In the first instalment of our coverage of this year's Graduate Fashion Week, the 25th anniversary of the shows, we take you to Ravensbourne University. This crowd was definitely the most rowdy of the week! Each and every time a collection was about to come down the runway, there was thunderous applause to welcome them. We even got the chance to speak with Linda Drew, a Director at Ravensbourne, about the program. We were pleased to hear that sustainability underpins everything they do in the Fashion program; students are not only urged to use sustainable materials in their collections, but also to consider sustainable production practices. They told me they've just opened a massive fabric library and are researching methods for 3D printing organic material!
A Fashion degree from Ravensbourne University is not simply an art degree, students are prepared for a career in the fashion industry. They work with established businesses in the industry on live projects allowing their students to experience a fashion business from all angles.
Now, here were the designers on display.
Paria's collection was basically a middle finger in the air! Some of the phrases on the items are "LIFE IS SHIT AND THEN YOU DIE." and "SEE YOU IN HELL." The collection was a mix of prints and colours with an urban edge.
This collection was a favourite of ours. Sibel Atig's collection was a new take on suiting. The tailoring was beautiful and though masculine in appeal, the femininity of the garments really showed.
The accessories in this Thomas Wulbern collection reminded me a bit of Baby Phat, which was a bit of a trend throughout the week. The treatment and shapes of the denim in these pieces was gorgeous.
This was another favourite of ours. Hannah proved that menswear is no longer boring.
I immediately thought of poker dealers when I saw this collection come down the runway.
Cinzia Di Donato
This was a very colourful collection with soft pastels and softer fabrics. This stitched patchwork detail was another trend we saw throughout the week.
Sophie says this collection was inspired by her childhood memories and the Marilyn Manson album "Portrait of an American Family." We did see a bit of a rebellious schoolboy look going on as well as the sense that the collection was just a little bit feminized.
One of the brighter collections in the show, Victoria Daw's was full of clean lines, soft tailoring and oversized, easy silhouettes.
You know we love a bit of black and Monika did not disappoint. This collection was very luxurious and ultimately very commercial.
Another bright collection, this one reminded me of the 90's neon trend, but with modern almost sporty feel and eastern pattern influences. She's already garnered a bit of attention by being named as one of iD's Designers to Watch. Emma has also had some real world experience working with AllSaints in various roles, including the design team.
This dusty rose colour was definitely a big hit throughout many of the universities during the week. Fiona's tailoring for this collection was impeccable while some details were left exposed in order to add intrigue as to how the garments were made.
Farah Kone - Accessories
Farah's leather accessories created a sense of strength alongside these very delicate garments. As Ravensbourne focuses on the use of 3D printing, we can see that Farah has become very adept at the process. Showcasing a fashion accessory designer during Graduate Fashion Week was a first for the university.
As a fair amount of her peers at Ravensbourne, Shanice Brown challenged generally accepted notions of masculinity. Her perfectly tailored collection included lace and crystals to add a little sparkle to the suit.
Now when we say Shanice and her collection challenged the notion of masculinity, that is nothing compared to the slap in the face it got from Eden Loweth. We loved that the term gender-bending doesn't even begin to describe this collection. Every single model walked down this runway like they owned it. In a world where we try to put everyone in a nice little box, Eden is not having any of it.
We absolutely loved this collection. There was a mix of workwear, with superbly tailored garments and furs, with lacy and exposed undergarments showing how a woman can be a powerhouse both in the boardroom and out.
If you are interested in an education in any of the various disciplines in fashion, visit the Ravensbourne University website to learn more.