Tuesday evening marked the end of four dazzling days of Graduate Fashion Week. Undoubtedly the biggest event in the world for fashion’s newest and most exciting talents, each year more than 1000 final year BA students from 40 colleges & universities from throughout the United Kingdom as well as some international colleges congregate at the Old Truman Brewery to present their final year collections to an audience of press, buyers, head hunters and of course their families and peers.
Having been lucky enough to present my own final year collection at Graduate Fashion Week back in 2013, I know all too well the intense build up that precedes the event and the incredible rush of joy and pride that comes with seeing your finished collection paraded on the catwalk.
Whilst the show is dedicated entirely to showcasing the work of students, Graduate Fashion Week is by no means what one would consider a student show. Each universities show is meticulous, with a tag team of stylists, chorographers and show runners working seamlessly together to ensure a professional presentation. And each and every garment must be up to scratch and perfectly crafted to make the selection for the show. Spaces for the show are few and each year there is a careful selection process throughout the country as fashion tutors select which of their students will be lucky enough to present their collections.
Whilst even the most Avant Garde designers who present during Fashion Month will find themselves constrained in some way, be that by the trends of the season or by commercial responsibilities the beauty of Graduate collections is that as a designer the student has creative reign to design anything, no matter how subversive, political or controversial. The briefs set are entirely their own, making these collections not only inherently personal but also wildly creative. In an age where there is so much pressure on designers to achieve sales and create the next ‘IT’ product, it’s refreshing to see garments designed with creative abandon and that’s what makes Graduate Fashion Week so very exciting.
Check back tomorrow to see my selection of the very best shows and the full scoop on GFW’s biggest prizes!