Amelia’s Magazine | UCA Rochester: Graduate Fashion Week Catwalk Review


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

UCA Rochester is always a hot ticket at Graduate Fashion Week. It usually takes a late evening slot, so there’s always a more ritzy atmosphere. This year was no different.


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

When I joined the queue I was pleased to note that I was maybe 10 or 15 attendees from the front. ‘Marvellous’, I thought to myself as I politely waited. As the door-opening grew closer, one by one various other press, sponsors and ‘VIPs’ did that hilarious thing that only fashion people know how to do. I marvel every time it happens. It’s the Magical Fashion Queue Jumper. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

1. Look for somebody you’ve vaguely met once, follow on Twitter, are connected with on LinkedIn, or somebody who looks like somebody you know;
2. Scream ‘HAI darling!‘ at them and swing from their neck with glee;
3. Go a bit red, hoping nobody has noticed you’ve been incredibly rude and pushed in;
Voila – you’ve jumped the queue.

Sigh. Somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it. It’s just so impolite. I’d tell you how I then got kicked off the front row but managed to get back onto it with half a dozen seats going begging, but then I’d just be a big moaner.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Anyway, yes, back to the show. An usual start unfolded – I’d already noticed that there were a sole pair of shoes and a selection of menswear on hangers to the right of the stage. The lights dimmed and a model appeared wearing white underclothes. Two men wearing white lab coats, I presume students, dressed the man in silence. As soon as he was dressed and styled, the lights shone brightly, the music pounded, and the tattoo-clad model stormed the catwalk.

Here’s a round-up of my favourites from UCA Rochester:

Daniel Holliday

It was Daniel’s model who was dressed live on stage and opened the show. It was a strong menswear opener, with digital print shirts, tweed blazers with contrasting sleeves and flashes of neon green juxtaposed with a dark colour palette.

Lucy Mellor


Graduate collection by Lucy Mellor

Lucy’s collection was our first taste of Rochester womenswear. Fitted knee-length dresses were sculptured at the shoulders and hips, creating futuristic silhouettes, embellished with organic felt shapes.

Richard Sun


Graduate collection by Richard Sun

The future according to Richard Sun sees women wearing utilitarian geometric dresses accessorised with wire cages. Inspired by Hong Kong architecture, this was an innovative fashion vision.

Olivia Salmon


Graduate collection by Olivia Salmon

Juxtaposed to Richard’s fashion future came Olivia Salmon‘s playful collection of cute floral dresses. Silhouettes were soft and prints were hand-drawn – a welcome break from digital. Models were styled with clusters of flowers in this uplifting collection.


Olivia Salmon graduate collection by Sandra Contreras

Emily Houghton


Graduate collection by Emily Houghton

Emily also took her inspiration from architecture – notably Richard Rogers‘ ‘inside-out’ Lloyds building. Visible seams and outer pocket bags explore this concept – a dark colour palette with some flashes of neon and some elements of sportswear made this a really polished collection.

Annie Mae Harris

Blink and you might miss Annie Mae’s attention to detail in this fusion of print and materials. Soft silks and organzas were treated with hypnotic, organic swirls that elegantly floated by. Leather accessories, including a headpiece embellished with gold teeth, added an extra dimension.

Jenny Prismall


Graduate collection by Jenny Prismall

War Horse was the inspiration for Jenny’s womenswear and was one of my favourite collections of the week. Military cuts were given a chicer treatment. Leather straps like horses reins were carefully added to garments creating a luxurious look with a hint of kink, whilst also sculpting silhouettes. Oh, and the digital-print sunset – just wonderful.

Marianne Sørensen


Graduate collection by Marianne Sørensen

Marianne presented a beautiful all-black collection teaming luxury materials with dynamic cuts: one of the most polished presentations of the week.

Callum Burman
Callum’s modern Miami Vice male had me squealing. Influence had come from the TV show and the Art Deco buildings of Miami (love). Cropped-sleeve shirts, short shorts, oversized sweater and skinny trousers all in a range of cool pastel colours. It was fun, relaxed and infinitely wearable.

Sharon Osborne
Sharon presented a beautiful collection of flattering, body-hugging dresses of varying glamorous lengths. Ruching around the necks and into seams was used to dazzling effect, with cloud-like forms printed onto the garments. But it was Sharon’s transparent perspex accessories that really caught my eye; beautiful, organic shapes creeping up models’ arms.

Elisabeth Boström


Graduate collection by Elisabeth Boström

Elisabeth’s offering was another contender for my favourite collection of this year’s graduates. Sweeping frocks in gorgeous silks featured digital streaks of varying bright colours fused with natural browns. Elisabeth was inspired by natural vs. unnatural, effortlessly blending the two together. Some dresses were embellished with hair for a fashion-forward look with maximum appeal.

Emma Beaumont


Graduate collection by Emma Beaumont

I wasn’t at all surprised to see Emma’s collection nominated for the Gold Award at the Gala ceremony the following evening. Inspired by harvest, Emma’s feminine cuts and adept use of the most visually stimulating materials provided a real treat. I loved the aesthetic appeal of the opening woven coat and a gold woven dress.

