At this point, those in the fashion world know to look to Central Saint Martin’s grad show for the industry’s new leaders. But what of all the other talent spread far and wide across Britain’s art schools, brimming with designer hopefuls? Enter Graduate Fashion Week, a showcase of the brightest leaders from the corners of Edinburgh, Liverpool, even Northumbria. This wave of new design washing over the whole of the UK, and Britain in particular, has been continually supportive of it’s young creatives. This year, Graduate Fashion Week celebrated their 20th anniversary of showcasing the best of BA Graduate design- and has launched the careers of names such as Stella McCartney and Christopher Bailey. With 5,000 exhibiting students and fifty participating colleges, presentations paid respect to trends of the 1990’s, longer hemlines, and lots of fringe. Eager to see the action for ourselves, BULLETT ventured out to Earl’s Court to peruse the presentations of Universities, and then later attend the Gala awards ceremony. Those who won receive two years mentoring from the top British fashion houses and £20,000, ensuring they flourish in the fast and furious world of fashion.
This year, the Gold Award went to Nottingham Trent University graduate, Rory Longdon, who presented a slinky body-con collection of sliver and black. Molly Ratcliff of Northumbria University took away the Mulberry prize for accessories, and womenswear prize went to Marissa Owen of University of Central Lancashire. Judge Henry Holland had said of the presentations that students are beginning to recognize the need to have both commercial and catwalk pieces in their collections, as Britain’s fashion industry is a thriving job market.