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Swatch Alternative Fashion Week 2005


{mosimage}Acting as a platform for fashion students and young design talent Swatch Alternative Fashion Week 2005 opened its doors on Monday to a style hungry crowd. From clubwear to experimental threads it’s all going on at the Old Truman Brewery. Organised by Maggie Pinhorn from Alternative Arts, the aim is to show fashion in a creative and fun environment. Bring on the live band: ‘Watch This Space,’ up for it models and daily catwalk shows.


Open to everybody and anybody, admission is free. There’s also a few awards up for grabs plus a model search to find ‘The Face of Swatch’ in conjunction with Premier Model Management, that’s Naomi Campbell’s London agent to you and me. {mosimage}


Awards wise there’s the Swatch College Award; where the winning college will receive a tailor made package that will benefit its fashion facilities, plus £1,000 additional funding and a master class from UK designer – Scott Henshall. As well as the Swatch Individual Award which will see one lucky winner gain an internship with leading fashion designer, Wale Adeyemi, plus an extra £1,000 to add to their career kitty. The winners will be announced on the final day – Friday 18th March.


This year’s judging panel includes the likes of: Zandra Rhodes, Pip Hackett, Scott Henshall, Wale Adeyemi, Isabella Hervey and John Scott. Commenting on the event Zandra Rhodes said: “I jumped at the chance to be on this year’s panel. Swatch do an incredibly supportive job of nurturing young up-and-coming talent and Swatch Alternative Fashion Week provides a real opportunity to find the fashion stars of the future and a genuine alternative platform to see truly unique fashion pieces.”


Day 2 – Tuesday 15th and the catwalk show began with experimental fabrics by Waltham Forest College. Entitled ‘Trapped’ students produced layered transparent pieces that enclosed a range of decorative materials.


{mosimage}Hanette Eugenie Ngo Ikeng was next up with a collection inspired by space and super-modernity. Exaggerated collars, pleating, paneling and graphic silhouettes were the order of the day from this Croydon College graduate.


Esther Clarke,{mosimage} meanwhile, got the audience smiling with her dancing models and bright, colourful repeated prints on shirts, dresses and all-in-ones.


Other highlights from the day include; feminine, draped womenswear influenced by nature by Steven Furse. Complex smocking, pleating and layering from the talented Jeehyun Ko, diaphanous nude chiffons combined with leather appliqués and beading from Lucy Hanks and hard edged urban sportswear meets Mancuanian slang by Helen Crossfield. {mosimage}


The catwalk show rounded-off with millinery by Redbridge College. 1st year students created hats inspired by London’s modern architecture, sculptural and eye-catching the audience played ‘guess the building’ as each piece emerged on the runway.


With two days left on the schedule there’s still time to check out Swatch Alternative Fashion Week 2005. Catwalk shows start at 1.15pm – prompt – no fashionably late lark here. Don’t expect the slick styling of a top London Fashion Week show, AFW is all about ideas and debuting new names on an extremely tight budget. The Fashion Market, located next to the catwalk is also open daily until 3pm and offers jewellery, accessories, designer t-shirts and clothes.


If you fancy popping along go to:  The Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, London E1 (Liverpool St Tube Station). Admission is free with charity collections for Terrence Higgins Trust/London Lighthouse. www.alternativearts.co.uk


Swatch Alternative Fashion Week – 14th – 18th March 2005




By JoJo Iles





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