Graduate Fashion Week always always always puts forth incredibly creative & innovative collections and 2015 was no different. Across four days, The Old Truman Brewery housed hundreds of truly unique collections from across the country with top prizes awarded for Best Womenswear, Best Menswear, Textiles, Creative Catwalk and most prestigious of them all, the Gold Award which is worth £10,000 for best overall collection. Christopher Bailey, currently Creative Director of Burberry was amongst one of the first students to win such a prize when GFW was first launched, which is a true testament to the sizeable talent and quality of work that is presented at Graduate Fashion Week each year.
This year the ‘Gold Award’ went to Hannah Wallace from Manchester College of Art for her striking collection of metallic sportwear. The extreme style of her dynamic shapes also won her The Creative Catwalk Award, showing a flair for the statement as well as a strong technical prowess.
Melissa Villevielle from Edinburgh College of Art was another graduate to be awarded twice, with the Catwalk Textiles Award present for her mastery in texture and as well as the Womenswear Award for best collection.
Awards aside, there were lots of exciting collections that caught my eye. Here’s my picks of the very best of Graduate Fashion Week.
Chloe Lovewell, of the University of Birmingham presented a beautifully whimsical collection of clashing pinks, purples and yellows. The garments were loosely pleated with a mix of voluminous and conceptual shapes that were offset against a soft floral print creating a super girly and quirky look.
East London has always been a creative hotbed for eccentricity and University of East London graduate Yasmeen Uddin channelled that perfectly with her collection, “Who are you wearing.” Honouring fashion icons such as Anna Wintour and Iris Apfel, Uddin superimposed their caricatured faces across her garments, complete with swinging sunglasses and the prerequisite hauteur, resulting in a truly unique, and tongue in cheek collection.
Of course not all the collections were quite so Avant Garde and as Qian Young from the University of Brighton proved, statement style and commercial appeal are not mutually exclusive. The dramatic red collection was a hit, with contrasting textures of knit & organza displaying a confidence in manipulating fabrics to achieve the most elegant results.