Here at Earls Court, fashion graduates from all over the UK and also a few international college graduates were able to showcase their collections to the press, public and most importantly to fashion buyers and designers. Coming of age in its 21st year, Graduate Fashion Week ended with a spectacular Gala Show enabling the nominated graduates for the coveted Gala Awards to show their collection on the catwalk.
Hosted by Caryn Franklin, the show had a Best of Britain theme with a large Union Jack design set cleverly disguising and incorporating the stairs and runway entrance.
Fashion Promotion and Media Awards were presented by designers Julien Macdonald, Mark Fast, David Koma, Fred Butler and Mary Katrantzou with celebrities Daisy Lowe, Zara Martin and Louise Redknapp to name a few.
Suzy Menkes, fashion editor of the International Herald Tribune, Daphne Guinness and George at Asda's brand director Fiona Lambert presented the top prize of the George Gold award (plus £20,000) to Chloe Jones of Bath Spa University.
Chloe’s collection titled ‘Our Father Who Art in Heaven’ was inspired by Gothic architecture, stained glass windows and the ethereal figures that inhabit them. The colour palette was shades of soft serene greys and the print was of angelic wings. Flowing ethereal floor length silk skirts were worn with sporty style organza hoodies and marl jerseys. The monk like organza hoods gave a halo effect whilst the metallic embellishments on the sporty jerseys created a stain glass effect. It was definitely Chloe’s night as she also won the Womenswear Award.
Presented by designer Matthew Williamson, the Menswear Award went to Riona Horrox at Edinburgh College of Art.
Titled ‘Jack the Lad’ this collection was about oversized garments and volume layering. Oversized long tailed shirts were layered with oversized cropped shearling and padded vests, oversized cropped bomber jackets and oversized shaggy shearling detachable fur collars. This Jack the Lad was ‘having a larf’ with prints and the colour accent of bright orange. He splashed orange on his oversized sweat pant jeans with the effect of brush strokes bleeding into each other. Prints of bright orange bushy fox tails let him strut around giving his unique version of a country gent. The fox tail prints hung around the neck and shoulders of shirts and jackets mimicking furry scarves and adding virtual layering.
A new additional to the Award list was the Ethical Award. The honour of being the first ever winner of this award went to Sarah Murphy of Northumbria University
Whilst designer Jeff Banks was announcing the winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, renowned veteran catwalk photographer Chris Moore was armed with his camera in the photographers’ pit ready to snap the winner. But to his surprise it was his name Jeff called out – that’s one image Chris couldn’t capture, but I’m sure he didn’t mind.
By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com