Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Show Gala Show 2014 Review

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

I have been attending Graduate Fashion Week for six years now and every year I wonder how such young designers manage to be so creative. Once again the final 25 collections showcased in last week’s Gala Show were truly outstanding and revealed a wide range of talent to watch. The night began on a poignant note with a moment’s thought for the late Louise Wilson, the formidable Central Saint Martins tutor who was integral in the training of luminaries such as Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders and Mary Katrantzou. Here’s hoping that one of these finalists and winners goes on to as much success.

GFW Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins

Aimee Dunn by Gareth A Hopkins.

GFW Menswear Award: Aimee Dunn – Nottingham Trent University
I know it’s menswear but who doesn’t love stealing their boyfriends clothes? Dunn’s collection of monochrome looks were superbly put together and with Thatcher on the front of a jumper you’re never going to avoid attention. Dunn also picked up the Menswear award at the end of the evening – well deserved.

Grace Weller GFW 2014 Bath Spa Uiversity by Jenny Robins

Grace Weller by Jenny Robins.

Grace Weller by  Julie J Seo

Grace Weller by Julie J.Seo.

George Gold Award winner and GFW Womenswear Award: Grace Weller – Bath Spa University
The embroidery and workmanship that had gone into Grace’s beautiful collection of Erdem-esque floral and sheer dresses was astounding. Not only did Grace pick up the Womenswear Award but she walked away with the £10,000 Gold Award to kick start her label.

Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott
Rebecca Rimmer by Vicky Scott.

Rebecca Rimmer – UCLAN
Brightly coloured clothes painted onto bigger clothes. Sounds ridiculous, works really well on the catwalk, as Rebecca Rimmer proved. Her cartoonish collection was fun and original as well as having a high impact on the audience as it closed the show.

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung_2

Holly Jayne Smith by Hye Jin Chung.

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau

Holly Jayne Smith by Sine Skau.

Holly Jayne Smith – Birmingham City
Foot-high hats and a pop art colour palette ensured this collection caught our attention and made us rethink light blue as a staple. The models also carried co-ordinated bright sports back packs which I loved.

GFW Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins

GFW International Winner: Shan Liao Huang by Gareth A Hopkins.

Lauren Lake – Kingston University
Coloured fur made its mark last season and Lauren Lake’s first model strode out in a huge over sized, pink fur-lined shearling coat, so it was always going to be a winner. The silver metallic skirts and block boots, pink PVC and top knots ticked all the boxes, just amazing.

Colleen Leitch – Edinburgh College of Art
80’s glamour is back in Colleen Leitch’s collection of exquisite looks brought together by scattered sequins and dark colours in draping fabrics clinched at the waist for maximum femininity.

HANNAH DONKIN BY JANE YOUNG

Hannah Donkin by Jane Young.

GFW Creative Catwalk Award: Camilla Grimes – Manchester School of Art
Pink fur again, hopefully not real, (trend alert!) but this time alongside a more delicate and feminine ensemble that had hints of Jonathan Saunders about it (never a bad thing). Sheer embroidered shirts and a hooded bomber jacket were just two of the items I want in my wardrobe.

Fashion graduates of 2015, I can’t wait to see what you’ll have in store!

Categories ,2014, ,Aimee Dunn, ,Bath Spa University, ,Birmingham City University, ,Camilla Grimes, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Christopher Kane, ,Colleen Leitch, ,Edinburgh College of Art, ,Gala Show, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,Grace Weller, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Hannah Donkin, ,Holly Jayne Smith, ,Hye Jin Chung, ,Jane Young, ,Jenny Robins, ,Jonathan Saunders, ,Julie J Seo, ,Kingston University, ,Lauren Lake, ,Louise Wilson, ,Manchester School of Art, ,Mary Katrantzou, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Rebecca Rimmer, ,review, ,Shan Liao Huang, ,Sine Skau, ,Truman Brewery, ,UCLan, ,Vicky Scott

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: The Gala Show Finale!


Shinsuke Mitsuoka

The world of fashion is notoriously fickle and grabbing the attentions of a fashion crowd for any extended period of time seems tricky. Catwalk shows do their best with an array of light shows and thumping soundtracks which could sometimes do with a warning.

Nottingham Trent have prepared it all for their outing at Graduate Fashion Week with glossy door staff, medications designer goody bags and even a rather trendy loitering DJ (wearing a somewhat dubious puffa jacket). They’re raring to go, remedy but there’s just one cog in the works; a serious lack of bums on seats. Well, there is of course the age old excuse of being fashionably late, but even the pinched smiles of women ferrying around have started to crumble.

All becomes clear as a dull thudding bass infiltrates the theatre and the sound barrier takes a bashing as the trill of hundreds of screaming girls hit the roof. Apparently Tinie Tempah is a big deal (and from the glimpse I got, genuinely teeny Tinie). He’s had all of one song, which luckily for Nottingham Trent, he dispatches quickly, and soon a bustle of activity swells at the theatre doors. If Tinie didn’t make them ‘Pass Out’ (see what I did there? Here all week folks…) then the efforts of Nottingham Trent’s 2010 graduates will surely do their best to stun the senses. 

