2nd June – 5th June 2019


Graduate Fashion Week, brought to you by Graduate Fashion Foundation, is in it’s 28th year.

This year’s campaign kicked off with the annual photoshoot where a selection of graduate designs were submitted for final selection by a renowned photographer and stylist. In previous years the annual photoshoot has been pulled together and curated by one esteemed creative and run by their professional team throughout, but this year’s campaign has taken a different course. Here is a collection of designers that caught our attention from the photoshoot.

Brian Mc Lysaght – Edinburgh College of Art 

Final outfit worn by professional model Joseph Wooden – Turtleneck and Trousers 

Irish-born Brian was inspired by the role of clothing in the 20th century decolonisation

movements, particularly the Swadeshi movement in India, when creating his spectacular wooden designs. To protest India’s exploitation under colonial powers, ritualised burnings of Western clothing were performed, and instead indigenous Indian fashions were adopted as a mode of resistance. Similarly, Brian’s designs aim to decolonise Irish fashion through the revival and reconstruction of the ancient visual languages that existed in Ireland prior to their erasure under British colonialism. Inspired by the material culture of early Irish civilisations, Brian relied on locally available organic materials such as wood, leather and bone. The turtleneck is entirely wooden with an interlocking construction, featuring patterns inspired by stone carvings or Neolithic tombs found across Ireland. The wooden trousers were stained with inks in an ombre effect and laser etched with hand-drawn patterns inspired by illustrations from ancient Irish manuscripts. The entirely wooden garments are sustainable and biodegradable, whilst also looking like artefacts from a primeval society. 


Jogaile Zairyte – University of Portsmouth 

Final outfit worn by professional model Kayoung – Oversized Coat and Trousers 

Lithuanian-born Jogaile gave up a life of finance and banking to live out her creative dreams in fashion. Her sustainable collection is inspired by Japanese culture and beliefs, embracing different handcrafted techniques and natural hand-dyeing methods. All materials used were natural and organic such as hemp, cotton, peace silk, linen, bamboo and were hand-dyed using natural dyes such as avocado stones, turmeric and indigo. Inspired by Japanese culture, Jogaile used the sashiko technique to create different textile designs. To minimise all waste, She created an efficient zero-waste pattern cutting technique comprising of rectangular, square and triangle shapes. These shapes were then joined together using a crocheting method. 

Lisa Gerstendfeld – Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts 

Final outfit worn by professional model Kayoung – Bardot Top and Printed Flares 

Lisa, born in Indonesia, was inspired by psychedelic mushrooms in the design process of her garments. She was fascinated by the role that mushrooms play in maintaining large ecosystems on our planet, acting as a communication network between different species of plant life. But what was most significant for Lisa was the effect that psychedelics have on the human brain, inducing states of interconnectivity, creative openness, and a capacity to overcome mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. The shape and the texture of different types of mushrooms can be seen subtly in this design. This design also references aspects of the 1960’s Psychedelia subculture, including the rich and colourful clothing of Jimi Hendrix. The prints and embellishment are partly inspired by Psychedelia posters from the ‘60s, flower power counter culture, and the visual effects of psychedelics. 

Margaret Sam – Kingston University 

Final outfit worn by professional model Joseph – Outerwear, Shirt, and Trousers 

Being of Chinese diaspora, where Chinese people make up 0.7% of Britain (ONS, 2011), the complexities of cultural identity continue to be integral to Margaret’s practice. The duality of her heritage, being British-Chinese and living within multiculturalism has set the foundation for her final collection titled ‘Where Are You From?’ This design, like the whole of Margaret’s collection is about using personal experiences to revise and push our notions of cultural identity, encouraging cultural collaboration, and celebrating our similar and different heritage as a cosmopolitan society. The print in the outerwear abstracts Korean Hangul and is a play on the word ‘foreign’. Margaret chose this word because its meaning felt integral to the complexities of cultural identity; that and the multilayered question ‘where are you from?’ As WW1 and WW2 are integral to British world history, and particularly to Churchill’s construction of British Identity, military references are heavily integrated. Traditional waxed cotton from a British mill (to also reduce transport pollution and promote local production) has been used as garment reinforcement to give the garment a longer life. The nylon ripstop has been utilised for its recyclable properties and also durability to promote slow fashion. 

Alexandra Fan – Edinburgh College of Art 

Final outfit worn by professional model Joseph – Jacket and Skirt 

Alexandra Fan, born in China, was inspired by the coexisting rhythm and chaos of the urban village Guizhou, her hometown. She also got inspiration from the idea of the individual life trajectory and collected people’s footprints, which were developed into a part of the 3D texture on her material. She also got some ideas from flight suits in the early ‘20s. This combined with the brutalist architecture became the silhouette of the garment. The garments were made in food grade silicone. The material was casted in the moulds and all the 3D textures with different depth were formed in one go. 

Carline Zhou – University of Salford 

Final outfit worn by professional model Kayoung – Top and Skirt 

Carline’s inspiration for her collection was ‘Endless Love’. For this outfit, the concept was a modern dream wedding, with stained glass windows as the primary inspiration for the design. She says girls are expected to think about falling in love at a young age, but they do not want marriage to hinder their life dreams. Women don’t need to have a fairy tale ending with a prince, they should be queen of their own world and enjoy a life of freedom, nature, and friends. Carline’s designs show a powerful, sweet and romantic feeling. She often uses print in her design because her father was a print and textile designer, who has profoundly influenced her. She also likes to use recreation of textile, colour matching, and other methods to design her garments. Carline loves to try new things and draw inspiration from two opposing things or stories for a big impact. 


For further information please contact: 0207 0251 350

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