Last Sunday the Masters students from Westminster University menswear course presented their collection at the East London Oval Space, officially drawing graduate fashion week to a close.
The University of Westminster is home to alumni with the likes of Christopher Bailey, Vivienne Westwood and Markus Lupfer. Big shoes to fill, to say the least, together with being part of the official London Fashion Week Men’s, the expectations were high. The most recent cohort of MA menswear graduates delivered in the most unlikely proportions.
Opening the show was what we like to call inflatable-couture, San Kim took inspiration from Paul McCarthy’s quirky sculptures. As the models came down the runway, one thing was proven: fashion is fun. Juxtapositioning playfulness with sophistication, supporting his rather large pieces were more tailored pieces tied together with inflatable cutout details. Whether it’s in big proportions or little ones, quirky elements were visible throughout. Hattie Crowther combined stunning crisp cut suiting with knitwear that stretched down to cover the shoes, creating a lever-like silhouette. The surprise was in the details, as models came down the runway with elf-ears creating feminine tension and illusion. Amelie Marie Gaydoul’s collection brought a smile to our faces, as she brought the warmth of sharing a meal to the runway. Reinterpreting century-old napkins and tablecloths from her grandmother’s restaurant, making a collection appropriate for dining.
TWIST ON TAILORING
Daniel Roszahegyi’s crisp suiting was a far cry from the quirky pieces. Celebrating the beauty of masculinity by positioning elegant cut-outs on tailored suiting, revealing and emphasising characteristic features of the male body. Following a similar aesthetic albeit with a rougher approach, was Morgan Krischer, who meticulously slashed tailored pieces, giving evening wear a - quite literally - a sharp edge. Inspired by Henri Matisse cut-outs, the collection conceives the silhouette of a collage. Krischer’s approach challenges the shoulder line and body proportions, with engineered shaped shoulders, oversized volumes and arched sleeves.
Tommy Wan took inspiration from more recent pop-culture, more specifically from the hit chick-flick film of last summer, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Creating garments for so-called ‘ideal’ guy to date, making us reminisce those bittersweet high-school days. Checks were executed in 50 shades of blue tailored pieces, seeking the boundaries between kinky and innocent, which defines his unique fashion aesthetic.
BOLD AND BODYCON
We were very excited to see the graduate James Reeves, after joining our Graduate Talent Programme in 2017, he invited us to sit front row and present his eclectic MA collection. He carried on his signature eclectic colourful aesthetic yet added an innovative sense of sustainability by patchworking together scraps of textile samples. His sustainable efforts were carried through in a separate line of shoes, made from old trainers. Colour was swapped out for sequins in Lola Van Praag’s NO UNLOCALS graduate collection. She sent out brightly sparkling models dressed in tight-fitting sequin-heavy wetsuits. Closing and simultaneously stealing the show, was Curtis Wu with his snug fitting hoods, fusing ornate decadence with menswear. 3D floral swimsuits are heavily embroidered challenging the traditional idea of men’s swimwear. Bring on the beach weather!
The Master students of Westminster didn’t disappoint, setting up a show with plenty of unorthodox collections filled with humorous nods while showing off meticulous tailoring skills and tons of creativity. The Graduates presented sustainable solutions, experimented freely with bold colours and challenged the gender boundaries. If you ask us, the perfect ingredients for a successful graduate show.
Words by Lupe Baeyens
Images Courtesy of Westminster University