Nottingham Trent has a clear passion for encouraging students to experiment with unique techniques and textures in knitwear, producing a modern and varied aesthetic across the course. Their catwalk show oscillates between detailed, intricate knitwear and sleek takes on womenswear with bursts of energy injected at intervals by the likes of Emma Dick, showcasing sharp, graphic prints of televisions and arrows just at home in a museum of Pop Art as the runway. Integrated hoods give the look a futuristic feel but there’s a touch of the retro about her two-tone body con jumpsuit with a classic 1960s palette contrast between red and black.

Nottingham Trent keeps the volume turned up with Claire Hartley’s cutaway knitted one pieces, exposing flashes of green, yellow and red for a futuristic sci-fi look. Hartley’s dedication to forward thinking stretches beyond the aesthetics as she hopes to generate a new innovative, zero waste policy in manufacturing to ensure the sustainability and evolution of the clothes. 

By now Tinie’s long forgotten as each model stalks down the catwalk to puffa DJ’s painfully hip soundtrack. Nikki Lowe dazzles with gold lamé suits complete with built-in gloves worthy of an evil Jackie Collins penned character, but flashlight necklaces add a distinctive disco feel caught somewhere between the 1970s and the 1990s.

Miranda Boucher’s collection is a dark and luxurious celebration of femininity with plush midnight blue coats and velveteen details just obscuring the model’s modesty.  

Emma Philpot’s knitwear seems to grow from the models bodies, twisting and turning upon itself and forming knots and twists likes a chunky chainmail, while Tiffany Williams continues the fairytale edge with her menswear collection in dark, brooding colours and heavy volume that weigh on the shoulders as a hulking, masculine presence. Backs reveal shimmers of gold thread intertwined, adding a lighter side to the depth of her work. 
Jenna Harvey’s dresses change at every turn as each layer of tiny fabric is double printed and loosely set so as it moves a new picture is revealed. At times it feels like 3D glasses are needed just to keep up with the transformation before your eyes.

Meanwhile, Phoebe Thirlwall’s beautiful knitwear dresses, inspired by the intricacies of the skin, show a level of workmanship that is breathtaking under the lights of the catwalk. Each ribbed layer clings to the models with hundreds of different levels working together. Her hard work has clearly not gone unnoticed as her work was also photographed by renowned artist Rankin, a stunning portrait duly displayed in grand terms at Earl’s Court.


 
Izabela Targosz’s equestrian turn on tailoring injects some more colour into Nottingham Trent’s show, with jackets made with horsehair pockets and backs adding a silky but quirky feel. Riding hats are the natural yet perfect accessory to a collection that shows an equal strength in its attention to detail for an upheaval of the British tailored look. 

Shinsuke Matsuoka’s work is saved for the final spot and with the breathtaking effect of the garments, it’s easy to see why. Bondage style zips snake across panels of black hi-shine material; the sound of the clothes are a foreboding presence in themselves, but as six outfits stand together the models are transformed into an unnervingly attractive chain gang from the future. I’m not sure if it was this effect or not, but my camera also spluttered its final breaths at this point, perhaps overwhelmed by the power of Matsuoka’s collection.

In any case, it proved a spectacular way to end things and is not something I can imagine being trumped by Tinie any day soon.

Images courtesy of catwalking.com


Nicola Roberts, cheapest illustrated by Jenny Robins

So it was time to wrap up what was a pretty crazy week in the form of the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show. After making arrangements for a ticket a while ago, I was bemused to find that at the door there was no sign of said tickets.

Perhaps it had been taken by another contributor? Unlikely. ‘Are you sure you’re supposed to be at this (star-studded) show?’ ‘Yes’ I said, ‘that’s why I’m wearing a bow tie’.

After a few quick radio calls, I was allowed in. Into Earl’s Court, that is – not into the champagne drinks reception. ‘Sponsors only’ was the reply when I asked if I could have a quick drinkie. ‘Sponsors only my eye’ I thought, as I recognised half the people in the fashionably-roped off bar area.

So I waited patiently at the entrance to the theatre. And waited.

And waited.

‘We’ll get you in,’ I was told. ‘Before it actually starts?’ I thought to myself.

As I waited I was entertained by a lovely student called April who could see my blood boiling – stood a little distance away to avoid the steam coming out of my ears. ‘After all I’ve bloody done this week,’ I thought to myself, and then said aloud to April, who quickly excused herself.

Finally I was allowed inside and ushered into a press seat, and, true to form at these events, there were three seats either side of me that remained empty. ‘Typical!’ I thought to myself, and then thought I really should stop thinking to myself so much.

With a few whoops and a whizz, the Gala Show kicked off in fabulous fashion, with Britain’s Got Talent champions Diversity. Fun. Next, Caryn Franklin, resplendent as ever, arrived on stage. It was a whistle-stop tour through the non-catwalk-based awards, including those for fashion marketing and promotion. I was pleased to see Northumbria added a few more to their metaphorical mantelpiece.

A host of celebs had turned up, and from my seat I could spot front-row regular Erin O’Connor (who later presented an award), Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame (who has quickly swapped pop for paps, Fashion Week regular that she is). I even brushed past her on my way to the loo, and she is genuinely gorgeous in real life.


