Now in our 27th year, we continue to bring the latest innovative and exciting emerging talent to the world’s attention, showcasing the fashion innovators of tomorrow with a four-day event in London on the 3rd - 6th June 2018.
We are the largest platform in the world for new BA fashion talent, highlighting the freshest upcoming stars in design, creative direction, marketing, communication, photography, illustration and all aspects of the modern business of fashion. Helping bridge the gap between education and employment, the event offers students a unique chance to meet industry contacts, recruiters and brand’s face to face, giving them the opportunity to kick-start their careers within some of the world’s most globally successful brands.
To begin this year’s campaign, esteemed stylist and photographer Damian Foxe sought out his favourite graduate designs from hundreds of final year entries to be shot at the home of Graduate Fashion Week, The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. Inspired by traditional fashion and portrait photography, Damian played with the power of natural light which, when properly harnessed, sculpts the human form and magnifies its natural beauty. Using traditional, manual techniques such as offcuts of fabric and found fragments of paper and glass, he was able to manipulate the light to blur the lines between solid physical reality and pure fantastical imagination, adding drama and atmosphere to the final imagery.
Evelyne Babin - University of the Creative Arts Epsom
Born and raised in Tanzania, Evelyne Babin’s collection is based on the idea of letting different cultures from various East African dynasties step into conversation over their inherent beliefs and values. Looking into the arts and crafts of the Swahili people of the island of Zanzibar and the banana leaf craft from her native Chaga village near Mount Kilimanjaro, Evelyne merges floral cut outs with dried banana leaves framed onto hessian and embroidery anglais fabrics designing a collection which portrays the vibrant colours and crafts of East Africa.
Sarah Seb – University of East London
Sarah Seb is passionate about making use of discarded material and lowering consumption waste. The collection explores the process of reconstruction in second hand clothing, as a type of mechanism to avoid the creation of new materials and to lower the impact of waste caused by the fashion industry on the environment. Using second-hand and used clothing creates a direct link to culture and history. Old clothes should not be seen as rubbish but as a canvas for each individual’s self-expression. It is vital that the already accumulated waste is dealt with instead of using more resources and causing damage in the name of fashion.
Rose Connor - University of Central Lancashire
Rose Connor’s collection is based on upcycling plastics’ after her research into oceanography and the effects of discarded plastics and their effects on marine life. Rose developed a technique of fusing newly created fabric, through heat pressing, plastics and in particular ‘bath-time’ plastics such as shower curtains’ and mesh shower sponges. The effects of her material manipulation technique, which is heat formed to the body, has created garments reminiscent of other-worldly silhouettes influenced by underwater coral and marine sea creatures. She had the idea of creating beautiful art work sculptures from the ugly devastating ‘islands of plastic’ that are polluting our ocean environments.
David Cottington- De Montfort University
David Cottington’s graduate collection “im/maturity” is centred around the concept of maturity and development, something he believes is subjective and not always a negative trait. Each outfit in the collection has its own sub-concept - starting from birth, developing through the stages of life to old age. This really helped David to focus, giving each outfit its own personality but also working towards a cohesive collection.
Queer culture, humour and playfulness are also part of David’s everyday life and therefore translate into the fashion he creates. Hand crafted techniques, like crochet and hand painting are mixed with masculine tailoring and smart sport influences. The garments are intended to be masculine but with a softness.
Elizabeth Hargrave - De Montfort University
The collection has been fuelled by the ethos of Russian Constructivism - the relation between human subjects and the mass-produced objects of modernity. Inspiring the design process with “the re-organisation of everyday life and calling maximum attention on the simplest things that surround us”, Elizabeth’s designs are simple but poignant. She uses sustainable, biodegradable natural fabrics and natural dyes (e.g. berries, roots and tea) in an attempt to educate and highlight that the use of synthetic fabrics and fabric dyes in fashion contribute to the world’s pollution and that the future of design lies in using these materials and methods that will eliminate the environmental impact of fashion waste.
Libby Bowler – Manchester School of Art
Libby Bowler seeks to combine traditional hand-craft processes with technical details and fabrics to produce innovative garments with a sensibility for sustainable design. Research themes which inspired the development of her graduate collection included mountaineering and naval expeditions, Inuit garment construction processes and the environmental protest group, Surfers Against Sewage.
