019
Wednesday 6th June, 6:30pm. The closing day for Graduate Fashion Week, and the drinks reception was well underway. Taking to our seats, this was the final showcase of the week and included many familiar faces on the judging panel. From CEO Jeff Banks, to Global Ambassador of GFW and fashion designer Henry Holland. As well as award-winning British journalist Hilary Alexander (OBE).
Beginning with a catwalk introduction from fashion graduates such as Bryan Wan (Norwich University), Rebecca Wilson (Bournemouth Arts University) and Michelle McAuley (The Edinburgh University – Arts College). The awards were hosted by Caryn Franklin MBE, her unique humour and enthusiastic presenting skills created a memorable event in fashion.
Winners included Charlotte Heley, a graduate from Leeds Arts University for the ASOS future talent design award, while Aurélie Fontan from Edinburgh College of Arts received the catwalk textile award who grew her own materials, which produced her final sustainable collection. During the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer award was given proudly to UCA Epsom graduate Evelyn Babin. Hilary states, ‘’It’s not just about fashion design, it’s about moving fashion forward and the effect on social climate.’’