Almost a month following the hustle and bustle of Graduate and Mens Fashion Week, we find ourselves back in the audience, this time to admire the work of the Istituto Marangoni London campus graduates.

Leading up to the catwalk show, we were invited to an industry event, with Hilary Alexander OBE hosting a panel talk with Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design winner, Bethany Williams and established womenswear designer Eudon Choi. Istituto Marangoni is no stranger to industry events, hosting Fashion Crossover plenty of times before. Most recently with our designer and Marangoni alumni Viola Menchini. Hilary questioned the fashion designers about their approach to fashion, the path they’ve paved and the best piece of advice they could give to graduates seeking to establish their own brand. Both designers came from different design backgrounds, where Eudon Choi is very grateful that he is still thriving after more than 10 years, Bethany Williams, on the other hand, is just at the start of her career already gaining impressive success thanks to her focus on sustainability and tackling social issues with her collections. The conversation seamlessly blended in an award ceremony for the Istituto Marangoni alumni now working as the artistic director of Ermenegildo Zegna. It’s clear that Istituto Marangoni wants to pass along the drive for entrepreneurship to their new graduates and this ties in perfectly with the main aim of Fashion Crossover’s non-profit Graduate Talent Programme. Helping graduates on their way and offering a clear path to follow following their graduation and their years of forming.

The Istituto Marangoni graduate show, New Era, took place under the impressive glasswork roof of the Lindley Hall, a regular host to big fashion labels with the likes of Stella McCartney, Moschino, Mary Katrantzou and many more, and this year's students were definitely up to par. 

Monochromatic Mode
Opening the show was Vinny Lim, taking draping, deconstruction and ruffles to the next level. With a mishmash of garments layered over each other, having the different fabrics peek through a variety of cut-outs. The romanticism was contrasted by the bold statement eyewear, complete with a fringe veil.

Equally voluminous was Silje Wamnes' sustainable knitwear collection. The Norwegian graduate stuck to a rather monochrome colour palette of soft whites contrasted with black and brown-hues adding a touch of elegance. Thick sleeves in macrame were attached to crisp-cut blazer, juxtapositioning softness and sleek tailoring.

Andrea Roman created a collection that fused sleek suiting with effortlessness. Tailoring was made soft through the use of fluid fabrics, that elegantly flowed with every step of the model. Yet modern elements like metallic puffa’s, oversized shoulder padding, and clever use of accessories such as crisp white Birkenstocks elevated his collection giving it a modern edge.

Antonia Garcia Poblete introduced a fresh take on effortless elegance, creating strong and seductive silhouettes in black and white, with warm eye-catching mustard that highlights the sophistication of this distinctively chic collection.

Typographic Textiles
Following a similar, ethereal vibe was Gaia Burani, with draped garments that contest and explore the limits of tailoring. The gentle pastels and sheer silhouettes gave the collection a softer edge, enhanced by the hand lettering on the plastered across the garments. The looks were completed with rope detailing as well as some striking oversized floppy hats. 

The showstopper of the evening was Natalia Esteve. His drapey oversized looks were adorned with blown out of proportion safety pins, Safety First! Sticking to a monochromatic colour palette of black and white, he added a distinctive edge to them by detailing the textiles with a graphic-print. The safety pins, being more than just a trendy gimmick, gave the necessary structure to his loose-fitting garments. 

A Summer Rhapsody
Ao Lun He celebrated colour, using a colour palette with a variety of patchworked prints and patterns, completed with matching quirky hats tied in with thick-banded belts. The silhouettes varied in length and style, with the prints creating visual illusions that made trousers and skirts indistinguishable from each other. The kaleidoscopic explosion of colours and prints was paired down with some simple trainers, ascribing a streetwear vibe to the collection. 

Turning her models into bird-like figures was, Kristina Novikova, with a collection with bold use of colours. Following a more is more approach, each look was accessorised with heavily feathered visors, instantly making it the must-have for this festival season.

What happens when you mix Daft Punk with Molly Goddard? An extremely playful collection by Arian Krasniqi. If the dramatically tiered tulle pastel dresses didn’t put a smile on your face, the cute illustrations were sure to. Incorporating a sense of lightness and weightlessness into her designs, she leaves her audience entranced deep within a playful dream.

Rebecca Shamoon sent her models down in an updated bearskin, this time executed in a blush pink faux fur, all hail the British Fashion Guards. Dresses hugged the body in different panels, detailed with white fringing and had pointy fifties style bra-designs, combining modernity with a vintage flair. The Istituto Marangoni designer closed the show with a party, quite literally, carrying a disco ball in a netted bag.

The newest Istituto Marangoni cohort came to impress, and did not disappoint. The Istituto Marangoni students showcased a broad variety of styles and sure made an impact. Making their first steps into the fashion industry, it is now up to them how they will further develop and progress. As a platform that promotes and supports new and unique talent, we hope that our Graduate Talent Programme can be stepping stone for these graduates to reach their full potential.
Words by Lupe Baeyens
 Images Courtesy of Simon Armstrong