It was inspiring to see such a refreshing take on menswear at Graduate Fashion Week 2017. Almost every university showcased a men’s collection, but several graduates stood out by challenging the conventional ideas of menswear, using ‘feminine silhouettes’ and fabrics like silk, lace and sheer fabrics. We also saw a more diverse selection of models, with Ellen Fowles’ collection modelled entirely by older men at the Ravensbourne show.
Kate Clarke isn’t your average graduate. Having shown her collection on the SmartFocus Catwalk around a month ago, the Kingston alumni is about to pack her bags as she moves to Paris. Having previously interned with the likes of Sophie Hulme and French Connection - she has now been snapped up by one of the biggest fashion houses in the industry, Chanel. We sat down with Kate to discuss her excitement for the future and her time at Graduate Fashion Week:
We would like to say a big thank you to our partners Design Studio, for providing the mannequins used during GFW Live! and the Swarovski International Exhibition. All of their mannequins reflect today’s body shapes and incorporate a number of useful aids. Every one of them is made by hand using traditional methods and recycled materials.
It was wonderful to see so many graduates using fashion to take on meaningful topics that are important to them. Some designers were more direct with their social justice statements. Lauren Sian Black from Liverpool John Moores University, sent one of the models down the catwalk carrying a bright yellow sign saying ‘Black Lives Matter’, with one of the tops featuring Eric Garner’s final words ‘I can’t breathe’. Her menswear collection showed a clear stance of support for the international activist movement which campaigns against violence and systemic racism towards black people.
It was a pleasure to welcome back the amazing L’Oreal Professionnel team at Graduate Fashion Week and to have L’Oreal Professionnel as our official sponsors once again! Hair has always been an integral part of fashion and essential when creating a total look, so naturally hair stylists play a crucial role backstage at catwalk shows.
At the beginning of the last day of GFW 2017, we had senior professionals from Clarks talk to us the process of creating and crafting a shoe. Head of Evolution at Clarks Rosie McKissock led the talk through the intricate collaborative processes between senior designers Helen Richard-Rees, Christopher Anderson, and last maker Kerry Hooper behind Clark’s footwear products. Kerry even did a live demonstration of building a shoe from scratch -the audience were amazed at how fast and talented she is at her work.
After the huge success of the Gala Awards show, we are delighted to have some of our finalists show at 'Graduate Fashion Week Gala Roadshow’ this July! The bringing forth of graduate creativity doesn't stop when the Truman Brewery closes it's doors- we're dedicated to discovering and recognising the movers and revolutionary spirits emerging n the industry all year round.
Another day, another exciting line-up of GFW live! Talks at GFW 2017. The first talk took place in the morning with members of the buying team at BOOHOO. Sophie Rycroft (Lead Buyer) and Janine Smith (Head of Buying) shared insights into working as buyer within the competitive fashion industry. They shared the four qualities boohoo looks for in its buying staff: passion, agility, creativity, and teamwork. Despite the old cliché, Sophie and Janine insist that “passion for fashion” still is the fundamental element for success in the industry.
The votes for the People’s Choice Award ended on Sunday night and with just under 4,000 entries, we're really pleased to be able to announce the winner! This year's Graduate Fashion Week was filled to the brim with creative ingenuity, collections as platforms for making political points and expert craftsmanship.
We had an exciting selection of GFW Live! Talks on Monday 5th June with topics ranging from “The Art of Creative Catwalk Production”, to “Macro and Micro Trends that Influence the High Street”, as well as helping everyone to “Get Dream Job Ready”.