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Graduate Fashion Week June 2010 – East London University


Graduate fashion week is always quiet on the first day but the exhibition is buzzing, with graduates desperate to step into the industry guarding their collections with pride.

The first catwalk of the show is by the University of East London.

Univesity of East London

East London instantly set the standards high with 19 outstanding collections.

First on the run way is Natasha Frances Wood, her collection is called Alliance and so trend ready it hurts. With hunter boots, beiges and draped trench coats the collection is impressive, but does not feel original enough for a graduate collection.


Our first favourite was Diane Gevorgians collection ‘If Looks Could Kill’. This collection was sophisticated and fantastical with sparkling opulent detail and futuristic work wear. The collection was reminiscent of Gareth Pughs designs with structured shoulders and gothic leather panels. The leather gave the collection a bondage edge but the womanly siloheutte kept the collection feminine and classic.

Next up was Enuviershire Sophia Orere – her collection ‘Warrior’ was based around kimono shapes and the oriental samurai with two models carrying wooden samurai swords down the catwalk with them. The colour scheme pivotted around a pillar box red and neutrals, the red was pleated and draped artfully along an origami theme that we have seen so much in fashion recently. This collection was completely different and utterly perfect from the kimono sleeves to the gorgeous subtle chain mail details. This screamed ancient japanese culture, research and originality.

Stephanie Hemphill was next starting with a sporty theme then moving into structured dresses with brave royal blue running all the way through. The collection is called ‘Smocking Altrasex’. A peter pan coller and elegant lines are mixed with harsh structure, this is a striking effect. It is based loosely around a nuns habit, but you wouldnt be able to tell unless you read her collection bio. There were subtle metalic details and the latex flashes hint at sexual connotations. There is a thin mesh overlay on many pieces perhaps hinting at religion being a thinly veiled lie, or just it looked nice and this bio was a rushed after thought.

Carly Njini’s collection was a mixture of sheer fabrics, broken photograph prints and popular structured pieces. The collection indluded many body-con dressed with strong padded and pointy shoulders. The prints added to the underwear outer wear theme that we have seen so much this season and last! The muted dark tones and kaliedescopic prints were consistant through out and created a strong collection.

Parastoo Dehghanian – another tongue twister name but for a chic and simple collection that utilized fabrics to make up for what it lacked in colour. The entire collection called ‘Cube’ was a clinical white. The designs were structured and interesting picking up on many trends including caping and contrasting fabrics. The fabrics varied from PVC to sheer mesh and jersey. The contrast made the collection all the more interesting, the structured geometric designs were well thought through and range of different cuts and silhoettes made it all the more edgy.

Jennifer Bourne – The collection ‘Pacific Adornment’ was inspired by the smooth lines of the ocean with strong embellishment. The oceanic theme did not come across in the collection with strong contrasting reds with back on sheer fabric. The smooth lines did however mirror the ocean theme. This collection may not have fitted with its bio but it had fabulous embellishment and strong angular shoulders and lines that are so on trend. The problem with this collection was that it varied between evening wear, day wear and swimwear. The pieces that included bikinis with fabulous glittering cover ups were great and you couldnt help but feel the collection could have been more developed in the swimwear area. The brave but classy use of sequins to excentuate prints was gorgeous as was the bold structural elements.

Rachel Taylor. This collection ‘Spirit of Philae’ was inspired by Egyptian culture, past and present. The looks are striking with strong structuring and striking bright embellishment. There was a hint of opulent Egyptian queens with golds and spicy hints of colour. This collection was obviously very inspired but parts had been developed too much and were too modern and clashed with the ancient style trimmings and embellishment.

Anna Grzegorcyzyk – this collection seemed old and tired. The collection was intended to be organic and rustic but lost this in the baggy fits and the lack of modernisation. A great addition to this show was the necklaces worn that were rubbed wood, slightly tribal and totally gorgeous! This collection had strong inspiration from Norwegian fjords but needed a an update.

Jane Branco was very on trend with her pastel candy palette. Her collection closely resembles Burberry’s lastest summer collection. With her use of draping, gathering and slender silhouette, she really highlights a glamourous look by adding subtle stones and jewels here and there. Piping is also added in areas of the dresses to give it that extra unqiue edge. Her knee length dresses gave it that element of class which makes the collection incredibly wearable. A stunning arrangement of evening wear inspired by film noir movies from the 1950’s.