Until next year, UCA Rochester!

Categories ,2012, ,Annie Mae Harris, ,Callum Burman, ,catwalk, ,Daniel Holliday, ,Elisabeth Bostrom, ,Emily Houghton, ,Emma Beaumont, ,fashion, ,GFW, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Jenny Prismall, ,knitwear, ,Lucy Mellor, ,Marianne Sorensen, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Olivia Salmon, ,review, ,Richard Sun, ,Sandra Contreras, ,Sharon Osbourne, ,UCA Rochester, ,University, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Westfield Stratford City: an Olympic Legacy to be proud of or ridiculous Temple to Consumerism?

Westfield Development by Sniff Chatfield
Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield.

So, story amidst great fanfare the brand new Westfield Stratford City megamall was finally opened today, with the help of plenty of sheeny shiny celebrities: Nicole Scherzinger, Kelly Brook and erm, Boris Johnson. Yes, a bunch of loons queued for hours to get in and grab the hyped up First Day bargains, but what will be the reality of this huge shopping centre a few years down the line? I don’t doubt that the 2012 London Olympics will bring big revenues as punters are forced through the Westfield shopping funnel in order to get to the games, but what then?

Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield
Westfield Stratford City by Sniff Chatfield.

All the talk is of a lasting legacy, but this part of east London is a notoriously deprived area where communities are fractured and desire to own the latest goods drives people into dire debt. Is Westfield Stratford City the best legacy the Olympics could possibly leave? Not new homes, or, god forbid, facilities to support healthy communities? Yes, apparently creating space for hundreds of chainstores and the UK’s largest casino is a legacy to be proud of, destined to enrich this community. Let’s hope those much trumpeted jobs last long after the Olympic torch is gone and the gleaming surfaces start to lose a bit of their sheen.

Categories ,2012, ,Boris Johnson, ,consumerism, ,Kelly Brook, ,Megamall, ,Nicole Scherzinger, ,Olympics, ,Shopping Mall, ,Sniff Chatfield, ,Westfield Stratford City

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Amelia’s Magazine | Paradise Lost: London College of Fashion ‘Digital Catwalk’ Second Year Student Show 2012

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk Angela Cote

All photographs by Milan Mosna

There was an impressive array of design flair, organisational wizardry and interesting pattern design on show at the London College of Fashion last Wednseday, especially considering the majority of the designs were from 2nd year BA students, and that many of these hold down jobs as well as studying. As the press release was at pains to point out, these are challenging times for budding creatives and it’s good to see the sheer bloody-mindedness that it takes to put on this sort of event still going strong in the student body.

I’m only sorry I can’t point you to more information about some of these “potential fashion leaders of tomorrow” on the web as, busy and second year as they are, they don’t seem to have sorted blogs or portfolios that I can find online, though they are obviously at least halfway to realising that promotion is nine tenths of success because the reception space was full to the brim.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk -  2FDR by Gareth A Hopkins
Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins of dress by Sunny De Las Alas

The small space we were all crammed in also featured a display on widescreen tvs of the work from the Fashion Media course, although it was soon too busy to see the screens properly, let alone make one’s way to the supply of Cava and biscuits. obviously I contrived to do both; had lots of Cava and biscuits and managed to note down at least the name of Leah Patel whose highly saturated promo shots I loved.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Taj Chelvaiyah
Clear flowing lines from Taj Chelvaiyah

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Nicole Quadrio
Exciting moth-like scultural prints from Nicole Quadrio

Once we got into the show space I nabbed a space on the floor; annoying the photographers with my novelty oversized briefcase (I came from school) as I like to do. The high tech addition of twin powerpoint presentations of the students’ pattern designs and inspirations was cute, especially the classic marbling shot and messed up fashion collage. But the obvious inspiration and skill in many of the garments themselves was anything but cute.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - DIGITAL-CATWALK SHOW-2FDR-JuneChanpoomidole
More highly evocative designs from Taj Chelvaiyah as illustrated by June Sees

I don’t know what second year fashion student’s work usually looks like, but I overheard some front row LCF old hats saying what a quality group it was, not to mention having ‘a good dynamic‘, and being ‘much better than last year‘. Sorry if you were in last year’s cohort (presumably graduating this year), I can’t personally comment. Some definite highlights for me were Hope Freeman‘s lasercut ‘Full Circle‘ collection, especially the full length black dress (below).