Another Nicola Roberts, illustrated by Antonia Parker

It’s always great to see the wonderful Hilary Alexander (who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at the Northumbria Show) who presented mature student Ellen Devall with the ‘First Word’ Journalism Award, because it left her ‘wanting to know more.’


Hilary Alexander, illustrated by Amy Martino

Another of my favourite spots was Barbara Hulanicki, who was here to present the Textile Award to Natalie Murray from Northumbria University. She’s utterly bonkers but gosh what a woman.


Barbara Hulanicki, illustrated by Abi Daker

Onto the main event – the Gala Show(case). I was thrilled to see many of the graduates we’d already talked about on the website appearing in this Best of the Best-style show, including Naomi New from Northumbria (one of my personal favourites from GFW as a whole) and Northbrook’s Rhea Fields.

The staging for this was incredible, and justified the ghastly white sheet that hung in the background for the first part of the show. It burst down to reveal a scaffolding set, where models pouted, lights flashed, and the music roared.

So, the winners then. With the inclusion of the International Show this year, it was great to see them honoured with an award, which must have been a great end to a fantastic week for International Students. The winner, Roya Hesam from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute won over the judges with her minimalist collection.

Pretty soon afterwards, out popped everybody’s favourite glamorous granny, Zandra Rhodes, to present her Textiles Award.


Zandra Rhodes, illustrated by Paul Shinn

The competition was fierce here – all were fantastic – but it was Anna Lee’s literally fierce collection of big cat prints that triumphed.

Dylan Jones, editor of GQ Magazine, presented Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne with the marvellous Menswear prize, owing to his sleek, sophisticated tailoring.


Dylan Jones, illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

Rhea Fields (yay!) from Northbrook college won the womenswear award for her covetable collection and unique use of materials, presented by Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto.


Mark Eley, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

So, the moment we’d all waited for (and in my case queued, sweated and been reduced to tears for) was the River Island Gold Award. God knows how the likes of River Island design director Naomi Dominique, Lorraine Candy of Elle and Kim Jones chose the winner, but it was down to fellow judge Alberta Ferretti to present the award.


Alberta Ferretti, illustrated by Paolo Caravello

And the winner was…

…Rebecca Thompson from Manchester Met! Thoroughly deserved for her inspirational collection. Alberta Ferretti proclaimed that Rebecca had triumphed because of her ‘unusual and interesting combination of fabrics and for the contemporary feeling of her collection’.

As the ticker tape covered Rebecca and her models, I thought to myself,’What a freakin’ fabulous week.’

Categories ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Amsterdam Fashion Institute, ,Anna Lee, ,Awards, ,Big cats, ,Britain’s Got Talent, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Diversity, ,Dylan Jones, ,Earls Court, ,Elle Magazine, ,Erin O’ Connor, ,Fashion Week, ,Gala Show, ,GFW, ,girls aloud, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2010, ,International Show, ,Kim Jones, ,london, ,Lorraine Candy, ,Manchester Metropolitan University, ,menswear, ,models, ,Naomi Dominique, ,Naomi New, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Northbrook College, ,Northumbria, ,Rebecca Thompson, ,Rhea Fields, ,River Island, ,Roya Hesam, ,Textiles Award, ,Ticker Tape, ,Womenswear, ,Zandra Rhodes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2010: The Gala Show Finale!


Shinsuke Mitsuoka

The world of fashion is notoriously fickle and grabbing the attentions of a fashion crowd for any extended period of time seems tricky. Catwalk shows do their best with an array of light shows and thumping soundtracks which could sometimes do with a warning.

Nottingham Trent have prepared it all for their outing at Graduate Fashion Week with glossy door staff, medications designer goody bags and even a rather trendy loitering DJ (wearing a somewhat dubious puffa jacket). They’re raring to go, remedy but there’s just one cog in the works; a serious lack of bums on seats. Well, there is of course the age old excuse of being fashionably late, but even the pinched smiles of women ferrying around have started to crumble.

All becomes clear as a dull thudding bass infiltrates the theatre and the sound barrier takes a bashing as the trill of hundreds of screaming girls hit the roof. Apparently Tinie Tempah is a big deal (and from the glimpse I got, genuinely teeny Tinie). He’s had all of one song, which luckily for Nottingham Trent, he dispatches quickly, and soon a bustle of activity swells at the theatre doors. If Tinie didn’t make them ‘Pass Out’ (see what I did there? Here all week folks…) then the efforts of Nottingham Trent’s 2010 graduates will surely do their best to stun the senses. 

Nottingham Trent has a clear passion for encouraging students to experiment with unique techniques and textures in knitwear, producing a modern and varied aesthetic across the course. Their catwalk show oscillates between detailed, intricate knitwear and sleek takes on womenswear with bursts of energy injected at intervals by the likes of Emma Dick, showcasing sharp, graphic prints of televisions and arrows just at home in a museum of Pop Art as the runway. Integrated hoods give the look a futuristic feel but there’s a touch of the retro about her two-tone body con jumpsuit with a classic 1960s palette contrast between red and black.

Nottingham Trent keeps the volume turned up with Claire Hartley’s cutaway knitted one pieces, exposing flashes of green, yellow and red for a futuristic sci-fi look. Hartley’s dedication to forward thinking stretches beyond the aesthetics as she hopes to generate a new innovative, zero waste policy in manufacturing to ensure the sustainability and evolution of the clothes. 

