Rebecca Armstrong’s Graduate Collection, Shimmering and Dirty, is heavily influenced by 1990s fashion, taking inspiration from the work of photographers such as Corinne Day and Juergen Teller. These photographers pioneered a new kind of aesthetic in the 1990s that depicted female subjects in realistic terms, often labelled ‘raw’ due to their use of harsh lighting and lack of retouching. Their work in the fashion industry was pivotal to the re-evaluation of unachievable standards of beauty and poise previously dictated by mainstream publications and helped to open up a dialogue regarding the dissolution of normative ideas on the presentation of women and femininity in fashion.

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Rebecca Aydons collection was heavily influenced by the mid 20th century; the government model for WWII was to ‘Make do and Mend’, which forced society to be more sustainable. Clothing was more valued, made to last, passed down the generations, repaired, mended and re-purposed. The classic, romanticism of the 1950’s period is heavily portrayed through the profile and detail of this era, and Rebecca has communicated this narrative in her design and silhouette.

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Rebecca set the mood by incorporating her own experience and stories as part of an initial concept, such as foreign travel, for example the concept for her collection was inspired by a visit to the ‘Kunglia Slotten’ or Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. The overly ornate and magnificent state rooms of the palace oozed luxe and excess; colour coordinated interiors in regal reds and greens and hanging with tapestries were edged in an overabundance of gold.

Her design process alway starts at the knitting machine; swatching inspired by research further into the mood set. She then bring swatches to a stand or photograph for collage and sketching.

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Inspired by her twin sister, a ballerina as a child and an underwriter trainee to date. Rebecca’s collection 'The Banker & The Ballerina' draws inspiration from the Russian heritage of 'The Ballet Russe' and the androgynous style of a 1920s banker.

Due to the Russian heritage behind Rebecca’s collection, the use of fur became a prominate factor to the fabric choices. However, rather than just using fur Rebecca wanted to draw from the placements in The Ballet Russe’s costumes and reinterpret it through the use of print and pearls. The applique print on Rebecca’s fur outerwear piece was developed further by applying a layer of wadding beneath the printed applique this allowed there to be a three-dimensional emphasis on the printed area.

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Stereotypical references have labelled the women of society with what is expected of a female. Rhiannon used this as her main tool for inspiration. The equality of the sexes and how gender ideals have been developed link feminine qualities such as body image and beauty to a feminine role.

Rhiannon wanted to use fashion to change this strongly controversial view within society and refigure the image of the feminine gender ideal. This would not only be determined on the history and culture but also the activities of new fashion trends. These show how feminism has evolved from the history of women’s rights to the influences of the male form and sportswear.

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Roisin’s graduate collection was based upon crossing the ideals of fetish and femininity, whilst looking through the eyes of style icon Daphne Guinness. Her collection found her looking into over enhancing parts of the female figure through highlighting shapes from traditional metal body armour and drag padding/ shaping. This allowed her to create a protective shell encasing the female figure.

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Serra’s interpretation of Against Nature sees a female protagonist, disgusted with modern society, flee to an isolated manor, decorated in a world of her own creation. In the story At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, which accompanies the collection, it maps out a day in her life.

From rising from her slumber, tending to her garden and creatures, to an offering to Le Sacre Coeur. The tale sees the conceptual embodiment of her overly stimulated environment become part of her body, dressing it for every occasion of her day.

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Rongdi Ma’s collection was originally inspired by her dissertation study about the history of glam rock and psychedelic rock society. Then she continued to develop her idea with focus on the psychedelic movement during 1960s. She has strong interests in pop art and psychedelic art, which could represent the spirits of counterculture and youth culture during that period.

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Rose Sparks’s collection was heavily inspired by the handheld fan, a device that has tapped into codes of mystery and concealment for more than two thousand years. It takes the sculptural elements of the fan to blur the boundaries between fashion and architecture, creating starkly geometric fantasies that become an extension of the body. In this way, each garment transcends the mundane, existing in a dimension where elegance and imagination intertwine. Here tradition is subverted to produce a boldly unconventional aesthetic that flatters as much as it provokes.

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Rosey Norman’s collection was inspired by the rich, luscious textures and colours of traditional still life paintings. This contrasted with the comforting and traditional qualities of pub decor. By contrasting these two traditional and conservative aesthetics, the collection was created in the aim to be more contemporary; creating new from the old.

During the development of the collection the silhouette was drawn from sleepwear throughout history, returning to the initial concept of comfort, and also the silhouette emerged from the fabric techniques and the best way to maximise the rich textures.

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I, and many of the friends that I am using as my muses, grew up in Falkland, Fife. Falkland’s historical significance and picturesque streets have made it a tourist hub, and despite limited understanding growing up, it was clear that the place we lived in was special.

As a teenager I worked in Falkland Palace Gift shop which gave me an insight to the global fascination with a romanticised Scotland and how much people loved the tourist tat that we sold.

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The concept for this collection really started with a love for the Hunterian Museum at the Royal College of Surgeons. To me it has always been a very intriguing place as the subject matter is very dark and controversial, however I have always found that by looking closely at many of the articles inside there is something very beautiful about the make up of the specimens. The collections are there for medical display, and the museum used to house both animal and human remains.

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The collection explores the relationship with the clothes we wear and the sense of protection they give us. This originated from questioning the role clothing plays in everyday life. In the most basic sense, clothing protects us from the elements and keeps us warm and safe. But it also holds a strong emotional attachment.

Ruth plays with mixing functional clothing and objects such as sportswear and tents and the traditional art of knitting.

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