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk -  Hope Freeman 2
She calls this technique ‘a new lace for the 21st Century‘ and talks about the circle as a reflection of eternity. Bumf aside, this piece was a crowd pleaser, and would be a definite head turner on a red carpet, managing to be sleek and simple in a very pretty intricate way, so 21st Century lace seems a fitting description. I also loved the interplay of nostalgia and modern associations in Sunny De Las Alas (yes, she has a twitter)’s lamp-post print dress, which at the time I thought was the main thing I liked about the dress, but looking at the images now it’s clear in both these pieces that the drapery is equally important, showing great interplay of shape and shine.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Sunny De Las Alas 2 dress
amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Sunny De Las Alas cityscape prints
Dress by Sunny De Las Alas and the print designs on their own.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Joanna Michalska
Joanna Michalska was a guest contributor from the Third year Design programme, but her work fitted well into the show and I very much enjoyed the denim sunset flag effect of this dress.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk Angela Cote 2
Exemplifying the digital print brief, Angela Cote‘s work was inspired by toy kaleidoscope’s view of the world, refracting colour into a million repeated shapes. The designs were made with minimal wastage, employing techniques of edge to edge cutting and using as few seams as possible. Her pieces were as seductive as they were unsettling, like looking through a kaleidoscope is.

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk Qimei
amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Qimei Print
Another favourite for me was this fabulously colourful piece by Qimei Gai, evoking images of a lost Chinese childhood (above).

amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk - Mina Jugovic
Finally these more subtly hued pieces from Min Jugovic made me a bit nostalgic: there was a lot of serious-faced playfulness in the show as a whole that I liked, perhaps reflecting the central idea of paradise lost – a determined dedication to beauty and opulence in austere times.

Here are my sketches:
amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk -  jenny robins sketches 1
amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk -  jenny robins sketches 2
amelias magazine - london college of fashion - paradise lost - Digital Catwalk -  jenny robins sketches 3

Categories ,2012, ,Angela Cote, ,BA, ,Digital Catwalk, ,Fashion Media, ,Full Circle, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hope Freeman, ,Joanna Michalska, ,June Chanpoomidole, ,June Sees, ,lace, ,LCF, ,Leah Patel, ,London College of Fashion, ,Milan Mosna, ,Min Jugovic, ,Nicole Quadrio, ,Paradise Lost, ,Qimei Gai, ,Sunny De Las Alas, ,Taj Chelvaiyah

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2012 Jewellery Graduates and One Year On

New Designers part one 2012 -Cassandra Pittaway
Sadly I was unable to make it to the main stands showcasing the graduate jewellery collections (Snarfle got fed up and we had to leave) but I did manage to find a few gems (hur hur) amongst the craft displays, and there were plenty of jewellers displaying their new work in the One Year On section. Here’s what I found…

New Designers part one 2012 -Cassandra Pittaway
Ceramic and metal neckpieces by Cassandra Pittaway were inspired by cars and fairgrounds. Loved those big bold shapes and colours… reminiscent of automobile style designs in Prada’s S/S 2012 collection.

New Designers part one 2012 -Hannah May Chapman
Intriguing crochet jewellery by Hannah May Chapman echoed body parts and coral forms.

New Designers part one 2012 -Mayra Cunningham
At Kensington and Chelsea College I was drawn towards enamelled acorn jewellery by Mayra Cunningham.

New Designers part one 2012 -Filipa Oliveira
New Designers part one 2012 -Filipa Oliveira
In the One Year On section a host of jewellery designers were displaying their latest designs. Bee inspiration is big in design, as seen in these honeycomb filigree designs by Filipa Oliveira.

New Designers part one 2012 -Nicola Crawford
One for typography lovers: decorative balls by Nicola Crawford revealed a seething mass of letters on closer inspection.

New Designers part one 2012 -Harriet Knightley
Harriet Knightley‘s colourful anodised rings were inspired by 60s colours and shapes.

New Designers part one 2012 -Amy Logan Jewellery
Deceptively delicate designs by Amy Logan Jewellery are inspired by the drawn line.

New Designers part one 2012 -Alexandra Tosto
Alexandra Tosto‘s colourful hexagon pipes make appealing pendants, part of the Honeycomb Dream Collection.

New Designers part one 2012 -Kate Gilliland
New Designers part one 2012 -Kate Gilliland
Kate Gilliland‘s dead animals make curiously beautiful jewellery, especially tiny jaw and spine earrings.

Next: best picks from New Designers 2012 part two: including illustration and product design.

Categories ,2012, ,Alexandra Tosto, ,Amy Logan Jewellery, ,Cabbage is King, ,Cassandra Pittaway, ,Filipa Oliveira, ,Gin Durham, ,graduate, ,Hannah May Chapman, ,Harriet Knightley, ,Hayley Dix, ,Honeycomb Dream Collection, ,jewellery, ,Kate Gilliland, ,Kensington and Chelsea College, ,Mayra Cunningham, ,New Designers, ,Nicola Crawford, ,One Year On, ,review

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part three

New Designers part one 2012 -Emily de Vale
New Designers part one 2012 -Emily de Vale
Here’s my final round up of New Designers 2012 printed textiles and surface design talent. At the Glasgow School of Art Emily de Vale worked in 3D, embroidering laser cut bones onto fabric to create curious patterns.

New Designers part one 2012 -Sylvie McGowan
Sylvie McGowan‘s display of peachy pink, mint and dusky geometric patterns (super popular colourways) was very appealing.

