Menswear Designer Susan Forrest, who recently travelled to Dubai with us to showcase as part of the Fashion Forward Dubai (FFWD), took her vibrant designs to the streets of London during London Fashion Week. Susan is an alumni of Graduate Fashion Week 2017 and was selected as the finalist for the best of GFW17 show. It seems that she hasn’t stopped pushing boundaries, as her latest sartorial project focuses on mental health.
The show was organised by Dan Harley, as part of his fashion series titled ‘Live Fashion’. Dan created the concept whilst in Milan in 2012, while waiting in the street with hundreds of people, trying to get into a show. It was then he realised that there is so much fantastic energy left on the streets amongst the people that didn’t get into the shows. It occurred to him that social media would eventually have the power to change the traditional runway experience to ensure things are more accessible. He felt like there was loss of energy and cultural diversity missing for the fashion shows, and to counter act that and harness the power of social media, Dan begun the Live Fashion Official series.
He has used his recent shows to add social messages. The Live Fashion 13 was an Aids Awareness show for a street sexual health clinic. Then the Live Fashion 14 was to highlight awareness for homelessness charity CRISIS. The ‘Live Fashion’ show is unlike what anyone else is doing. It has such a high energy between the models, the crowds and the immediate environment. It has now been coined as the “worlds most exciting fashion show”.
Talking about the show, Forrest says that the “show for me was a completely unique experience as it was so different from any other fashion show I’ve been involved in.”
Forrest's collection and designs encapsulate the fun and exciting vibe, with models running through the streets of London holding balloons. The models drew a crowd, culminating in the models and public dancing together.
“It was really exciting to see my collection storming around and causing havoc in the streets of London, while using this attention to raise awareness and money for the charity MIND”.
With more young people than ever suffering from depression and anxiety, MIND opens up a discussion, offering support and guidance for anyone suffering from mental health issues. Raising awareness and destroying the stigma surrounding such illnesses is the first step to a more supportive and inclusive industry, and we're pleased that our alumni are supporting such a worthy and significant cause.
We will be following Forrest on her career journey and can't wait to see what she is going to do next in the fashion world or where she is going to take her bright bold designs.
Words by Alix Flannery & Annabel Waterhouse-Biggins