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Graduate Fashion Week: LJMU

Heather Smith and the local talent go a-sashaying in London

Published on June 16th 2010.


Graduate Fashion Week: LJMU

Graduate Fashion Week is the ultimate post-study diary date for budding designers everywhere. The London-based event, which has just finished its 19th year, is the biggest of its kind, representing the work of more than 1,000 students from over 35 universities and fashion colleges.

Students are given the exciting chance to exhibit their creative efforts and showcase their design talent to the style-savvy public (and the hordes of fashion scouts from the UK and overseas).

British designers Stella McCartney and Julien MacDonald famously launched their big-time fashion careers at GFW and the most recent crop of graduates who flocked to Earls Court 2 last week were desperately hoping to become part of a similar story.

This year, Liverpool One sponsored students from Liverpool John Moores University to attend the event. The vital funding allowed LJMU students to snap up a sought-after 45-minute catwalk slot, as well as a student portfolio stand in the exhibition hall.

Apparently, being able to see the collections on live models, as opposed to a clothes hanger or photograph, makes all the difference. Interest in the student work is supposed to surge as a result of the ‘liveness’. If the outbreak of excitable activity around the LJMU exhibition stand after Tuesday’s impressive catwalk showing is anything to go by, this is probably true.

It is easy to forget all of the hard work when a finished product is thrown on to an immaculate display, but many people were eager to see the ideas, inspiration and portfolio sketches that had come long before the outfits that they had just seen. Many people wanted to catch another glimpse of their favourite piece. Many people simply wanted in on the after-show glitterati.

Coco Chanel once said: "Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." GFW brings ideas and innovation to the fore. Stitch by stitch, it details a student’s perspective on the way that we live and what is happening.

So, LJMU’s Alice England has created a quirky clubwear collection that is bold, bright and brazenly Gaga-esque. Proof that the 80s nostalgia trend is not dead yet.

Elsewhere, ‘feminine minimalism’ reigned supreme. This pomp-ridden fashion term essentially means plain but classic clothing for austere times, blah blah. Lose becomes fluid. Tight becomes structured. Khaki becomes olive and so on.

Credit should go to the students for creating collections that seem immediately wearable. The sharply shaped shoulders of Michelle Pevie’s otherwise simple crème leather jacket prompted a universal talking point of desire.

However, for those who prefer fashion to be fun, excessive and just the right amount of ridiculous, Leoni Newcombe did not disappoint. Her unisex collection (inspired by a fear of clowns) was bright, playful and completely unwearable unless your Saturday afternoons are spent making a style statement in the foyer of Grand Central.

The over-the-knee clown dress had a hood with round red eye shapes cut out of the mustard background. How handy for those awkward moments when you see someone that you know but don’t want to talk to. Whip up the hood and by-bass them quicker than a Corsa C’mon.

LJMU alumni success story, Kirsty Doyle, traveled to London to support this year’s finishing students at GFW. In 2006, Kirsty won the coveted Project Catwalk award just before securing her BA (Hons) Fashion degree. More recently, she has opened a rather suave womenswear boutique store on Mansteys Lane in Liverpool One.

She said: “Liverpool is known for producing amazing creations, designers and trends. New British fashion talent, such as the LJMU students we have seen showcasing at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, should be at the forefront of industry support, showcase funding is vital for graduates and emerging designers to preview their collections for all to see.”

It now falls to Kirsty to bring the best of LJMU back up from London for a homecoming showcase in Liverpool One. Over the next few days, she will curate an exclusive collection of the most creative and revered GFW pieces to be exhibited in the former Zavvi store.

With any luck, the Coulrophobia-inspired range will comically squeeze its way in among all of the serious sophistication.

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LoisJune 16th 2010.

we are a new creative make up artist company who love to be involved in this show if we can be of any assistance let us now good luck x x x

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