New Designers part one 2012 -Rachel McIndoe
Inspired by microscopic structures, Rachel McIndoe created every kind of exotic texture possible.

New Designers part one 2012 -Laura Turquand Young
A riot of colour from Laura Turquand Young at Heriot-Watt University.

New Designers part one 2012 -Claire Corstorphine
At Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design textile designer and illustrator Claire Corstorphine favoured a fashion forward combination of lilacs with blues and peaches.

New Designers part one 2012 -Amelia Wonders
I was bound to home in on Amelia Wonders by Annie Mae Harris at UCA Rochester (though her own name is pretty wonderful too).

New Designers part one 2012 -Daisy Eloise Hopwood
Daisy Eloise Hopwood had put together a great display to showcase her textile designs.

New Designers part one 2012 -Elisabeth Bostrom
It was great to see Elisabeth Bostrom‘s astonishing hairy textiles, which we have already written about.

New Designers part one 2012 -University of Derby
The University of Derby had an imaginative stand involving laser cut crowns.

New Designers part one 2012 -Louisa Heyworth
At University of Leeds I liked these neon leaves by Louisa Heyworth.

New Designers part one 2012 -Ludicrious Prints
New Designers part one 2012 -Ludicrious Prints
At LCC Rebecca Dinnage‘s Ludicrious Prints mixed imagery from different times and places: polar bears roamed the streets of London in her playful papercut sculpture.

New Designers part one 2012 -Rosemma Hollis
Delicate tree papercutting by Rosemma Hollis created intriguing shadows.

New Designers part one 2012 -Lucy Jones
I liked the painterly retro feel of these bold boats on a print design by Lucy Jones.

New Designers part one 2012 -Maya Nije
A wonderful collar and pantaloon set by Maya Nije.

New Designers part one 2012 -Annita Sung
A stripy golden racoon lounging on a plate by Annita Sung.

There was some marvellous work on the LCC stand, which had been put together in an eclectic manner that echoed the walls of a large country house. See more from LCC surface designers on their tumblr here.

Don’t forget to check in with my first two reports from New Designers 2012 – find the best printed textiles and surface design graduates here and here. Coming up next: craft and jewellery.

Categories ,2012, ,Amelia Wonders, ,Annie Mae Harris, ,Annita Sung, ,Claire Corstorphine, ,Daisy Eloise Hopwood, ,Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, ,Elisabeth Bostrom, ,Emily de Vale, ,Glasgow School of Art, ,Heriot-Watt University, ,Laura Turquand Young, ,LCC, ,Louisa Heyworth, ,Lucy Jones, ,Ludicrious Prints, ,Maya Nije, ,New Designers, ,Printed Textiles, ,Rachel McIndoe, ,Rebecca Dinnage, ,review, ,Rosemma Hollis, ,surface design, ,Sylvie McGowan, ,UCA Rochester, ,University of Derby, ,University of Leeds

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Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2012 Printed Textiles and Surface Design Graduates: part two

New Designers part one 2012 -Phillippa Copping
Following on from my first review of printed textiles and surface design graduates at New Designers 2012, here’s my second pick of the student work. At Cleveland College of Art and Design bright geometric patterns by Phillippa Copping reigned supreme. I wasn’t surprised to learn that she has interned with Zandra Rhodes, whose influence was clear.

New Designers part one 2012 -Robyn Taylor
Robyn Taylor had fun with embroidered fashion illustrations.

New Designers part one 2012 -Holly Stevens
Crazy robots with 3D embellishment sprung out of graph paper in these interactive wallpaper designs for children by Holly Stevens.

New Designers part one 2012 -Tori Arrighi
At Edinburgh College of Art Tori Arrighi mixed fractal patterns with bold swipes of bright colour.

New Designers part one 2012 -Gillian Boyd
Gillian Boyd is an acoustic textile designer who designers decorative panels for maximum sound absorption.

New Designers part one 2012 -Danielle Lunn
At University of Bolton Danielle Lunn embroidered curious patterns that looked like sea creatures created in the style of Indian folk art.

New Designers part one 2012 -Emma Mcvan
Emma Mcvan mixed photorealist imagery with abstract design to great effect.

New Designers part one 2012 -Velvet Jade
New Designers part one 2012 -Velvet Jade
The fabulously named Velvet Jade mixed vibrant geometrics with 3D rosettes.

New Designers part one 2012 -Viktoriya Zarvanska
At UCLAN oversized squirrel and deer designs were attracting a lot of attention on Viktoriya Zarvanska‘s very busy stand.

New Designers part one 2012 -Jane Bridges
The English Country Garden Collection by Jane Bridges featured some beautiful modern acidic and plum colour combinations.

New Designers part one 2012 -Shayna Begum
New Designers part one 2012 -Shayna Begum
New Designers part one 2012 -Shayna Begum
At UEL I was immediately drawn to modern woodland designs from nature lover Shayna Begum: read an interview with her by Kate Lynch here. Her love of Timorous Beasties is evident.

