Where else would you find an exuberant yet nail-bitingly nervous gathering of students; together showcasing an eclectic cocktail of psychedelic styles, over-oversizing, geometric prints and articulated shapes that even Anna Wintour has never seen? The answer - Graduate Fashion Week.
Kicking off last Sunday, GFW returned to London for it's 22nd year. Acting as the global platform for the creme-dela-creme of emerging talent; over one thousand BA students from forty colleges across the country, will each have had the chance to parade their creations down the runway, alongside students from sixteen international universities including the Istituto Marangoni.
| ANNA KIM | ISTITUTO MARANGONI |
As the four day long event is considered to be the perfect opportunity to get yourself noticed; after only one day in, some distinct styles and key looks seemed to have already emerged. A melting pot of designs filled with animated tie-dyes, well detailed fencing-type face masks, structuring like non other and forceful colour palettes, as well as an overall general feel towards the streetwear vibe or 'sports luxe' trend we see quite often. Not to mention clear inspirations from elements such as David Bowie, children's 90's television shows, and even Game of Thrones; looks that are testing the boundaries within the fashion industry.
Not to be outshone by the homegrown talent, the International Show commenced on day two; a chance for us to gain a glimpse at what's being brought forward by fashion students from around the globe.
Mix together bodybag-esq designs from Istituto Marangoni Paris's Sasha Nassar along with Imogen Stubbs' nu-rave, lego-like glasses and you have a complete new visionary look.
Star of the show, in ours and many other's opinions, was that of Angus Chiang of Taiwan's Shih Chien University, who went on to be awarded for Best International Collection. Think Russian cosmonaut goes to Mardi Gras; a kaleidoscope collection full of psychotomimetic, neon colour schemes alongside an adornment of pom-poms. If anyone has seen Disney's 'Alice in Wonderland', imagine covering a boiler suit in 'Mome Raths' and calling it fashion.
| ANGUS CHIANG | SHIH CHIEN UNIVERSITY TAIWAN |
With day three having welcomed the turn of our home institutions, Manchester and Salford, we were more than eager to see what was in store. Mythically inspired, knitted headpieces and an army of flocculent garments; quintessentially mancunian.
Graduate Fashion Week, it would appear, is not for the fashionably faint hearted. A few hit and misses here and there, but not one piece you would find impossible to accompany with a more toned down style of dress and subsequently call it your own. Come A/W and we sure one of us will be sporting acidic, mesh all-in-ones.
| ROBERT MILLS | MANCHESTER | BECCA LYNDON | SALFORD |
The week will have culminated in a Gala Awards ceremony tonight, in which a handful of student's will be honoured with the titles of Menswear, Womenswear and Print & Textile designers of the year, as well as the esteemed overall title of Designer of the Year.
Here are a selection of our most desired looks from this year's shows; we're already appetent to see how next year's graduates will top these.