Queesra Abbas Dad collection “Into Your Mind” resembled the 1940’s era. The neutral palette was once again using tanned flesh tones which embody the 1940’s era. The outfits were highly stylised with vintage suitcases covered in fabrics of the outfits attaching chains to turn them into handbags, a very chic addition to the collection. The outfits also resembled a slight geometric refrence with its use of straight lines and cut out details. Luxurious woolen fabrics were used to show off her skills, overal this was a glamourous feminine and sexy catwalk.

Ross Paul Keenan – Finally some menswear! Contempory design was mixed with classic tailoring. Assymetric waistcoats with sparkling crystal buttons added a very metrosexual element to the collection. This was exciting because despite there being a huge number of assymetric womenswear on the catwalk menswear just hasnt explored this quite as much. This collection had hints of the 50’s Mod look as well as warrior style padding and quilting and of course the traditional gentleman. This collection pushed subtly pushed menswear boundries, with sparkles, assymetrics, veering off the boring monotone colour scheme and a mixture of different pinstripes and patterns. The collection would meet the requirements of many men for a working wardrobe but would require a lot of confidence and spunk.

Schenell Stephens – This was a slightly tasteless collection but luckily improved as it progressed. The first outfit out was a metallic, embellished jacket padded so it looked strangely like a fat suit. After this many fleuro metalic creations graced the catwalk, cringey and screaming of teenage rebellion. The collection was supposed to be a hybrid of glamour and sport, so a bio tells us, but instead just manages to look tacky and, dare we say it, chavvy. The controversy of fur obviously occurred to this rebellious designer with grey and yellow splattered fur featuring in two outfits. The embellishment was however a very interesting point. Indian style mirrors and embellishment were added to these hideous gareish outfits which came across as a harsh contrast between eastern and western culture, with ethnic beautiful design mixed with the hideous capitalism of the west.

Carlos Sausa’s collection “Lady Liberty” showed a new age couture image taking inspiration from 1950’s New York. The use of leather and mesh fabrics contrasted eachother is a beautiful way bringing a sexy chich secretary look to the show. A neutral range of colours were contrasted with black to give a urban feel. Another brave designer venturing into the grey area of fur, fake or real the fur shoulders and embellishment were fabulous and added a luxurious edge to the collection.

Charlotte Macke – This collection ‘Amour of Me’ was another military themed collection with strong structural elements and sexy cut outs. This collection turned women into weird urban warriors with thick piping and bionic strong silohuettes. This collection had great theory behind it but didnt seem to have the skill in production as parts of the collection seemed ill fitting and a little shoddy. This collection played on he underwear outerwear trend that is so prominant at the moment with bodices, breast scmimming tops and sheer mesh elements giving sexy flashes of flesh.

Lisette Mallardi-Van Esch’s collection was a brilliant scrum of many different trends including ruffles, feminine tailoring, assymetrics and a sexy bondage influence. The first outfit is a ruffled shirt with one black sleeve and belted bondage trousers. The collection continues along this theme and metal studs and rings appear with laser cut petal details and strong, yet feminine lines. This collection shouldnt work, but some how… it does. The gothic, empowered woman theme is great and comes across perfectly.

Holly Keepfer’s first outfit out was a stunning dip dyed tasselled coat that was ridiculous, it looked like the product of so much hard work! White fading to the dip dyed navy blue was a theme through out the collection varying to a gorgeous print that looks like a ruined river image but is in fact cut outs of photographs. Another print to be mentioned are the bright marbeled prints that splattered the stark white play suits and structured dresses .The collection uses leather, chiffon and jersey in a creative way. Many of these garments, including a stunning photoprinted jersey maxi dress with sheer sleeves would have fitted straight into a highstreet store, as the quality was so high.

Bunmi Olaye’s ‘Matriarchy’ collection was fabulous. Utterly fabulous. With sparkles, strong shapes and pimp canes and venetian eye masks the whole collection was mysterious and over the top and completely inspired. This is power dressing at its best with strong nigerian print influences, completely modernised, westernised and feminised. This collection was reminicsent of Moulin Rougue mixed with Vivenne Westwood’s past ‘Save the Queen’ range. Leggings are adorned with tassells and black feathers provide another texural contrast. Prints on the last pieces are fiery red and oranges adding to the empowered image that this collection creates.

Johanna Greenish’s collection finished off the show with a bang. The strong, aztec black and white patterns and the harsh metalics make this collection a brilliant one. There are artfully folded pleats and ruffles with triangles of leather and paperlike origami. The collection featured amazing structured pieces with a huge skirt finishing the collection. Monochrome was theme which worked fantastically with the exciting linear curves and huge, almost architechal influences. This was definately an iconic collection to finish the show, the inspiration and originality behind the collection was obvious.

Words By Sannita Hanncock and Jemima Daisy

Images by Hayley

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