Libby began the research process with a visit to the Imperial War Museum archive where she was able to handle historic expedition garments and equipment. The colour pallet was inspired from art works from Tibet, the primary nationality of the Sherpas, who help transport equipment for Everest expeditions. There is also text extracted from survival guides and environmental protests that has been developed into graphic vinyl transfers which is a key process running throughout the collection to express a sense of protest in a playful yet informative way.
Jose Cortizo – Universidad de Vigo
Jose Cortizo has always been inspired by architecture and also honours traditional Japanese culture in his work. ‘Weekend Lovers’ is a fusion of these two inspiring motifs.
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma contributes to the collection his defense for the local, the artisanal that Jose translates into important interiors of dyed cottons, with rough finishes and transparencies in Swiss organdie. Volumes in the garments are achieved through the superposition, fed by the modular repetition, the scaling of patterns and manual pleating. The choice of outer fabrics is essential to give weight to add firmness to the pieces, at the same time as bringing out the duality in terms of quality with which the designer constantly plays. This is then married to the Japanese floral art of crystal embroideries full of delicacy and femininity, creating a masculine collection of great rotundity.
‘Weekend Lovers’ speaks of the casual lovers and the passion with which they relate.
Maria Hassan-Attah – Plymouth College of Art
The collection draws inspiration from Maria’s West African heritage, which is then fused with a contemporary Western twist, reflecting her upbringing in Urban Britain.
Influence has been taken from the rich West African culture Maria has been exposed to. This is articulated through bright, bold shapes and print. Her concept takes further inspiration from West African miner’s uniforms. These have been incorporated into design details, such as baggy silhouettes, strapping and oversized proportions. Also significant is the print, which Maria developed from West African art into her own modern style.
The collection is about celebrating history and heritage but also the multicultural modern world.
Boy – Jose Cortizo – Universidad de Vigo
Girl - Sarah Seb – University of East London
Having already worked with some of the biggest names in cinema, upcoming Austrian actress Coco König modelled in the campaign photoshoot, alongside
“I think it’s such a wonderful opportunity being able to showcase these real art pieces and it’s an honour to be a part of it.”
The graduates chosen to debut their work in the photoshoot this season embody diverse influences and unique styles, with some focusing heavily on sustainability, using ethical materials and recycled pieces to decrease their harm on the environment. Photographed designs include aspiring designers from British GFW member universities University of Central Lancashire, University of the Creative Arts Epsom, University of East London, De Montfort University and Manchester School of Art. Whilst the Universidad de Vigo, Spain, was the first international school to have a student selected for the shoot and included in the campaign.
Universidad de Vigo positions itself at the forefront of training centres in fashion design in Spain. Graduates from the school present on catwalks around the country, often joining the creative teams of leading fashion firms post-study. We're proud to include one of our many international schools in our campaign shoot, representing our global presence and highlighting the worldwide talent entering the fashion industry.
Supported by the likes of Lifetime Patrons including Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham OBE, Vivienne Westwood DBE RBI and Nick Knight OBE of Show Studio, this year Graduate Fashion Week sees Diane Von Furstenberg and Nadja Swarovski join the ranks as Lifetime Patrons. This news confirms the charity’s growing international reach and the crucial role it plays as a global hub inspiring the world’s top designers.
“The work being produced for 2018 is of the highest calibre and the campaign is truly original and extraordinary, reflecting the talent on show at Graduate Fashion Week. We look forward to seeing the collections used in the campaign on the runway in June.”
Martyn Roberts Managing & Creative Director of Graduate Fashion Week
Global Ambassadors support the messaging of the charity throughout the industry including; Julien Macdonald, Caryn Franklin MBE, Holly Fulton, Gareth Pugh and Henry Holland to name a few. 2018 sees multiple new premium and high street sponsors such as Levi’s, Superdry and Ralph Lauren join to support the charities goals within the industry.
With 25 catwalk shows including the University Group Show- GFW Collective, this year also sees the expansion of Graduate Fashion Week’s international Fashion Award show, increasing the amount of universities showcased from four back in 2011 to 45+ this year including leading faculties such as Parsons (USA), Shenkar (Israel) and Accademia Costume & Moda (Italy). In addition to the catwalk show featuring looks from the universities top talent, there will be an exhibition space for the international universities which very much focusses on the diversity and celebrates the strengths of each faculty.
Tickets are available now and open to everyone with a passion for fashion and design, purchase yours HERE, starting from £8.