Graduate Fashion Week – And the Winners are…
With an educated passion for fashion and their youthful flair for unbridled experimentation intact, this year’s winners of George Graduate Fashion Week went against the tide of commercialism to deliver stand-out styles and win big bucks.
Scooping top honours for her six piece collection in blue, yellow and white, Lauren Smith of the Edinburgh College of Art won a cool £20,000 to start off an already promising career. The George Gold Award winner presented her translation of an artist’s sketchbook, using cotton and appliquéd leather to create whimsical collage effects, painterly strokes and areas of bright texture.
Sharp collars, funnelled sleeves and unforgiving tailoring were underpinned by sheer tulle skirts, fanciful prints and airy harem styles. The bubbly, dream-like finishes, paperclip motifs, blanket-stitched seams, scalloped hems and half-finished doodles brought the concept of art (mid-creation) to life. Spin-offs of these artistic impressions will undoubtedly be seen when George debuts the winner’s capsule collection in Asda stores.
Hannah Williams from UCA Epsom won the Womenswear Award with white on white and pale pastel minimalism, uncomplicated silhouettes and of-the-moment latex fabrication. The moulded ensembles featured studded trims, mock closures, jewellery impressions, moulded collars and raw hems. Intelligent embossing and well-placed reliefs turned the simplistic garments into sophisticated looks, accessories included. The modern interpretation on dressing and styling also won Williams the Innovation Award and an endorsement from Judge Cathy Edwards of Dazed & Confused who praised the graduate’s originality. With latex already having made a comeback in mainstream fashion, this presentation is the missing link between brazen creativity and astute design sensibility.
Kirandeep Bassan of Northampton University won the Zandra Rhodes Textiles Award, presented by the Zandra herself, after showing a vivid collection of silk-screened drapery that channelled an Eastern flavour with a hint of modern nomad. Her graphic lines, distressed effects and patchwork finishes in spicy ochre and saffron were cooled with bright blue and black. Swaddling coats, high-necked tunics and cocooning snoods were also injected with sharp neon tones and accessorised with matching wedges and slicked hair to give the ethnic appeal and hint of sci-fi.
All images from Grazia