By now Tinie’s long forgotten as each model stalks down the catwalk to puffa DJ’s painfully hip soundtrack. Nikki Lowe dazzles with gold lamé suits complete with built-in gloves worthy of an evil Jackie Collins penned character, but flashlight necklaces add a distinctive disco feel caught somewhere between the 1970s and the 1990s.

Miranda Boucher’s collection is a dark and luxurious celebration of femininity with plush midnight blue coats and velveteen details just obscuring the model’s modesty.  

Emma Philpot’s knitwear seems to grow from the models bodies, twisting and turning upon itself and forming knots and twists likes a chunky chainmail, while Tiffany Williams continues the fairytale edge with her menswear collection in dark, brooding colours and heavy volume that weigh on the shoulders as a hulking, masculine presence. Backs reveal shimmers of gold thread intertwined, adding a lighter side to the depth of her work. 
Jenna Harvey’s dresses change at every turn as each layer of tiny fabric is double printed and loosely set so as it moves a new picture is revealed. At times it feels like 3D glasses are needed just to keep up with the transformation before your eyes.

Meanwhile, Phoebe Thirlwall’s beautiful knitwear dresses, inspired by the intricacies of the skin, show a level of workmanship that is breathtaking under the lights of the catwalk. Each ribbed layer clings to the models with hundreds of different levels working together. Her hard work has clearly not gone unnoticed as her work was also photographed by renowned artist Rankin, a stunning portrait duly displayed in grand terms at Earl’s Court.


 
Izabela Targosz’s equestrian turn on tailoring injects some more colour into Nottingham Trent’s show, with jackets made with horsehair pockets and backs adding a silky but quirky feel. Riding hats are the natural yet perfect accessory to a collection that shows an equal strength in its attention to detail for an upheaval of the British tailored look. 

Shinsuke Matsuoka’s work is saved for the final spot and with the breathtaking effect of the garments, it’s easy to see why. Bondage style zips snake across panels of black hi-shine material; the sound of the clothes are a foreboding presence in themselves, but as six outfits stand together the models are transformed into an unnervingly attractive chain gang from the future. I’m not sure if it was this effect or not, but my camera also spluttered its final breaths at this point, perhaps overwhelmed by the power of Matsuoka’s collection.

In any case, it proved a spectacular way to end things and is not something I can imagine being trumped by Tinie any day soon.

Images courtesy of catwalking.com


Nicola Roberts, cheapest illustrated by Jenny Robins

So it was time to wrap up what was a pretty crazy week in the form of the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show. After making arrangements for a ticket a while ago, I was bemused to find that at the door there was no sign of said tickets.

Perhaps it had been taken by another contributor? Unlikely. ‘Are you sure you’re supposed to be at this (star-studded) show?’ ‘Yes’ I said, ‘that’s why I’m wearing a bow tie’.

After a few quick radio calls, I was allowed in. Into Earl’s Court, that is – not into the champagne drinks reception. ‘Sponsors only’ was the reply when I asked if I could have a quick drinkie. ‘Sponsors only my eye’ I thought, as I recognised half the people in the fashionably-roped off bar area.

So I waited patiently at the entrance to the theatre. And waited.

And waited.

‘We’ll get you in,’ I was told. ‘Before it actually starts?’ I thought to myself.

As I waited I was entertained by a lovely student called April who could see my blood boiling – stood a little distance away to avoid the steam coming out of my ears. ‘After all I’ve bloody done this week,’ I thought to myself, and then said aloud to April, who quickly excused herself.

Finally I was allowed inside and ushered into a press seat, and, true to form at these events, there were three seats either side of me that remained empty. ‘Typical!’ I thought to myself, and then thought I really should stop thinking to myself so much.

With a few whoops and a whizz, the Gala Show kicked off in fabulous fashion, with Britain’s Got Talent champions Diversity. Fun. Next, Caryn Franklin, resplendent as ever, arrived on stage. It was a whistle-stop tour through the non-catwalk-based awards, including those for fashion marketing and promotion. I was pleased to see Northumbria added a few more to their metaphorical mantelpiece.

A host of celebs had turned up, and from my seat I could spot front-row regular Erin O’Connor (who later presented an award), Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame (who has quickly swapped pop for paps, Fashion Week regular that she is). I even brushed past her on my way to the loo, and she is genuinely gorgeous in real life.


Another Nicola Roberts, illustrated by Antonia Parker

It’s always great to see the wonderful Hilary Alexander (who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at the Northumbria Show) who presented mature student Ellen Devall with the ‘First Word’ Journalism Award, because it left her ‘wanting to know more.’


Hilary Alexander, illustrated by Amy Martino

Another of my favourite spots was Barbara Hulanicki, who was here to present the Textile Award to Natalie Murray from Northumbria University. She’s utterly bonkers but gosh what a woman.


Barbara Hulanicki, illustrated by Abi Daker

Onto the main event – the Gala Show(case). I was thrilled to see many of the graduates we’d already talked about on the website appearing in this Best of the Best-style show, including Naomi New from Northumbria (one of my personal favourites from GFW as a whole) and Northbrook’s Rhea Fields.

