Graduate Fashion Week 2018
Today I attended Graduate Fashion Week held at the Truman Brewery in London. This occasion is the world's leading event celebrating the creativity of students and graduates within fashion.
The space was much greater than I thought, displaying what’s next in Fashion! It presents 60 universities that all have exciting and unique stands showcasing students’ brilliant work alongside leading industry talks and workshops, a live photo studio and more.
Across the four days, they hold 25 catwalk shows inspired by groundbreaking graduate collections. Graduate Fashion Week proudly represents 36 of the UK's leading Fashion Universities; including my uni, Nottingham Trent University. There is also an acclaimed Gala Award Show.
Before the event, I didn’t realise that Graduate Fashion Week is a charity organisation. The aim of it is to unify both UK and International universities and create a stronghold for the creative industries.
I was amazed by the number of stands; they showcased the work of over 1,000 of the very best students and graduates. I feel that the whole thing is an amazing opportunity and platform for the promotion of new talent; bridging the gap between graduation and employment. I imagine that the event has also been responsible for launching the careers of some of the most successful designers. They have previously launched Christopher Bailey, who was the winner of the first ever Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award, Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald.
Me and my mum attended one of the catwalk shows which included collections from a range of universities. Some of the garments were definitely unique, however I was pleased to see students not being afraid to take risks and push their creativity. Having said this, I was disappointed to see that all the models were all very slim, tall and had the stereotypical model body. Although they were racially diverse, I was hoping to see a couple of more realistic figures walking down the run way. Despite this, I did really enjoy seeing all of the work. My two favourite collections came from Lan Chen from Plymouth College of Arts and Lydia Maria from Solent University. I have inserted some of the pieces from their work below. Both had simple frames and lines and were based on one subtle colour palette. I could imagine people actually wearing these looks, rather than only being a show designer piece. They were a bit different but not too abstract.
Even if not chosen for the catwalk shows, I believe the event gives many students the chance to flourish and the freedom to showcase their individual talents. The stands displayed imagination and endless possibilities, potentially shaping the way fashion works as well as looks. They also gave me the chance to observe and interact. I enjoyed looking through portfolios and photographing my favourite layouts and ideas for future inspiration. There was a vast range from garment collections, magazines, websites, portfolios, etc.
I also spent time talking to professionals in the industry hub. They were all friendly and willing to answer all my questions about their brands and employment opportunities.
Last year, it is said that Graduate Fashion Week celebrated 25 years of being one of the world’s most important sources of new talent for the global design industry. Fashion supports 797,000 jobs domestically alone, contributing £26 billion to the economy. Graduate Fashion Week is therefore a crucial part of the dynamic – fueling innovation in all parts of the fashion business.
This has really motivated me to create and explore possibilities. I wish to be a part of an environment that drives young talent to try new ideas without thinking that I have to play it safe in order to fit into a predetermined way of doing things. I found it is an exciting environment to learn from other students and gain inspiration.