New Designers part one 2012 -Netanya Barber
At Northbrook College in Sussex Netanya Barber mixed photo real birds and flowers with intricate wirework patterns.

New Designers part one 2012 -Melody Ross
At the Arts Uni College in Bournemouth Melody Ross went wild with neon laser cut acrylic for interiors products.

New Designers part one 2012 -Alice Skipp
At Swansea Metropolitan layered stencil designs by Alice Skipp were applied with great joy across plates, tea cosies, teatowels.

New Designers part one 2012 -Sam Fenn-Johnston
Retro inspired upholstery by Sam Fenn-Johnston was showcased on old fashioned style arm chairs in the One Year On section.

Third review of printed textiles and surface design graduates at New Designers 2012 coming soon!

Categories ,2012, ,Acoustic textiles, ,Acrylic, ,Alice Skipp, ,Arts Thread, ,Arts Uni College in Bournemouth, ,Cleveland College of Art and Design, ,Danielle Lunn, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Emma Mcvan, ,Gillian Boyd, ,Holly Stevens, ,Jane Bridges, ,Kate Bell, ,Kate Lynch, ,Melody Ross, ,Netanya Barber, ,New Designers, ,Northbrook College, ,One Year On, ,Phillippa Copping, ,Printed Textiles, ,review, ,Robyn Taylor, ,Sam Fenn-Johnston, ,Shayna Begum, ,Stunt Giraffe, ,surface design, ,Sussex, ,Swansea Metropolitan, ,The English Country Garden Collection, ,Timorous Beasties, ,Tori Arrighi, ,UCLan, ,UEL, ,University of Bolton, ,Velvet Jade, ,Viktoriya Zarvanska, ,Zandra Rhodes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Northumbria University: Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Catwalk Review Part 2


Gary Wilson by Janneke de Jong

Here’s our second round-up of Northumbria’s incredible fashion line-up this year. It just kept on coming…

Kathryn Iddon

All photography by Matt Bramford

Kathryn’s Urbane Modification collection was influenced by street cults of the 1960s and 1970s. Indefinitely wearable, it featured tapered trousers, luxurious wool coats and modern shirts with a vintage flavour.

Martin Percival

Martin, like a number of designers during Menswear Day in February, celebrated Captain Scott and was inspired by his adventurous endeavours. Heavy outerwear, made for survival, featured chunky knits. There were some suspect materials here – referring to the notes suggests fabrics were locally sourced – but that better not be real fur.

Katie Tomlinson


Graduate collection by Katie Tomlinson

I was already on Katie’s side when I glanced through the gorgeous graduate brochure before the show and noticed an ‘I heart Yorkshire’ motif, a statement I agree with wholeheartedly. Katie combined her Yorkshire roots with the works of sculptors Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth – the result being architectural pieces with dramatic silhouettes and contrasting organic shapes, made from rich wools and cashmere. A mix of heritage colours and vivid brights also had me grinning.

Hannah Harrison


Graduate collection by Hannah Harrison

Hannah’s collection sends style blogger Susie Blogger on an imaginary journey around South-East Asia. To the sounds of Santogold’s Creator, this was a vibrant, exciting collection from start to finish and injected a riotous burst of colour and contrasting materials. Screen printing, foil, flock, procion dyes, digital prints, laser cutting – you name it, Hannah had thrown it at her designs: in the best possible way, of course.


Hannah Harrison by Janneke de Jong

Kamille Davis

I loved loved loved Kamille’s quirky menswear inspired by Scottish fisherman. This was smart tailoring in rich browns and blues with yellow accents – a modern version of the fisherman’s jacket being one of my favourites.

Jennifer Decarteret

Jennifer effortlessly combined smart tailoring with sportswear, transforming the grey marl tracksuit bottom (a staple of the chav) into hipper, wearable trousers. Dereliction of buildings influenced segments of distorted print that appeared on shirts and drawstring bottoms.

Katie Briggs

Katie’s collection carried gorgeous pastel colours and a cute 1970s vibe. Playful but serious, wearable but exciting – this was an extremely polished collection with fun jackets, bell-bottomed trousers and figure-hugging playsuits.

Ying Xu
Ying’s was the final menswear collection sought influence from codes of dress by royalty in both Great Britain and China. A pleated shirt dress, knits like armour and quilted jackets featured in rich colours and aesthetically appealing materials that contrasted.

Gary Wilson

Gary closed the show in futuristic style. Fembot-like models wearing bobbed wigs that covered the eyes slowly graced the catwalk in a slightly terrifying manner. Leather dresses clung to their bodies and featured high-contrast patent leather and gold zips. It was a wonderful ending to a glorious show.

Categories ,2012, ,catwalk, ,Earls Court, ,fashion, ,Gary Wilson, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hannah Harrison, ,Janneke de Jong, ,Jennifer Decarteret, ,Kamille Davis, ,Kathryn Iddon, ,Katie Briggs, ,Katie Tomlinson, ,knitwear, ,Martin Percival, ,Matt Bramford, ,menswear, ,Northumbria University, ,review, ,Womenswear, ,Ying Xu

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Amelia’s Magazine | London College of Fashion MA 2012 Exhibition Review

Hana Cha by Sam Parr
Hana Cha by Sam Parr

Two weeks ago, there was a multicolour explosion deep in the basement of Victoria House, Bloomsbury – it was the MA Graduate Season 2012 show at the London College of Fashion – and it was inspiring.

