London Graduate Fashion Week 09
Thanks to the fabulous F.Tape team, I have had the privilege to attend most shows at London Graduate Fashion Week, taking place in Earl’s Court the past few days.
Most UK 09 graduates in fashion courses were showing their portfolios, some garments and inspiration books on their universities’ stands. But most importantly, a selection of students had the opportunity to show their collections to the press, industry professionals and public at a much anticipated fashion show for each university, which culminated in a Gala Show showing the best collections picked by a jury of professionals (from prints genius designer Matthew Williamson to Editor-in-chief of Elle Lorraine Candy). The awarded students were granted prizes by the likes of Claudia Schiffer, Zandra Rhodes and the CEO of River Island, Sponsor of the event.
But more than the award ceremony, what I appreciated was the process of watching all these collections, all the work put into it, by students who know their future depends on this special day, and wonder if their pieces will catch the eye of the pros. Myrto Stamou, who won the Gold Award, was in shock and couldn’t believe she was the one winner from thousands of collections.
I personally loved her collection, which was elegantly detailed with intricate work, yet still very subtle and wearable. Because as amazing as some collections can look on a catwalk, if one cannot imagine the clothes worn, then what’s the point? It can be theatrical and exaggerated but when it’s only for the sake of exaggeration and showing off, it just looks fake to me.
Overall these students who are tomorrow’s McQueens and McCartneys dictated the trends of the season: sequins, black, embossed leather, big shoulders à la Balmain, tailored jackets, harem pants and the highest heels.
My coups de coeur went to the University of Kingston – great work on these trends, and amazing black pieces – to the Royal College of Art – individuality of the styles and inspiration, a fresh take on the classics, well done to 1st Year Sophie Hallette for a very inspired Swarovski luxury collection. And finally to the University of Brighton – outstanding quality and best use of materials for the most covetable pieces. I actually would like to order the whole collections from Carys Bailey, Kyo Young Lee and Charlotte Sayenow, please?
Finally I was quite amazed not by the actual menswear collections, but the menswear accessories, and if I were a man, I would be dying to put my hands on some luxurious leather bags from Ryan Drake or Mehmet Ali.
Also spotted at the shows: Miss Emma Watson, the new face of Burberry, Star Blogger Susie Bubble (on the picture above) and Arty Russian Beauty Dasha Zhukova.
For more coverage and details of the winners of the Week’s awards, and most importantly, detailed profiles and pictures of the best of the best collections and emerging talents (more to come throughout the week), check F.Tape.
Photo credits: by Alize Morand. A look from University of East London’s graduate Shireen Erfani-Shomaly’s fantastic collection.