The staging for this was incredible, and justified the ghastly white sheet that hung in the background for the first part of the show. It burst down to reveal a scaffolding set, where models pouted, lights flashed, and the music roared.

So, the winners then. With the inclusion of the International Show this year, it was great to see them honoured with an award, which must have been a great end to a fantastic week for International Students. The winner, Roya Hesam from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute won over the judges with her minimalist collection.

Pretty soon afterwards, out popped everybody’s favourite glamorous granny, Zandra Rhodes, to present her Textiles Award.


Zandra Rhodes, illustrated by Paul Shinn

The competition was fierce here – all were fantastic – but it was Anna Lee’s literally fierce collection of big cat prints that triumphed.

Dylan Jones, editor of GQ Magazine, presented Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne with the marvellous Menswear prize, owing to his sleek, sophisticated tailoring.


Dylan Jones, illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

Rhea Fields (yay!) from Northbrook college won the womenswear award for her covetable collection and unique use of materials, presented by Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto.


Mark Eley, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

So, the moment we’d all waited for (and in my case queued, sweated and been reduced to tears for) was the River Island Gold Award. God knows how the likes of River Island design director Naomi Dominique, Lorraine Candy of Elle and Kim Jones chose the winner, but it was down to fellow judge Alberta Ferretti to present the award.


Alberta Ferretti, illustrated by Paolo Caravello

And the winner was…

…Rebecca Thompson from Manchester Met! Thoroughly deserved for her inspirational collection. Alberta Ferretti proclaimed that Rebecca had triumphed because of her ‘unusual and interesting combination of fabrics and for the contemporary feeling of her collection’.

As the ticker tape covered Rebecca and her models, I thought to myself,’What a freakin’ fabulous week.’

Categories ,Alberta Ferretti, ,Amsterdam Fashion Institute, ,Anna Lee, ,Awards, ,Big cats, ,Britain’s Got Talent, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Diversity, ,Dylan Jones, ,Earls Court, ,Elle Magazine, ,Erin O’ Connor, ,Fashion Week, ,Gala Show, ,GFW, ,girls aloud, ,Gold Award, ,Graduate Fashion Week 2010, ,International Show, ,Kim Jones, ,london, ,Lorraine Candy, ,Manchester Metropolitan University, ,menswear, ,models, ,Naomi Dominique, ,Naomi New, ,Nicola Roberts, ,Northbrook College, ,Northumbria, ,Rebecca Thompson, ,Rhea Fields, ,River Island, ,Roya Hesam, ,Textiles Award, ,Ticker Tape, ,Womenswear, ,Zandra Rhodes

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week 2011 Gala Awards Show: The Winners

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show 2011-Rory Longdon
Rory Longdon was a worthy winner of the Graduate Fashion Week 2011 George Gold Award. Okay, order it’s a gold award, order I geddit already.

Just over two weeks ago I was invited to attend the Gala show for the Graduate Fashion Awards. I’ve not been back to the student fashion shows since I graduated 15 years ago (gulp). Back then they were held in the Islington Business Centre and I don’t remember much about them at all – I had already decided that my future did not lie in catwalk shows and so I only had a static stand to show off my printed textiles designs… which I had honed in the knowledge that I would prefer to pursue a career in illustration. Isn’t it funny how the circle turns? I never have been able to get away from fashion… but then again nor have I abandoned illustration. I could never have predicted then just how my life would have panned out in the years since.

Joey and Sam Faiers TOWIE by Munroe Bergdorf
Joey Essex and Sam Faiers from TOWIE. Photo by Munroe Bergdorf.

It’s been a shaky year for the Graduate Fashion Show brand – the sponsorship that was needed for it to continue was finally taken on by George at Asda at the last minute. Select guests were treated like royalty – the cast of TOWIE may not be considered the height of style in most forward thinking fashion circles but they were feted like true celebrities at the Gala show. Myself and Naomi? We couldn’t get past the cordons in the middle of the Earl’s Court conference centre for a drink and a natter with friends beforehand (I tried unhooking the cordon, the security was not very amused). Inside the TOWIE crew primped and preened, basking in the attention. Sound familiar? Exactly the same fiasco for Matt Bramford last year. So instead we tried our luck at the brightly coloured George stand, to no avail, though their PR was happy to give me their spiel, drink in hand. More than one woman was wearing the same dress… but then that’s the dangers of mass fashion for you.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show 2011-George

Inside the Gala show area notable bodies from the fashion world were relegated to the fifth row, whilst TOWIE agents hogged front row seats. (There was one next to me, I did my research later.) Luckily I was able to snag one at the last minute or there would be no photos here for you. All of this preamble pretty much sums up the atmosphere of the Gala show, which was all about the glitz and the razzmatazz. The mannered presenting from Clothes Show stalwarts Jeff Banks (complete with inappropriate comments) and his cohort Caryn Franklin (for whom I have a very large soft spot) was at times incredibly painful.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show 2011-Lauren Brown & Sophia Sabados, UCA Epsom
Graduate Fashion Week 2011 review-Lauren Brown & Sophia SabadosGraduate Fashion Week 2011 review-Lauren Brown & Sophia Sabados
I was excited to see Lauren Brown & Sophia Sabados – students from UCA Epsom (where I have lectured) – win the Media and Design Award (presented by Grace Woodward) for their magazine.

