Header Photo: Maria Do Mar Zhan’s Collection at Graduate Fashion Week
We attended the Brighton graduate catwalk show in East London at Graduate Fashion Week, and it didn’t fail to impress. There were over a thousand different students showcasing their work, representing a variety of different universities from all across the country. There was an atmosphere of excitement and apprehension, as many people in attendance were there to judge and pick out the work which they liked, in order to invite the graduates into career opportunities or offer internships. This meant that whilst many were relieved to have put on such an excellent show and reached the end of their degrees, the relief was mixed in with the prospect of beginning careers in the industry.
All the collections were brilliant, but a few in particular stood out, these being, the Well Red collection by Qian Yang, Plastic Fun by Natalia Brady, Ella Lewis’ primarily denim collection and a personal favourite, Folkloric Disco by Justyna Kitt (below), which included minimal jumpsuits with detached, separate bell sleeves. However, all the collections and the conceptual narratives behind them demand interest and attention, and they will all be on display in Grand Parade next week.
The inspiration for the collections is so varied, which perfectly demonstrates Brighton’s open minded attitude towards fashion, but also politics and culture, with themes from skin and static fluidity to folkloric disco and the pornographic sexualisation of women. Whilst being incredibly well designed and intuitive, many of the pieces explore concepts that then make interesting comments upon today’s culture and society. One collection, designed by Tobias Knights, explores the ideas of observation, claiming “Nobody Will Observe dresses the rural traveller trapped in the capitalistic urban world where he is watched”.
There were a few trends to come out of the show, which are ambiguous silhouettes, socks worn with birkenstocks, and a minimal colour palette which still seems to be going strong! Although visors might not be for everyone, they looked ace in Christina Chin’s collection (above), whose work demonstrated an “exploration of chinatown” with “inspiration coming from their unique self styling and their domestic lifestyle, which in turn create leisure inspired looks while allowing freedom for movement, playfulness and sass”.
Hopefully the designers to come out of Brighton University this year will get the recognition and opportunities they deserve after three years of hard work, and The Verse wishes them all luck in the industry.
Natalia Brady’s Plastic Fun Collection at Graduate Fashion Week
Qian Yang’s Well Red Collection at Graduate Fashion week
If you’re interested in fashion, then graduate collections are unmissable; they’re such a display of fresh talent, and I can’t recommend checking out the exhibition at Grand Parade highly enough! I urge you to take advantage of the department exhibition, as it is clear that these designers have just begun a long and successful career- the exhibition begins on Monday 8th June. Brighton has such an eclectic style, perfectly represented in this year’s graduate collections. It’s worth exploring the exhibition to support young designers, as well as to expose yourself to the insightful and beautiful designs put out by this years graduating class!
To get more information on the individual designers, or to check out the lookbook, go to http://uobfashion15.co.uk/
The Brighton University fashion graduates exhibition is taking place on 8th-12th June, featuring designs and pieces from 28 graduates.
By Annabel Waterhouse Biggins