Tuesday 7 June 2016

A round up of Graduate Fashion Week

Talented fashion students from the University of Northampton took to the catwalk at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week yesterday (6 June) showing off an array of colours, textures and styles.

With collections inspired by homelessness, bullfighting and even the plastic bag charge, the 16 budding fashionistas presented their final year work to an audience of fashion glitterati, including established designers, journalists and bloggers at the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch.

The students created a range of fashion garments, textile prints, footwear and accessories using different materials, such as leather, sandwashed silk, and 100 per cent cashmere to create their catwalk ready signature pieces.

Watch our video of the catwalk show, below:

Kicking off the show was Jessica Jeffs with her Inuit-inspired collection, which was also influenced by the artist and sculptor, Barbara Hepworth and created a vivid contrast, as well as great texture and depth to her pieces.  Entrapment and a butterfly emerging from a cocoon was the theme running through Dakota Wrist’s collection, whereas Tiffany Ruff used religious architecture and lavish 80s club wear to create her ornate shoe designs.

Next up were Gabi Taylor’s stunning print designs inspired by a striking image of three glamorous New York women posing in front of a homeless man and showed the clash of two very different lifestyles. With his coastal clash concept, Sean Leggett focused on the stark contrasts between the quaintness of the English seaside town of Cornwall and the hustle and bustle of New York.

A trip around Italy inspired Ellie Pask’s beautiful pieces, which were named after the cities of Milan, Florence, Rome and Sorrento, while the inspiration for Alice Chamber’s leather and suede collection came from a Natural History Museum exhibition on cities that had been lost or submerged by the sea.

Dawn Reed used cashmere to create her luxurious collection which was themed around hidden details and having to look twice at something so you see it in a different way. The caricature of a jellyfish featured in Prabina Pun’s textile pieces as she created a street wear collection with foil to create a lustrous impact.

By using attention grabbing, bright and vibrant colours, Madia Bostan took inspiration from eastern Indian culture and used the theme of empowerment in women, particularly researching into the fate of Hindu widows. Katy Frost followed with her interesting collection of garments based around the theme of abandonment and feral children, whilst the concern of plastic waste and the recent introduction of the carrier bag charge led to the design idea for Heather Jenkinson’s footwear and accessories collection.

Laura Budryte hit the catwalk with her collection based around identity, particularly in women, where she used laser cutting to create her leather pieces. She was followed by Brooke Ferrison’s print designs which were inspired by tattoos and body art making a contemporary and minimalist collection.

The alien world is what led to Shanel Brown creating an extra-terrestrial print collection as she took inspiration for her designs from the mysterious and unexplained Myam people and crop circles. Last and by no means least was Jordan Shields, with his stunning red and white collection, inspired by the tradition and colours associated with bullfighting and the curved edges of the matador’s cape.

Dr Julie King, Head of Fashion at the University of Northampton said: “Our Fashion students have become widely recognised for their talents and skills in craftsmanship, design and manufacture – and most importantly for being ahead of the design curve. The University of Northampton has long established links with industry, which develops our students’ industry ready employability skills. We were recently included in the top 100 fashion schools in the world by CEOWorld magazine so this speaks volumes about our fashion offering and is testament to our excellent staff and world class facilities.”

Rachel Garwood, Director of the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies, said: “The University of Northampton is the global epicentre of leather education and offers students a full working tannery.  This close link with the leather industry offers fashion students a unique opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise when working with leather. Our students have a complete hide to high street experience of the leather making process, understanding the importance of sustainable and ethical sourcing of the raw materials, through to high end leather working for the fashion and footwear industries.”

The University’s catwalk show was in partnership with world-leading manufacturer of holistic natural cosmetics, Weleda.

Jayn Sterland, Weleda’s Managing Director UK, said: “It’s fantastic to continue to align Weleda with the fashion world in the year that our most iconic product Skin Food celebrates its 90th birthday. We were thrilled to sponsor the University of Northampton’s Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show in 2016 and especially show our support for the designers of the future.”

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