A myriad of famous guests (Sophie Ellis-Bexter – new album to promote, the Sugababe Heidi Range, Carole White, she of Premier modelling agency fame) were led onstage to present awards as this year’s crop of excitable graduates whooped and a-hollered. It was nice to hear everyone in such a celebratory mood… but when one of the presenters declared that she hoped all graduates would go into paid jobs straight away I couldn’t help but have a little bit of a snigger.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Christina Economou 2011
International Award winner Christina Economou of the Istituto Marangoni, Paris.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Dominique Kral 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Dominique Kral 2011
Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award winner Dominique Kral of Northbrook College Sussex.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Wong Jee Chung 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Wong Jee Chung 2011
Stuart Peters Visionary Knitwear Award winner Won Jee Chung of Nottingham Trent University.

Oh my days… here I am all these years down the line and I’ve yet to figure out how I can make a proper living out of my fashion textiles degree. It’s a lovely sentiment, but it’s just not the reality of the fashion industry. This is a place where only the most dedicated survive… or those with rich/famous parents. Unless you pursue a career in the mass fashion industry. A degree in fashion is now about so much more than just design, and the UK is still the world industry leader for well trained young fashion creatives in all kinds of fashion related disciplines. There was an element of realism in the recommendation to look to industry for jobs, presumably an effort to quash too many unrealistic ‘next McQueen’ expectations. Since I graduated the choice of degrees which train people to work in the fashion industry has multiplied massively. It’s now possible to pursue a plethora of different avenues such as styling and promotion which really weren’t available when I went to university back in the early 90s. All of this corresponds with a massive growth in our insatiable desire to consume mass fashion… do you see a connection? My, how I struggle with this industry at times.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Felix Wolodymyr ChablukSmith 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Felix Wolodymyr ChablukSmith 2011
Menswear Award winner Felix Wolodymyr Chabluk Smith of Edinburgh School of Art.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Marrisa Owen 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Marrisa Owen 2011
Womenswear Award winner Marrisa Owen of University of Central Lancashire.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rory Longdon 2011Graduate Fashion Week Gala show Rory Longdon 2011
George Gold Award winner Rory Longdon of Nottingham Trent University.

The Gala show awards closed in a huge tumble of gold foil more suited to a crucial key change at a boy band concert. Oh how times have changed. I wish this year’s graduates all the best. More on the winners and other show finalists coming up shortly.

Graduate Fashion Week Gala show 2011-Rory Longdon finale

Categories ,Carole White, ,Caryn Franklin, ,Christina Economou, ,Dominique Kral, ,Edinburgh School of Art, ,Felix Wolodymyr Chabluk Smith, ,Gala Show, ,George at Asda, ,George Gold Award, ,GFW, ,Grace Woodward, ,Graduate Fashion Awards, ,Heidi Range, ,Islington Business Centre, ,Istituto Marangoni, ,Jeff Banks, ,Joey Essex, ,Lauren Brown, ,Mass fashion, ,Media and Design Award, ,Menswear Award, ,Munroe Bergdorf, ,Northbrook College Sussex, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,paris, ,Peters Visionary Knitwear Award, ,Premier, ,Rory Longdon, ,Sam Faiers, ,Sophia Sabados, ,Sophie Ellis-Bexter, ,Sugababes, ,The Clothes Show, ,TOWIE, ,UCA Epsom, ,Womenswear Award, ,Won Jee Chung, ,Wong Jee Chung

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Amelia’s Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week Interview: Northumbria’s Naomi New

Illustration by Dan Heffer

Around the monolithic event that is Graduate Fashion Week at Earl’s Court, unhealthy there exists what might be known as satellite events. This is no way refers to the quality of work that is on display only to the difference in size between shows. I was lucky enough to visit the millenary on show at Kensington and Chelsea College’s end of year show.

I’m not sure whether it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the constant press attention regarding the ladies hats at certain races (hello Ainscourt) but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear.

Illustration by Lauren

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and a joy to photograph through the sculpture shapes. Each Milliner had created a story around their final product, treatment some of the topics covered envoked narcassim, link Alice in Wonderland to old myths and Legends.

Illustration by Krister Selin

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Dan Heffer

Around the monolithic event that is Graduate Fashion Week at Earl’s Court, prescription there exists what might be known as satellite events. This is no way refers to the quality of work that is on display only to the difference in size between shows. I was lucky enough to visit the millenary on show at Kensington and Chelsea College’s end of year show.

I’m not sure whether it’s the wedding’s I’ve been too recently or the constant press attention regarding the ladies hats at certain races (hello Ainscourt) but recently I’ve been paying more attention to headwear.

Illustration by Lauren

The quality of the work on display was unmistakable and a joy to photograph through the sculpture shapes. Each Milliner had created a story around their final product, some of the topics covered envoked narcassim, Alice in Wonderland

to old myths and Legends.

Illustration by Krister Selin

Photographs by Sally Mumby-Croft

Naomi New was undoubtedly one of the highlights at Graduate Fashion Week 2010. Her incredible costumes dazzled the press and had me bouncing up and down on my seat at the Northumbria show and the Gala Show, medical for which Naomi was one of very few students selected.

