Now off to Graduate Fashion Week in Earls Court, which is lovely – a great big auditorium, a lot less squashed than most of the venues at LFW proper and tiered seating, resulting in minimal neck craning for a clear view! Perfecto. A half hour spectacle, starting promptly no less, with 20 Ravensbourne graduates showing their collections back to back. This meant one could take on each designer’s big idea from a small but perfectly formed presentation before bam! The music changed and out came the next one.
So far so good, but what of the collections? Up first was menswear from Calum Harvey, who’d mixed materials such as tweed and plaid into his suiting, with several stand out jackets constructed from tulle layers or even wool pom-pomming for a huge collar.
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada style crazy shapes came from Kasia Bishop – including a beautiful ruffle-trimmed heart shaped dress in banana yellow.
Printing was a strong theme to emerge, from the paintbox-like pieces from Laura Yiannakou, who mixed grey garments with multi colours, splashes, streaks, stripes and scribbles all accessorized with double belts creating an obi silhouette.
Illustrational prints were the focal point of Yasmin Siddiqui’s collection. The outfits were completed with stiff (canvas?) tabards printed with swirling black drawings which fastened at the back with giant bows and were styled with bright tights. Hayley Crompton followed a similar theme; monochrome prints resembling intricate woodcuts with primary splashes and yet more brilliant bright tights and shoes.
Sian Lendrum’s collection was a parade of kimono like dresses, each in a different jewel bright hue, electric blue, violet, lime, - with a sheer black over shirt which gave an iridescent, beetle-like quality to the bold structural shapes.
Knitters were well represented and among the best of the show – Ruth Green with her stripey concoctions of fine and thick knitted dresses and leggings, Ayano Moriwake with multi-coloured, multi-patterned sweater dresses capes and cardigans. Analisa Dunn is a tutor on the course and even before I’d gleaned this piece of information the influence of Co op designs was quite evident.
Closing the show was another knitter, Hannah Taylor with her men’s jumbo sweaters and cardigan coats, each featuring fox and dog motifs and ingeniously styled with an enormous pom-pom headpiece complete with fox mask, plus other models in rainbow balaclavas and glittery winkle pickers. Her collection provided a peep into a wacky canine world, and ensured no one left the auditorium with out a smile on their face.After the show there was time for a quick chat with frazzled looking Susie Bubble who has been going flat out with blanket coverage of GFW from her Style Bubble cubicle whilst trying to cram in her DAZED work between the shows. Phew! Susie agreed that Calum Harvey and Hannah Taylor had been the stand-out contributors to the show, although the standard was very high and it’ll be a surprise if some of the names don’t crop up at London fashion weeks in the future.