After four days and twenty-three shows, it was about time for The Best Of Graduate Fashion Week show. Chosen by a prestigious judging panel, twenty-five designers had been selected for the finale. Who won? That remained to be seen. They all have come a long way and with each of them securing a hard-earned spot in the running order.
Beth Wooley, fashion graduate of the Liverpool John Moores University impressed visitors with her nature-inspired concept that she brought to the catwalk. Models wore forest green coats with breathtaking mountain-sea prints and knee socks with feather details on seams. Accompanied by midi skirts, plush slippers and voluminous feather capes, visitors were immediately drawn into Wooley’s pure paradise collection.
Fashion talent Ruth Williams from the Edinburgh College of Art impressed the crowd with sand dune coloured jackets and crocheted loop tops. Throughout her all brown tone minimal collection she reused tents and a rubber knitting technique, to create light and reduced pieces coming in lattice leather and crochet creations. One could say her collection was almost distinctive to Star Wars fictional character Rey, as models paralleled with scavengers coming from a desert planet.
Kasubika Chola’s artwork impressed with a sublime all denim collection. Talking of disused jeans and jackets, they were implemented en bloc in her designs and sewn onto backs and sleeves to create volume and trains. From low waist to high waist and mum jeans; Masterpieces in a variety of denim styles were sported briskly, with models wearing dungarees and off-the-shoulder onesies.
Claire Tagg’s collection, on the other hand, was clearly reminiscent of aeroplanes. Her signature style, coming in cream white A-shape dresses with a high neck and deconstructed embellishments on the chest was all about glamour. Specialised in print, Tagg has ever since been fascinated by Air Stewardesses, who she describes as the most glamorous women in the world. The print illustrations are supposed to tell her story, how she perceived herself as a stewardess and how her dream got torn apart when she realised the difficulty of the job: ”The cut of my collection explores the airline uniform that I once admired, inspired by structured airline jackets which are combined with softer fabrics.”
Last but not least, Halina North, fashion graduate of Edinburgh College of Art challenged herself while designing her collection with a difficult type of fabric; By using recycled materials such as paper and plastic she crafted magnificent sculptural dresses. Bust cut-outs, ruby red chequered scarfs and blazers were the key elements to look out for. Models conquered the catwalk in a hefty dose of female power with vintage glasses, looking imaginative and super smart.
After four days and 1500 fashion students, visitors, editors and press were entertained with magnificent creations and designs. They have let revive subcultures but have also shared their dreams and worries through it. We have come to learn about the issues in society, the rising importance of female empowerment, the lack of diversity in fashion and the importance of eco-fashion, all of that through their collections. As Coco Chanel once used to say: “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
About Isabella Tombinski-Robb
Isabella Tombinski-Robb is an Austrian born, London based fashion journalist. Since Fall 2015 she has been studying Fashion Journalism at the renowned London College of Fashion. With fashion criticism at the core of her writing she reports and analyses fashion with all its mulitple facets on her own blog Wearabelle Journal – www.wearabellejournal.com. Beyond fashion, Isabella enjoys cheese and wine evenings, and creating easy-to-read stories on the latest subjects and spicing them up with the famous Viennese wit.