Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Northbrook and Salford

Rhea Fields, drugs illustrated by Paolo Caravello

An androgynous Autumn/Winter collection kicked off Northbrook college’s graduate show with Rhea Field’s take on tuxedos with a twist. The nude and black palette teamed with the surprising use of latex injected just the right amount of femininity to the aptly named ‘About A Boy’ collection. Polka-dot pussy bow blouses in ultra girly chiffon were given the tailored treatment with perfectly-pleated trousers and black lace-up boyish brogues; bow-ties were oversized or sugary pink and shirts were sequin-splattered in a perfect contradictory fashion. ? 

Diana Alves drew her inspiration for ‘Parallel Fashion’ from contemporary architecture. To achieve her shapes she made a 3D pyramid from paper which she mounted on a mannequin. She then proceeded to create her abstract garments using this concept, more about teamed with clever tailoring to create her sharp shouldered woollen jackets and satin and silk taffeta zip detailed dresses. ? 

Anna Louise Moxon focused on body proportions in her graphics inspired collection ‘Illustration Subfocus’. With the use of prints she followed contours of the body to create full and feminine silhouettes. Her interesting designs are inspired by special effects in films, clinic in particular CGI (computer generated imagery) and 3D animation. The retro colour palette of monochrome, grey and red combined with the futuristic concept and use of layered textures and prints make for a really interesting and forward-thinking collection.  ? 

After an extremely brief 30-second interval it was Manchester’s University of Salford’s chance to shine, and shine, one designer in particular, quite literally did. 

Alex Dubell began the show with ‘Modern Hysterics’,the first of three collections inspired by the surprising choice of soap opera Coronation Street, of which he says “just as in reality, life in ‘the street’ can be chaotic with events that are both dramatic and well hidden”.

Alex Dubell, Illustrated by Celine Loup

He has chosen to represent this drama by the medium of extremely exaggerated and structured shoulders in a sparkly midnight blue palette which he describes as “the ‘out of touch’ moments that we all experience, which Coronation Street has dramatised so effectively for many years”. ? 

Emma Lidell had a more futuristic vision judging by her collection ‘Grey Matter’ which does what it says on the tin. The show had a sports-luxe feel to it, courtesy of her use of marl jersey, but presented a twist with a heavy use of Perspex moulding and transparent ‘astronaut’ style skirts. She describes her collections as “garments evoking ambiguous intelligent thought”.

Emma Lidell illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Danielle Ferguson presented the audience with the second Corrie based collection of the night, this time the inspiration came off the back of a particular storyline in her favourite programme rather than the show in general. The collection is named ‘My inner child’ and is based on Sarah Louise Platt’s teenage pregnancy and how becoming a mother at such a young age can force a person into adulthood. ? 

She describes her creations as “both playful and grown up” demonstrated in the her full length adult romper-suit, cute cropped printed blouse which she teamed with a huge teddy bear skirt and a classy ankle length camel coat paired with a teddy bear ears hat. She also shows a penchant for polka-dots which can be found throughout the collection, on both demure scarves and a fitted top with overly-structured pleated sleeves reminiscent of a pretty bow.

Danielle Ferguson, illustrated by Yelena Bryksenkova

Closing the show in spectacular fashion was Charlotte Lee Taylor whose collection ‘Bioluminescent Abyss’  was inspired by the black icy world beneath the sea, a world 13,000 feet beneath the surface untouched by the sun’s rays.

Charlotte Taylor, Illustrated by Gareth A Hopkins

Charlotte invoked this bizarre and dark environment and the electric forms that light it with her midnight-black organza garments, which included a thigh-skimming transparent cage dress and a full length hooped cocoon style dress, the collection was mesmerizing enough without the final collective walk of the models down the runway, when a selection of each outfit burst into glowing halos of light, giving us mere humans a glimpse of the electrifying and mesmerizing world under the sea, never before seen by human eyes. Until now.

Photographs courtesy of

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