Graduate Fashion Week 2017: Day 2 – Bath Spa – NTU – LCF
For the FashionCapital team day 2 began with Bath Spa University showcasing a concise and well-executed show from nine of its design students. Nicole Duse-Anthony (right) opened with her 6-piece collection that combined a mismatch of prints, textures and tones. Florals, checks, stripes and bright African prints were merged into wide silhouettes that also worked in frills, ruffles and embroidery, plenty for the eye to ponder. Other collections of note included menswear by Catryn Rees that featured sports inspired oversized quilted jackets and coats featuring graffiti print, Thug Life slogans and embroidery. Abigail Rose (left) meanwhile had us all cooing in our seats as her child-models worked the catwalk all smiles and twirls. These little princesses may have been wearing plenty ruffles, ruching and rara’s but Abigail saved it all from being overtly saccharine with her use of bright neon shades and stompy DM boots.
A personal favourite arrived courtesy of Claire Areskog (below), think circular draping meets sports luxe with plenty of drawstring details in a graphic palette of black, white and baby blue. Closing the show Sarah Carter also opted for black & white, which she strikingly combined with tomato red and electric blue to create graphic stripes and geometric circular prints. This combined with her diagonal cuts, on necklines and hems, made a statement while remaining on the right side of wearable.
Next up was Nottingham Trent University, which was brimming with diversity. Amy Carter merged sportswear, mesh and knitwear in bold primary tones. Ella Seal (right) re-shaped oversized quilted jackets adding feminine structure and curves while Holly Sondhi (left) fashioned her quilted coats into billowing cover-ups, cropped jackets and even a pair of arm-warmers over her sports-luxe meets clubwear collection. Abigail Coop maxed out on texture while Chloe Myrants-Wilson went disco-tastique with eye-popping pinks, sequins and embellishment. The simplicity of Molly Key’s menswear collection did well to highlight the beauty in its construction and design while Eriko Yamamoto offered up pure linear designs that showcased pleating and strips of fabric on a transparent base in futuristic silver and white. As always Nottingham Trent’s knitwear designers really shone in terms of creativity and skill Shauna Mills and Amy Carter injected a modern take in plenty of bold primary colours.
In between shows and the sprawling exhibition I headed over to the GFW Live! space where Hilary Alexander OBE was talking shop with designer Henry Holland. It was interesting to hear how Henry took the reverse route, starting out with no formal design training, a debut collection of slogan t-shirts and how he has continued to develop his brand from there.
This year’s Womenswear GFW Award winner will receive a year-long scholarship with Tu at Sainsbury’s and Henry will act as mentor. Speaking on the role he said: “I’ve never mentored in a official capacity before. I’m looking forward to working with new talent. They can hopefully learn from my mistakes.” Hilary asked who mentored him when he started out and he talked of his unofficial mentors, his friends and connections made in London’s nightclubs over a decade ago. “It was a case of right place, right time, BoomBox was a ready-made networking event.” The House of Holland brand is now 10-year’s old and Henry is quick to remind the young graduates that it’s not all nightclubs and networking, “I have been working my ass off for 10 years!” So what advice does he have for the next generation entering the industry workplace? “My advice is try and make sure that your collection reflects you within the parameters that have been set. Stay true to yourself.” He closed the talk by saying, “working in fashion have to remind yourself that you have one of the best jobs in the world.”
Day 2 rounded off with the London College of Fashion (LCF) and their independent show held at Spitalfields Market. As a former LCF student it was interesting to see how the design course has evolved and compared to the shows at the Truman Brewery it was apparent that pushing boundaries and experimenting with creative ideas has become the direction. Divided into 6 sections the grads combined their designs to tell an emotive story that ranged from the political to covering concepts of gender, sex, identity and the constraints (or not, in this case) of the body. Most of the designs on show were far from commercial but never-the-less intriguing and thought-provoking. The accompanying catwalk visuals by Luke Brunt strengthened the narrative and as an attendee it was insightful to view a show arranged in a new collaborative format.
LCF: Georgina Rouse (left) and Ingrid Kraftchenko (right)
LCF: Chorong Lim (left) and Jack Goode (right)
LCF catwalk images by Roger Dean
By JoJo Iles