When looking at a designer’s collection, the obvious question “Would I wear this?” comes to mind. But sometimes, it’s not that easy, because it’s common to get caught-up in the glitz and glam of fashion rather than the practicalities of it (price point being one of them). Therefore, I try not to do too many write-ups on designers if their clothes don’t present the functionality and concept that interests me, because then I’ll just be highlighting designers for the sake of it. In this case though, these university graduates don’t have staple collections – yet. So they’re merely showcasing their talents.
It’s a shame though, because when they say they’d one day like to establish their own labels, I’m looking at what they’ve done and thinking “this is hot!” But due to financial hardships and everything else, they have to gain more experience working for other establishments first.
In this particular case, if I had the money, and I knew them, I would most definitely buy out their collections before hand. If I had a photo shoot, there’s no question that they’d be one of the first people I’d call. Their meticulous attention to detail hasn’t gone unnoticed – at least by me.
According to her bio, UCA Epsom graduate Stephanie Moran’s final collection (part of London Graduate Fashion Week) was cinematic, feminine and punk – just how I like it. An obvious fan of feathers and beading, Ms. Moran took inspiration from 1940s divas, femme fatales and Burlesque to create a collection that explored the line between titillation and property.
Ultimately, when it comes to fashion and art, everything is left to interpretation, but Ms. Moran has demonstrated an authentic ability to incorporate past and present in an enticing, yet wearable way.
While I’m not keen on looking like a christmas tree topper, I don’t mind Ms. Murphy’s holiday ornament inspired designs. The monochromatic colour palette is congenial with the overall look of the collection. And the fact that she specializes in knitwear will be a major benefit to her; she’ll be able pump out those staple pieces for the fashionably conscious in colder climates.
Maybe you’re not a fan of wearing synthetic wigs and beetle wings on your clothes. But if it looks artistic and flows effortlessly into my own sense of style, I would.
Holly Russell took things perceived as ugly and literally transformed them into beautiful garments. The MMU graduate was inspired by animals, minerals and outer space – very British in idea – and of course, digital print. Specific highlights were the pig suede high-waist trousers and sequin nude coloured-top embellished with green/blue metallic beetle wings.
Imagine what life would be like if your work was recognized by a pink-haired lady who once designed for the late Lady Diana? Tis the story of Petra Taoujni. Her collection, short-listed for the Zandra Rhodes Textile Award was traditionally inspired by a plethora of things, including Moravian costume from South-East Czech Republic and Hussein Chalayan’s designs. But it did have a lot of misses. Some of the pieces looked more like a Baby Phat collection than ready-to-wear fashion, but when she had a hit, it was stellar. I believe that she’s one for growth, and once she’s associated with the right band of fashion leaders, she’ll flourish.
As you may have noticed by now, I have a soft-spot for designers who aren’t afraid to push print and colour boundaries. For her final collection, Hannah Buswell chose an interesting concept: vegetable plots and wooden clad tree houses by Baumraum and the work of artist Ruth Root. Of all the designers mentioned she’s more refined, having worked with Cooperative Deigns A/W 2008 collection with Hussein Chalayan. her own collection is an influx of aboriginal print, abstract expressionism and houndstooth, with shapes and colours intermingled creating fun, impressive pieces.