Hana Cha by Jason Lear
Hana Cha by Jason Lear

The first collection that catches my eye is Carry on Closet, a collaborative project between Renée Lacroix (MA Fashion and the Environment) and Zahra Ash-Harper (MA Entrepreneurship), collectively Antithesis (who Amelia mentored on the CFE Fashion Bootcamp). They’ve created an enviable capsule collection of trans-seasonal, versatile pieces, and it’s the team’s hope that their high quality clothing will result in long-lasting, treasured pieces. I covet the second cloak in their video below, which doubles as a short jacket and vest – it’s one of many thoughtfully-crafted pieces which would slot in well to any contemporary wardrobe.


Next, I meet Daisy Jie Feng (MA Fashion Artefact), who is sporting a delicate silver neckpiece which resembles a set of wings. As we get talking, I understand that this is completely intentional – she was inspired by Kafka’s Metamorphosis to produce a series of necklaces that combine fine jewellery with a story of evolution. Each of her mannequins on display show the pieces becoming progressively more intricate, until we reach the final neckpiece which is made from 265 silver cones wrapped in silver and white gold.

Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Gareth A Hopkins
Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Gareth A Hopkins

Octavia Xiaozi Yang (MA Fashion Artefact) has applied traditional Chinese elements to contemporary jewellery for her Joinery in Jewels project, for me characterised by the enormous resin rubies which can be spied from a distance. No glue or nails are used to create the neck pieces, instead all the materials are constructed to work together, with laser cut perspex, 18 carat gold, and wood.

Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Claire Kearns
Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Claire Kearns

Rounding a corner, everyone stops to gaze at Vivien Ying’s (MA Fashion Footwear) vibrant shoes, which would be perfect come spring. She asks, ‘Is it possible to adapt the aesthetics and principles of Kimono wrapping into the scale and techniques of footwear?’ And indeed it is, as she’s draped the shoes without adding weight to them, and maintained the essence of the Kimono concept by using leathers delicately imprinted with floral patterns.

Vivien Ying by Sam Parr
Vivien Ying by Sam Parr

Ruth Holland’s (MA Fashion Artefact) neck pieces are spectacular. She focuses on reusing materials and wants to make precious pieces from non-precious materials – traditional handmade rope, mixed plastics and resins. This kind of approach makes for pieces obviously steeped in careful craftsmanship, and leaves me wondering why we would ever want to wear anything else – it’s the kind of artwork that is easy to connect with ethically and visually – you just want to reach out and put it on.

Necklace by Ruth Holland
Necklace by Ruth Holland

Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Jason Lear
Tina Elisabeth Reiter by Jason Lear

Charlotte Valkeniers (MA Fashion Artefact) tells me that she isn’t a jewellery person, which is a little bit funny given her enormous neck pieces! Everything is laser cut in to spirals with hand-knitted tubes and hand-forged metal, and her curiosity about the human body and muscle structure is apparent in the shape and weave of the pieces. I like the neutral tones and textures, and come to think of it, their simplicity might be perfect for the person who shies away from decoration.

Neckpiece by Charlotte Valkeniers
Neck piece by Charlotte Valkeniers

Photographs by Rebecca Merrick
Photographs by Rebecca Merrick

After perusing the photography portion of the show (including some beautiful, threaded images from Rebecca Merrick), I witness performances from the students doing their MA in Costume Design for Performance. The audience is captivated, first by Lisa Duncan’s costume for a performance of Orlando, and later, by a very personal work from Lesley Asare, iShape Beauty, which ends in cheers.

Costume design by Lisa Duncan
Costume design by Lisa Duncan

Oenghus in Love by Lucy Mitchell
Óenghus in Love by Lucy Mitchell

Two nights after I visit, the annual MA Catwalk Show takes place at the V&A: Tina Elisabeth Reiter (MA Fashion Design Technology, Menswear) is announced winner of the Menswear Collection of the Year, and Hana Cha (MA Fashion Design Technology, Womenswear) winner of the Womenswear Collection of the Year. Congratulations to both on creating such rich, innovative collections.

Watch the MA_12 Catwalk Show here

Object by Ana Rajcevic
Object by Ana Rajcevic

If you’re interested in seeing more from this exciting institution, read our London College of Fashion Fashion Illustration and Photography and Styling reviews from 2011.

