For any creative graduates, being selected to show at Graduate Fashion Week is one of the most incredible opportunities available. Showing in London once a year, GFW is the largest platform in the world for new BA fashion talent. No matter which area of the fashion world you want to go into, GFW is the place to begin. Hundreds of final year students submit their work to be photographed at the home of GFW to boost their reputation and begin to build contacts. Esteemed photographer and stylist Damian Foxe handpicked his favourite submissions and shot them at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch. I thought I’d break down his selection of the most exciting fresh faces so you’re as prepared as you can be. A lot of the chosen graduates this season embody diverse influences and unique personalities, with some heavy focus on sustainability, using ethical materials and recycled pieces with the environment in mind. Below are his selections which he featured for the ‘Talent of Tomorrow’ campaign, and they are definitely the ones to watch.*
Elizabeth Hargrave – De Montfort University
Elizabeth’s collection is based around the “ethos of Russian Constructivism” – ultimately the relation between human subjects and mass produced modern objects. For those who are interested in preserving our planet and sustainable fashion, she is an individual to look for. Her collection is produced using sustainable, biodegradable fabrics and natural dyes. Definitely an eye-opening range to watch.
Evelyne Babin – University of The Creative Arts Epsom
Born and raised in Tanzania, Evelyne has incorporated this into her collection to showcase the vivid crafts and arts of East Africa. She’s designed with the idea of allowing different cultures within East African dynasties to start a conversation over inherent beliefs and values. You’ll see from her collection the arts of the Swahili people of the Island of Zanzibar and the use of raw materials like hessian.
Sarah Seb – University of East London
Reconstruction could be the future of fashion and it certainly has a place in Sarah Seb’s collection. Second-hand clothing is the foundation to her pieces, each garment aims to push the idea of making use of discarded fabrics. It’s important to Sarah, using these resources creates a direct link to culture and history as each fabric has had a previous life. If you’re passionate about the environment and vintage clothing, Sarah’s collection is definitely worth looking for.
Rose Connor – University of Central Lancashire
A word to describe Rose’s collection? Plastic. The range is entirely based upon up-cycling plastic after her research into Oceanography and the devastating effect plastics’ have on marine life. Not only are the pieces built from such an important topic, she has produced silhouettes that look ethereal and influenced by coral that you can miss.
David Cottington – De Montfort University
‘IM/MATURITY’ – David’s collection is based on the idea of maturity and development, which in his eyes is “subjective and not always a negative trait“. The garments he creates are masculine but with a softness – think crochet and hand painted fabrics mixed with tailoring and sports influences. Each outfit really has it’s own personality due to the David’s own life inspiring his pieces; queer culture, humour and playfulness. Definitely a one-of-a-kind collection.
Maria Hassan-Attah – Plymouth College of Art
Maria’s collection has a unique twist inspired by her own life; the pieces incorporate her West African heritage intertwined with a Western contemporary twist reflecting her British upbringing. From the rich West African culture she brings bold and in-your-face shapes and prints. Maria’s collection is definitely here to celebrate history, heritage and the modern multicultural world!
Jose Cortizo – Universidad De Vigo
‘Weekend Lovers’ is the title of Jose’s collection which expresses his love for architecture and traditional Japanese culture. The garments are all beautifully thought through in regards to scale and repetition of patterns. Japanese floral art is incorporated to add crystals and femininity to an otherwise fairly masculine range.
Libby Bowler – Manchester School of Art
Libby combined traditional crafts with technical details in order to develop innovative garments with a sustainable design. Her range is unusually inspired by mountaineering and naval expeditions, with her using a colour palette from the art works of Tibet. Her collection features a playful yet informative protest by using graphic text taken from survival guides and environmental protests.
Graduate Fashion Week begins on Sunday 3rd of June and finishes on Wednesday 6th June. There’s heaps available for you to get inspired by, from catwalks to industry talks, incredible exhibitions and a browse through graduate portfolios for your own creative inspo! This 4 day event isn’t one to be missed so check out all the links below on how to get involved and experience GFW 2018.