Monday, 25 June 2012

Graduate Fashion Week - Nottingham Trent University Show

It must have been daunting and exhilarating at the same time for the NTU students to find they were about to showcase their collections to a very packed audience. However nerves were kept in check as everything appeared to run smoothly.

Specialising in Fashion Knitwear and Knitted Textiles, here are a few of their knitwear collections in the show.

Lily Mason – titled ‘Contemporary Heritage’

Inspired by Britain’s rich heritage of textile production, Mason used traditional weaving patterns and added a modern graphic twist. The colour palette was an autumnal landscape of rusts, dark reds, and greys. Fine gauge knits were neatly colour blocked with rust and grey, whilst in contrast graduating shades of dark grey crept up cream cable jumpers as though being soaked in to the wool.

Although layering and thick fabrics were used, bulkiness was avoided. Instead slim silhouettes were created by checked pinafore dresses with contrasting checked aprons, thick woollen baggy trousers belted to show off the waist and blanket wool skirts with vertical fringing.

Holly Marke - titled ‘Minus’
Minus refers to the weather in a cold hostile terrain, but Marke didn’t layer her fine gauge knits as this wasn’t about keeping warm. The clothes representing nature’s ice architecture with long slim maxi skirts creating majestically tall silhouettes, embossed knit patterns forming crystallised 3D shapes and metallic yarns sparkling like frost. The colour palette kept to icy greys and glacial whites.

This ‘Minus’ collection definitely was a plus in the fashion stakes, especially the white woollen mini dress with cut out ‘ice crevices’ running down the sleeves.

Olivia Williams – titled ‘The Second Skin’
Based on the notion of the second skin being exposed as the first skin sheds. Knits were textured and weighted to create a skin puckering effect, whilst the laser cut patterns on fine leather and suede allowed the second skin layer to peep through. Colour palette was of course shades of nudes.

Tamsin Lakhani – All or Nothing
Taking inspiration from the Ghana Kente cloth and the Maasai Shuka fabric, this collection was rich in colourful stripes and geometric shapes. The stripes were not uniform but a complex of varying thin widths which in parts broke away from the ‘straight and narrow’. To keep the focus on these intricate patterns, silhouettes were kept clean with high boat style necklines and simple t-shirt shaped dresses with side slits.

Orla Emerson-Creak: Title ‘Beauty in Death, The Art of the Illusion’
A black and white mesh textured top seemed innocent enough until you realised the inspiration for that top was a swarm of flesh eating bugs!

Maybe it’s best to remain blissfully ignorant of the inspiration for the rest of the pieces and just appreciate the intricate weave, the shape and style of the collection.

Loved the elongated bell sleeves, the dogstooth patterned skirts and my own happy illusionary thoughts of a 60s Mad Men look.

Harriet Brean – title ‘Conservo’
Not forgetting the men, Brean’s inspiration for her menswear collection was a combination of skeletal structures, plastic polygonal forms and the construction of historic garments. She played with high contrasts of shine with matt finishes, soft with hard fabrics and bright colours of blue and orange with black.

This was a show which kept the audience captivated throughout by starting on time (long delays can really dampen enthusiasm) and of course the great collections themselves. Well Done NTU!

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky 

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