Categories ,2012, ,Ana Rajcevic, ,Antithesis, ,Bloomsbury, ,Carry on Closet, ,Charlotte Valkeniers, ,Claire Kearns, ,Daisy Jie Feng, ,Ecofashion, ,fashion, ,Fashion Bootcamp, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Hana Cha, ,iShape Beauty, ,Jason Lear, ,jewellery, ,Joinery in Jewels, ,Kafka, ,Lesley Asare, ,Lisa Duncan, ,London College of Fashion, ,Lucy Mitchell, ,ma, ,Menswear Collection of the Year, ,Metamorphosis, ,Octavia Xiaozi Yang, ,Óenghus in Love, ,Rebecca Merrick, ,Renée Lacroix, ,Ruth Holland, ,Sam Parr, ,Tina Elisabeth Reiter, ,Victoria House, ,Vivien Ying, ,Womenswear Collection of the Year, ,Zahra Ash-Harper

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Amelia’s Magazine | Free Range Graduate Shows 2012: Middlesex University Jewellery Ba Hons Review

Middlesex Uni -Chaca Jacobsen
Chaca Jacobsen.

The jewellery design course at Middlesex University habitually turns out some wonderful artisans and this year was no exception, with collections inspired by themes of tradition, adornment, religion, memory, value and social identity. I visited their workshops at the Hendon campus a few months ago and was incredibly impressed by their new facilities.

Francesca Tring
Francesca Tring
Francesca Tring was inspired by Memento Mori to create these curious, dark wooden brooches… sprouting tufts of fur.

Franziska Lusser
Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Franziska Lusser
Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Franziska Lusser
I’m a sucker for big jewellery such as Franziska Lusser‘s designs, which made clever use of common materials (plastic combined with metal dust) to create precious looking pendants on industrial chains.

Helen Maria Faliveno
Helen Maria Faliveno
Helen Maria Faliveno
I also love delicate jewellery. Helen Maria Faliveno remembers childhood obsessions in her Polly Pocket inspired charms.

Mesh Doganay
Mesh Doganay displayed dipped neon rings which she creates quickly in one sitting, improvising the design process as she progresses.

Louise Payjack-Guillou
Louise Payjack-Guillou
Louise Payjack-Guillou fossilised sea urchins into lockets and brooches.

Lydia Miriam Jones
Lydia Miriam Jones
Lydia Miriam Jones
Lydia Miriam Jones worked at the Neema Crafts Centre in Tanzania, which totally altered her attitudes to creating material goods. Her stunning display was created using a ‘bottle to beads’ recycling process. She collects materials and then transforms them through low-tech production such as slip casting, embracing inherent imperfections from the process.

Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Tanya Garfield
Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Tanya Garfield
He loves me, he loves me not…

Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Tanya Garfield
Delicate necklaces by Tanya Garfield were one of my stand out favourites in the show. By combining common sayings and the intricacies of Morse Code she has produced beautiful and desirable necklaces – something which is often difficult to do with more conceptual work.

Christiana Christoforou
Christiana Christoforou
Christiana Christoforou began her final work by leaving clay at the entrance to stranger’s homes in London, with a message inviting them to imprint something of their identity into the material. From this she had created intriguing medallions which encompass the abstract and the recognisable (a Lego figurine, Donald Duck.)

Lydia Wood-Power
Lydia Wood-Power mixed past and present in her colourful formica collection. Alongside creating jewellery she also runs a ‘vintage’ 1950s style tea room in Streatham Hill, which she opened in her year out. She works in a studio behind it: what a wonderful idea!

Samantha Cobb
Samantha Cobb‘s tiny metal amulets reminded me of paper boats or paper hats.

Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Middlesex Uni -Chaca Jacobsen
Middlesex University jewellery graduate show 2012-Middlesex Uni -Chaca Jacobsen
Using an eclectic mix of high gloss acrylic and a touch of gold, Chaca Jacobsen had created decorative yet functional necklaces with an elegant finish. ‘A ninja necklace awakes the spy; a Samurai sword-handle necklace our inner power and a police baton reflects a desire for control.

There is no doubt that this was a showcase for incredible techniques and thought process in jewellery making – I’d also love to see more collaboration with fashion, melding these skills with catwalk trends and influences. You can read my review of the 2011 graduate show here.

Categories ,2012, ,Chaca Jacobsen, ,Christiana Christoforou, ,Francesca Tring, ,Franziska Lusser, ,Free Range, ,Helen Maria Faliveno, ,Hendon campus, ,jewellery, ,Louise Payjack-Guillou, ,Lydia Miriam Jones, ,Lydia Wood-Power, ,Memento Mori, ,Memory, ,Mesh Doganay, ,middlesex university, ,Morse Code, ,Neema Crafts Centre, ,Polly Pocket, ,recycled, ,religion, ,review, ,Samantha Cobb, ,Social Identity, ,Tanya Garfield, ,Tanzania, ,Vintage tea room

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Amelia’s Magazine | Christmas Gift Ideas 2013: Babies and Toddlers

Slugs and Snails tights for boys blue

Slugs and Snails tights for boys.

So, what do you do if you need to buy something for the little person in your life at Christmas? We buy very few new clothes for Snarfle (and are very grateful for the many hand me downs that he wears) but when we do buy new we often buy from smaller independent designers who create unique looks that you will not find on the high street. These wonderful pieces are more often that not designed with love by someone who is a mum themselves. They know what little people like, and they create with passion.