I had a chance to have a chat with Naomi about her experience of Graduate Fashion Week, her advice for next year’s brood, and what the future has in store.

Why did you choose to study fashion?
I have always been fascinated with clothes, how they define who we are and communicate that to others. When I was young I used to dance and loved designing my own costumes, picking fabrics and even helping sewing on sequins; so from early on I have always known I was going to be a fashion designer.

Did you undertake any placements during your studies?
I did two internships. I spent one month with womenswear designer Aimee McWilliams, then went on to spend five months with a high street supply company, Pentex Ltd. This gave me a fantastic insight into working in fashion in two different areas.

What inspires you, both for this collection and generally?
I am a hands on designer who immerses themselves into the brief. I believe that inspiration is all around us and never leave home without a camera or a sketchpad. I like to visit as many exhibitions and museums as possible, visit archives to get a closer look at my subject and always feel inspired by theatre and film. The inspiration for my collection came from my life long love of horse riding and a visit to the royal armouries at the Tower of London where they were showing Henry VIII armour. As my research developed I looked at military wear and most importantly the post-apocalypse films Mad Max.
The concept behind the collection really came from the Mad Max Road Warrior film, where Max battles with both good and bad to survive in a world that had been abused; where survivors were left with nothing. I felt that the story wasn’t too dissimilar to what we are living now, with the recession. I wanted to make a collection to equip the modern day woman in her quest to be successful throughout her life.

Your collection was one of the most flamboyant and creative of any I saw at GFW. Did you consciously decide to avoid commercial viability, or was this not a factor?
I didn’t set out to make something crazy and out there, I just knew that that was what was going to happen – it’s just me and I am very happy you think my collection was one of the most creative at GFW. That’s a massive compliment.
When designing and making the collection I was very conscious of the fact that this was probably going to be the only chance I would have to do something totally me and totally the way I wanted it. I took a risk in doing so but I worked very hard to ensure the collection was theatrical and flamboyant while still beautiful with intricate and authentic details. I think the risk paid off, the collection is everything I dreamed of.

You made use of materials with high aesthetic appeal and avoided bright colours. Is there any reason for this?
The colour story of my collection was inspired by the Mad Max film I have mentioned – in the film two rival gangs fight, one dressed in white and the other black, so I decided to have halve the collection with these colours.
I wanted each look to make a statement, so I decided to have each look mainly one-block colour for the most graphic impact.
From my equestrian and armour influence I knew I wanted to use leather, suede, metal and neoprene, all fabrics that protect the body. But the Mad Max film inspired me to push the metal hardware content and look to further alternative materials such as ostrich, bone, chain, horse hair and human hair.

What did you like about Northumbria and Newcastle in general?
I chose to study at Northumbria for its amazing reputation and facilities. I couldn’t have asked for better tutors and technical staff. I’m also based close by in Sunderland and at the time of applying for universities I felt it would be foolish to move away when I live so close to a great university. Living at home also ment that I have been able to really focus on my studies.

How did it feel to be selected for the Gala show? Did you expect to win?
I never in a million years thought I would be chosen for the gala. I was delighted to show at GFW and that was enough for me, seeing my collection open the Northumbria show was amazing. In fact, as soon as the last look in my collection left the catwalk, I couldn’t stop crying! It was so overwhelming and what I had dreamed for.
When I found out about the gala I couldn’t believe it, it is such an honor that the judges liked my work and it was a privilege to show the gala judges my portfolio. The gala show itself was amazing and I got to meet some great people through it, too.

Does this open even more doors?
I think being in the top ten has opened more doors for me, I have had a lot of interest from stylists and photographers who want to use pieces after seeing them in the gala show, which is fantastic. A few looks are possibly going to China in the next couple of weeks for a promotion event for GFW, which is amazing too.


Photographs by Matt Bramford

You received a lot of attention from the press, who compared your collection to both Lady Gaga and Elvis‘ wardrobes. How does that feel?
I was over the moon with all of the press attention. My muse is Lady Gaga, so when I read the references to her I was delighted. I admire her strength and individuality and feel she is the prime example of a woman who has had to use dramatic fashion in the battle to be noticed and be successful. When working on the collection having Lady Gaga as my muse gave me confidence to keep pushing myself further and further, to create something people could see her wearing, it would be a dream to see them on her. The Elvis suggestions are a compliment too, I grew up with my dad always playing Elvis’ music and I have always regarded him as one of my personal fashion icons, so this must have shown through.

Which designers do you admire or look to for inspiration?
As you can see from my collection I like drama in fashion and have always admired Alexander McQueen’s showmanship and rebelliousness. I am also really inspired by the work of Iris Van Herpen; she uses a lot of leather in her collections with amazing detail so I worked hard to aspire to her standards when making my collection.

What advice would you give to students preparing their collections for GFW 2011?
I would tell them to go with their heart and work harder than you ever thought you could work. Always look for ways that you can improve and develop your work and ask for and listen to feedback from tutors and peers. It is the most amazing year you will ever have and all the hard work really does pay off – you will want to do it all over again.

