GFW 09 – Northumbria University
Nicola Morgan started the show and it was an unbelievable treat. Keeping it simple, with a monochrome palette of greys and black, the original basis seemed to stem from tuxedo jackets. This led into deconstructed/reconstructed jackets, draped coats, quilting and jagged edged pipe detailing on trousers. The jagged edge leather trims were layered and twisted to create incredible shapes and sculptures, this truly was a work of art. As Morgan describes her collection as 'fashion lego' (which has made me love it more), the pieces change and slot together in different formats to create truly versatile and ingenious clothing, a collection to be proud of.
There were several strong print collections within the show. I particularly enjoyed Ruth Davis's, Orla Kiely style, mismatched, abstract prints. These were shown off perfectly on swinging trapeze dresses, cute, full coats and beautiful shifts. Simplicity is key when showing off a print and Ruth got the measure just right.
Joining her in the print stakes is Charlotte Simpson, whose collections prints reminded me of puzzle pieces, with their curvy details and abstract art feel. I loved the crazy print leggings and tunic dresses. The use of plastics and mosaic like art reflected the Islamic Art theme and the layers, patterns and textures made this one of my favourite textile collections for the whole day.
Back to women's wear and I once again found myself bopping along to Amber Little's collection that felt entirely 'indie kid', cool. Slightly 50's with a modern twist, a full skirt was worn with a quirky print tee, while other models strutted in doodle print hoodies and lashings of delicate quilting. This was one of the coolest and sellable collections and I loved the inspiration of childhood drawings, it was different, but it worked so well and I know tones of people that would snap up those looks.
I could go on and on, as I actually thought Northumbria put on a great show, but will leave you with two final, future stars. Marie McDonagh delited me with her eighties, punk collection of fringed skirts, leather applique tabs, peplum jackets, sparkly/wet look panelling and mosaic square applique coats. The shoulders were strong, the looks were on trend and the execution was good. A perfect graduate collection.
The last word goes to Rio Maddison who dared to push boundaries and while some people see studs and spikes as more Camden than couture, I and Rio would disagree. The cheeky collection, which include a spike covered pair of knickers had a strong use of structure and shape. There was plenty of corset detailing, emphasised by peplum bottom jackets that fluted out to create fullness and balance to body con silhouettes. This was a naughty but nice collection and I thoroughly enjoyed most of what Northumbria had to offer.
Words: Rivkie Baum http://fash-pack.blogspot.com/
Photography by Gabriel Coreuera Zubillaga