Mini Magpie London upcycled wool gilet

Mini Magpie clothes are all created from upcycled adult garments by mum Kimberley. I am particularly hankering after this little knitted waistcoat that is adorned with plentiful pompoms… but do take a look at all her clothing for little ones… such cute stuff, including little denim jackets, leggings and much more.

Slugs and Snails tights for boys

It is no secret that Snarfle lives in his Slugs and Snails patterned tights (see my instagram feed). After a summer off (during which he grew out of his last selection) I literally don’t know what we would do without them during the cold weather. Nothing is as snug and cosy as tights – socks always seem to crumple off in little deposits all over the house to leave behind freezing cold tootsies (not that he seems to mind, they bother me a lot more). I was a bit worried about how he might ‘style’ them (don’t laugh) now he is a fully grown walking mini person, but actually they look bloody great under baggy pants, or peeking out from under leggings (which he also lives in, most of ours come from Oh Baby London). My new favourite design is Storm, featuring clouds and rainbows on a steely grey background. Utterly fab: these really are the best gift you can give a little one, boy or girl. You can read my interview with creator Kathleen Redmond here, she’s an inspiration to all us mums.

The Bright Company - Knapp Blanket for babies

When Snarfle was smaller he was always tucked up (in our bed) inside a sleeping bag. How did we ever manage back in the old days, before these genius inventions? Ours were all second hand, but if I was looking for a very sweet and unique version I’d go for one by The Bright Company, all handmade and printed in the UK. Their Kipp Sleeping Bag for £38 is covered in a very retro modern hexagon design in their signature bright blue and orange colour way. Or how about the Knapp Blanket for £30 in unisex colour ways, a great gift for little people that can be used to swaddle them in the Moses basket (if yours will sleep in one that is, our basket was passed on very quickly) or to keep them warm in a buggy or in the carrier. Later on it could even become a fantastic den maker!

Day Job Katie Johnston hobby horse toys

Hankering after a toy that’s not garish and over the top, that will allow your child’s imagination to run free for many years to come? Then why not consider a Hobby Horse. These ones are by Katie Johnston of the Day Job collective, and come in a host of possible colours. You choose! It’s just like the good ol’ days…

The Baltic Baby Leggings by Modéerska Huset

Kyna Boutique specialises in organic children’s clothing and many of the brands are sourced from Scandinavia, which seems to specialise in the kind of bold patterned clothing that I love so much but which English designers shy away from. I really like The Baltic Baby Bodysuit and Leggings by Modéerska Huset, covered in islands, ferries, waves and swans. Swedish designer Jenny Modéer works in a slightly more subtle but nonetheless unusual colour palette. Kyna Boutique offers free delivery within the UK, and free returns too!

Ruff and Huddle varsity jacket with zakee shariff

Ruff & Huddle has had a super busy year, with successful launches in Selfridges and great press all over the place. Their collaboration with ace illustrator Zakee Shariff has produced some wonderful clothing, and I am particularly in love with this London Varsity jacket that has ROAR embroidered on the front and a lion on the back (see left in the photo above). Why should the Americans have all the fun? At £50 it’s a considered purchase, but one that is bound to be a practical favourite with your little one.

Sian Zeng - Blue duvet set and sew your own bear

Sian Zeng is a Cockpit Arts based designer who creates a variety of objects and homeware items that span the generations. Her classic bespectacled Office Bear comes as a kit you sew up yourself for £25, and here they are seen in a variety of colour ways lounging against a duvet set, also designed by Sian. Snarfle has one of these, but it did have to be sewn up by an adult (his dad!) – so this is a fun gift that could kill two birds with one stone (so to speak).

Lil Beans red baby fringe moccasin booties

Lil’ Beans is a new online kidswear retailer that was set up with the aim of selling brands that offer high quality design, uniqueness, comfort and durability. Due to their American connections they have also brought some lesser known brands to these shores and I am just a little bit in love with these adorable red fringed moccasins for babies for £35. Adorable. Also look out for their Thrifted section, featuring second hand loveliness for bargain prices.

Lastly, I’ll be bringing you my ideas for the prettiest and most unusual homemade decorations that I’ve found on my travels around the web. Here’s hoping that I get time to make a few myself as well.

Categories ,2013, ,Babies, ,Babywear, ,Christmas, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Day Job, ,gifts, ,Hobby Horse, ,Jenny Modéer, ,Kathleen Redmond, ,Katie Johnston, ,Kipp Sleeping Bag, ,Knapp Blanket, ,Kyna Boutique, ,Leggings, ,Lil’ Beans, ,London Varsity jacket, ,Mini Magpie, ,Modéerska Huset, ,Office Bear, ,Oh Baby London, ,Ruff & Huddle, ,Sian Zeng, ,Slugs and Snails, ,Snarfle, ,Storm, ,TBC, ,The Baltic Baby Bodysuit, ,The Bright Company, ,Thrifted, ,Toddlers, ,Zakee Shariff

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