The Northumbia show was the last show I got to see on the Saturday of Graduate Fashion Week, and it was my favorite show overall. Here is a selection of some of the collections that really caught my eye:
Opening the show was noted one-to-watch Emmie Vincent with a stunning white-on-white collection. Using a variety of materials to explore fabric density, texture, matte and shine, the result was a serene range of garments that were minimal yet striking in style. Transparent tulle and silicone rubber responded fantastically to the light of the runway bringing fresh, crisp vibes to each piece.
Yet another white-on-white collection took to the runway, however this time with a glistening insertion of silver. Laser cut leather pieces and paperclip style embellishments create a futuristic vibe, whilst low necklines, pencil skirts and crop tops add an element of femininity.
A darker contrast to the two previous collections, Amy Pearson mixed a dark, tonal palette with gold metallic creating an image reminiscent of Autumnal leaves and petals. Draped and over sized silhouettes bring a masculine edge to the collection.
A menswear sports collection with an 80s vibe, Charlotte Grant Mills was inspired by the body's production of adrenaline. Pink highlights and piping imitate the color of the cells within our adrenal gland. High shine bomber jackets contribute to an over sized silhouette that contrasts with the sleek streamlined lower-half.
One of the few swimwear collections at Graduate Fashion Week, Caroline Smith reminded everyone that it was Summer with a covetable, modern and interchangeable Summer wardrobe. Inspired by St Ives in Cornwall, this collection is very reminiscent of 1950s resort wear. Bold colors and harbor visuals created a palette so zesty and fresh I was salivating as I watched it.
Kaleidoscope prints in blue, white and black made this collection a visual masterpiece. A muted palette subtly hinted to the inspiration of the Scottish landscape and its natural elements. Silhouettes mimicked the traditional Scottish highland dress, whilst checks and graphic prints brought a punk element to the collection.
Inspired by the sense of belonging to something greater, Taja Bright used denim, knitwear and patchwork to create a nomad-style collection. Silhouettes were reminiscent of vintage work-wear, but were modernized with bandana scarf prints, bomber jackets and baggy drop-crotches.
Taking us into the future, Esther Rigg's collection was inspired by our ever-growing knowledge of space in contrast with our lacking knowledge and understanding of the oceans on our planet. A blue, silver and black palette brought the two worlds together alongside geometric prints and space-suit style silhouettes.
Inspired by the regeneration of Belfast and the community divisions that still exist, Ciara Artt used innovative pattern cutting and contemporary digital printing to create garments and silhouettes that reflect armored vehicles and body protection.
If I was to ask you to imagine a womenswear collection inspired by Margaret Thatcher, I'm sure the conjured image wouldn't be all that fetching, let alone something you'd find at Graduate Fashion Week. Rachel Jefferson however has proved us all wrong and put powerful women in politics on the fashion map. Strong, over sized yet relaxed silhouettes hark back to the Margaret Thatcher days, whilst imagery of graffiti and street art and the reworking of traditional woven cloths into prints add a modern edge. Experimental layering of a range of textures from wool and leather to silks and foil bring a deconstructed grunge element to the collection.
Inspired by Roma travellers, Katrina Wagster mixes traditional tailoring with contemporary pattern cutting. Distressed 1930s style work wear such as heavy black work boots contrasted with a range of soft, light textures that added femininity.