Mix together 22 catwalk shows and 60 of the best fashion universities, and you’re left with Graduate Fashion Week 2017. It is the showcase for the imagination and risks; influencing the way fashion works and appears. Showcasing over 1,000 students work and attracting over 30,000 guests, the yearly event boosts the careers of the UK’s smartest fashion talent into conventional consciousness.
When we started receiving the invitations for the numerous catwalk shows we were ecstatic that we had been given the opportunity to view the new talent and it’s safe to say that these graduates presented us with impeccable, sleek collections. Having watched all of the shows at GFW, we’ve picked our top four favourites.
Our first favourite university was Edinburgh College of Art. You can clearly see the huge impact that the new course director, Mal Burkinshaw has had on this years graduates. Bringing with him his RCA background has allowed him to teach his students a range of incredible skills, permitting him to enhance and strengthen the course.
This definitely did not go unnoticed as the award that everyone is after is the Christopher Bailey Gold Award and this year it was awarded to Halina North from his class for her revolutionary womenswear collection, which contained a series of sculptural, section spiraling dresses made from recycled paper and plastics. The Visionary Knitwear and Catwalk Textiles awards also went to Edinburgh College of Arts students Ruth Williams and Maddie Williams, with the M&S Womenswear Prize additionally going to Edinburgh student, Irene D’Antonio.
Emerging from the distance was Kingston University who were a suitable reminder of how fashion has advanced in the past few years and gave us a sensational vision into what we can envisage to see in the future. Kasubika Chola received a tremendous amount of admiration for her groundbreaking use of denim cast offs, designing coats and jackets from derelict dungarees, which were presented together with bags created from old rice sacks.
Departing from the conventional graduate shows, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London presented their show at the capital’s famous Old Spitalfields market. The collections were separated into six items and showcased as a chain of moments that echo an age of fundamental revolution, both socially and diplomatically. There was a heavy emphasis on architectural arrangements, rustic ambiences and tentative deconstructionism.
Another university who removed themselves from the Truman Brewery shows were, Istituto Marangoni London School of Fashion. Slowly becoming one of the more vocational fashion schools, the expectations were high for its students collections and thankfully they did not disappoint. From structured PVC and sexual contradictions to chiffon frilly layers and Cèline-esqe simple shapes the young talents covered all fashion bases. The show even received a visit from the stunning fashion entrepreneur, Xenia Tchoumi. With over 1.2 million followers on Instagram and visits to high end events such as Cannes Film Festival and the Bafta’s, Xenia was definitely a guest of honour at the Instituto Marangoni show.