A Fashionable Birthday

By Jo Phillips

Happy 30th anniversary to the world’s largest BA talent show. For these past years, Graduate Fashion Week in London has celebrated the student final shows of fashion courses from around the UK (plus a few from other countries). Known to be the stalking ground for many design houses it is an important future in the international fashion calendar. This year was not a disappointment as ever. Have A Fashionable Birthday celebration; for this year’s new designers that have graduated.

As with much of the fashion world right now graduate fashion shows were shown digitally this year but there was however a pop up where journalists and the students could go and see a selection of times from different colleges plus an awesome space to see course portfolios and, on the final evening of the event, the winners were announced.

Portfolios were on show at the Samsung KX  showroom in Kings Cross. A light and open space where all universities were able to present digital versions of students portfolios.

The was, without doubt, optimism in the big shapes colours and textures spoke loud. Considering these students spent much of their courses working in lockdown the sense of passionate zest for life was palatable and exciting. The trends were across the universities with students exploring similar trends but from very different perspectives. A truly fashionable birthday party was had by all.

Big on colour

Image on left Tiani Maria Paige Etheridge, Coventry University

Above Jasmin Cooke Northumbria University

Across the board, there was a distinct lack of black as has been the same on international catwalks and the power of colour was excitingly used.

Left to right, Gabriella Popadenis Sheffield Hallam UniversitySophie Izat Leeds arts University

Jamie Kneen Bath Spa University, Ana Miguel Martins Northumbria University

Large it

Emily Bowden, Coventry University

Large shapes endless widths full-on silhouettes as if materials were alive themselves were explored from multiple visuals.

Abigail Willis-Cameron Bath Spa University, Max Telford Northumbria University, Olivia Creighton Sheffield Hallam University, Emily Bowden Coventry University.

Mix it up

Hannah Weah De Montfort University

The eruption of maxed out, multiple fabrics turn twisted and tattered together made for a visually impactful view. From applique to printing via layering and clashing prints, over the top is everything. There was definitely a feeling also of using what is available and not wasting fabrics but using every scrap available. From deadstock to application onto core fabrics to give a sense of glamour from the basics.

Sophie Wilkinson Cooper Sheffield Hallam University, Sangharsha Gurung, Erikas Vasiljevas Cambridge School of Art Anglia Ruskin University.

Jennifer Shaw, Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, Lucy Waters Nottingham Trent University, Alicia Playll Nottingham Trent University.

Harriet Wiltshire De Montfort University, Katarina Babic Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts.

Plait, Pad and Tie

Lim Sing Ying Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts

Twists, ties, wrapped torses, trails of fabric strings hanging or tied to the body this trend of manipulation or even bondage in new ways was seen multiple times; alongside padding for safety, or even comfort; a dichotomy of styling.

Jade Davis Bath Spa University, Stephanie Scharer Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, Fiona Taylor University of Huddersfield.

Sara Carney Northumbria University, Emily Bakewell Sheffield Hallam University, Conor McLaughlin Northumbria University.

Alicia Playll Nottingham Trent University, Elizabeth Rose Northumbria University.

Sporty Classics

Beyza Mert Coventry University

From formal fabrics to tailoring peeks of it came through via sportswear designs and styling and bringing together of our new return to work after many months of home being the workplace of comfort.

Sarah Duffy Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University. Kyla Holden De Montfort University, Hannah WoodUniversity of Huddersfield.

Sophie Hall University of Huddersfield, George Martin Cambridge School of Visual & Performing Arts, Tamar Levy Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University.

As ever with graduate fashion week, there is a collection of winner students across different categories this year they are. Accessories Award Supported by YKK NATASHA FINLAY University of Northampton, Black Excellence Prize in association with FACE Joy Julius Kingston University, Childrenswear Award Elise Sugden Nottingham Trent University, Christopher Bailey Award, Collective of the Year – First Place – Jasmin Bourne Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, Christopher Bailey Award, Collective of the Year Second Place Darcie Hancock Kingston University, Christopher Bailey Award, Collective of the Year Third Place George Martin Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts, Considered Fashion Award Mimi Simpson Kingston University,

Culture & Heritage Award Nadiya Sharif University for the Creative Arts, Dame Zandra Rhodes Fashion Textiles Award Max Telford Northumbria University, Fashion Communication Digital Portfolio Award Layna Miyazaki Falmouth University, Fashion Concept Award Jessica Craddock Nottingham Trent University, Fashion Digital Award Sponsored by ASOS Olivia Creighton Sheffield Hallam University, Fashion Illustration Award Supported by Cass Art Izzy Wells University of Brighton, Fashion Innovation Award – Sweta Vakharia Nottingham Trent University, Fashion Marketing Award Ben Butling University of the West of England, Fashion Photography Award Camile Lemoine Heriot-Watt University, Fashion Range Plan Award Abigail Wall Arts University Bournemouth, Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Award Ebony Barrett University of the Creative Arts, Footwear Award Sponsored by Size? Charlie Irwin University of Northampton, New Fashion Media Award supported by Tik Tok Jordy Mawhood Arts University Bournemouth, Sportswear & Leisurewear Award supported by Gym Shark ZiLing Dong Edinburgh College of Art, Sustainability Trailblazer Award Madeline Lewis-Brown Salford University, Terry Mansfield Fashion Publication Award Supported by Delicate Rebellion India Gill, Heriot-Watt University, and finally Tu Challenge ’21 Prize Victoria Archer Northumbria University.

Birthdays are important landmarks not just in the life of people but also events; this fashionable birthday projects new talent forward. Keep an eye out for these names as these are all our fashion futures, and from the look of all the work above the future is bright, colourful and full of thoughtful fun.

If you enjoyed reading A fashionable Birthday then why not read and to find out more about Graduate Fashion Week please click Here.

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