What do you have planned for the coming months?
In the next couple of months I will be sending some pieces to China as I said and will also be showing some pieces from the collection at Pure London where they are organising a similar GFW show, which is really exciting. I want to continue making one off pieces that have a similar feel to my collection. Other than that I will be looking to relocate in London where I will be open to all opportunities that (hopefully) come my way!

Categories ,Aimee McWilliams, ,Alexander McQueen, ,Armour, ,China, ,dance, ,drama, ,Elvis, ,fashion, ,film, ,Gala Show, ,Graduate Fashion Week, ,Henry VIII, ,Iris Van Harpen, ,Lady Gaga, ,london, ,Mad Max, ,Matt Bramford, ,Naomi New, ,Newcastle, ,Northumbria, ,Pentex Ltd, ,Pure London, ,Sequins, ,theatre, ,Tower of London, ,Womenswear

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Amelia’s Magazine | Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland S/S 2012 in Łódź: Gala Dyplomowa Show at Andels

Dominika Naziebly by Joanne Oatts
Dominika Naziebly A/W 2010 by Joanne Oatts.

On Thursday night Andels Hotel hosted the Gala Graduate show of the Academy of Fine Arts, otherwise known as the Gala Dyplomowa, featuring top graduate fashion talent. We were ushered to the top floor of the hotel where the warehouse has retained its original huge proportions, big enough for a catwalk and plenty of seating. An utterly fabulous venue, and very convenient too…

Here, in alphabetical order (cos that’s the way it rolls) are the designers that showed:

Adriana Grudzinska KC Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Adriana Grudzinska KC Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Adriana Grudzinska KC Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Adrianna Grudzinska showed Polacz Kropki (Slow Up) – swing dresses and pleated separates in shades of camel, mushroom and peach.

Aleksandra Kmieci Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012 photo by Amelia Gregory
Aleksandra Kmieci Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012 photo by Amelia Gregory
Aleksandra Kmiecik Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012 photo by Amelia Gregory
Aleksandra Kmiecik Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012 photo by Amelia Gregory
Aleksandra Kmiecik Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012 photo by Amelia Gregory
Kobieta Symetryczna featured sharp tailoring in white, black and beige with highlights in red slashes by Aleksandra Kmiecik, who also shows on the main schedule. I saw parts of this collection last season and you can read my review here.

Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Alicja Antoszczyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Gala graduate designer Alicja Antoszczyk showed as part of the Golden Thread Awards last season, so I instantly recognised her sleek rubberised garments, layered in sophisticated shades. The collection is called Zawsze Jest Jakie’s Ale: intriguing!

Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Dominika Naziebly Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Eco designer Dominika Naziebly also showed at the Golden Thread Awards: my favourite was wheeled out once again, a stunning red puffball dress. This season she also showed on the Off Out Of Schedule catwalk, review to come shortly.

Elzbieta Kapczynska KC Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Elzbieta Kapczynska KC Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Zip details and drop crotches were the order of the day at Elzbieta Kapczynska-KC, with a collection titled Zbroja Miejska.

Magdalena Zajaczkowska Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Magdalena Zajaczkowska Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Magdalena Zajaczkowska Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Magdalena Zajaczkowska Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Magdalena Zajaczkowska by Geiko Louve
Magdalena Zajaczkowska by Geiko Louve.

Magdalena Zajaczkowska‘s collection was called Sploty I Przeploty, meaning Pleats and Intertwines. She showed oversized and bulbous knitwear in slate and dark jewel colours.

Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowsk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Martyna Idzikowska showed a reprise of her innovative collection shown at the Golden Thread Awards – incredible layers of white fabrics created egg-like silhouettes, emphasised with blood red underlayers.

Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Olga Mieloszyk by Novemto Komo
Olga Mieloszyk by Novemto Komo.

Not speaking a word of Polish, I can’t be entirely sure, but I think that Olga Mieloszyk won the main award. Her Oranzeria collection was amongst my favourites: beautiful and wearable womens and menswear with intricate frills, panelling and pleated details in shades of orange and browns.

Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Karolina Glaguta Gala Fashion Week Poland SS 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended with a beautiful selection of sculpted evening dresses in sweetie shades by Karolina Glegula, except I am not sure I wrote down her name correctly: I did my best by squinting at the screen behind the catwalk since there was no information in written form to take away.

Find out more about the Golden Thread Awards in my previous blog post: it was certainly a night to remember: two solid hours of catwalk show!

Categories ,A/W 2011, ,Academy of Fine Arts, ,Adrianna Grudzinska, ,Aleksandra Kmiecik, ,Alicja Antoszczyk, ,Andels, ,Coats, ,Dominika Naziebly, ,Eco fashion, ,Elzbieta Kapczynska, ,Evening Wear, ,Fashion Philosophy Fashion Week Poland, ,Gala Dyplomowa, ,Gala Show, ,Geiko Louve, ,Golden Thread Awards, ,Joanne Oatts, ,Karolina Glegula, ,knitwear, ,Kobieta Symetryczna, ,Lodz, ,Magdalena Zajaczkowska, ,Martyna Idzikowska, ,Novemto Komo, ,Off Out Of Schedule, ,Olga Mieloszyk, ,Oranzeria, ,Pleats and Intertwines, ,Polacz Kropki (Slow Up), ,Sploty i Przeploty, ,Zawsze Jest Jakie’s Ale, ,Zbroja Miejska

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