GFW: Best of Graduate Fashion Week
With 25 students selected to parade their works down the catwalk, passion, skill, creativity and an understanding of fashion triumphed, and an ocean of tremendous talent was unveiled. From bold prints, neon furs and textured woven knits, to ethnic patterns, splashes of sequins, teddy bear fleeces, playful optical illusions and everything else in between, it was categorically amazing.
As a self-confessed lover to more than just a sprinkle of sparkle, I could not exclude the glamorously glittering works of Colleen Leitch from Edinburgh College of Art. A collection that appeared to juxtapose Michael Jackson’s style along with a pinch of Parisian flare, Colleen’s vision was one of utter excellence. Her works saw the return of black velvet and with the added hues of grey and midnight purple; the collection exuded a dark romance. With tailored silhouettes, structured styling and lashings of lust-worthy embellishments, the persona of a fabulous businesswoman emerged. Grey work culottes splashed in pewter sparkles, glittering black textured panelling on dresses, laser cut leathers on swishy skirts and sequinned floppy hats, all in a magical monochrome colour palette captivated. A contrast between the soft, flowing fluidity and the dramatic, darkening hues along with never too much sparkle seriously shone as one of the shows standout collections.
Inspired by the expeditions of an early Antarctic explorer on the ski slopes, Lauren Lake from Kingston University had onlookers completely transfixed. The designer’s idiosyncratic, overtly oversized garments aim to appeal to young female fashion-lovers, ultimately suggesting they possess a slightly eccentric style. The collection reflected the bracing adventure that was endured, focusing largely on the leather and sheepskin fabrics and a nod to layering. It is reported that Lauren’s reversible pink sheepskin coat has created a stir in fashion circles, whilst her ice white leather jacket teamed with a wintry metallic top finished with built-in oversized fluffy mittens shone as a serious standout. Key silhouettes are oversized and extravagant, with no such shapes or fittings in sight. Using a limited colour palette of whites, and silver metallic’s, varying shades of pink were the overriding dominant choice of colour, as the designer wanted her work to absolutely stand out amongst other collections – that it certainly did.
If you’re one for pushing the boundaries of style, attempting to create something somewhat wacky and ultimately have a passion for anything completely unique and never seen before, then let me introduce you to the works of Rebecca Rimmer. An outstanding fashion talent from UCLAN, her innovative and original collection left a high impact on the audience when her designs closed the show. What can only be described as brightly coloured clothes painted onto bigger clothes, the ridiculously amazing creations appeared crazily cartoonish and full of caricatures that captured oversized silhouettes, animated shapes and was exploding with kitsch. These designs reflected a fun way to look at the interplay of two and three-dimensional qualities in garments. The never seen before designs appeared as though illustrations had been overlaid onto the fabrications, capturing life-like detailing and an outstanding use of shape and silhouette was effectively portrayed. Vivid oranges, canary yellows, bold blues and lime greens decorated the garments that were filled with personality and charm. Large, lavish hats, huge bug-like sunglasses and white stilettos adorned with cute orange bows were the staple accessories that only added to the overall amazing collection.
Words by Katie Farley
Freelance Fashion Stylist & Fashion Writer