UCA Rochester has to be one of my favourite schools of this year's Graduate Fashion week. There were quite a few collections that were either totally wearable or perfect executions of some of this year's trends.
This conjoined outfit was a new one. Leo's collection was an interesting blend of Victorian dandy with Japanese details.
This white shirt was one of the more interesting yet commercial pieces to walk this week. Banded arms have been a trend for a minute now and I like how Sian incorporated this accessory into the collection. Sian took inspiration from the Women's Land Army during the First World War.
Qiaochen's collection is intended to depict the shift from childhood innocence to the seductive adulthood of a woman. There was an emphasis on the belly of many pieces, inspired by Hans Bellmer "in celebration of the tumescent stomach."
The shapes alone in this collection were riveting on their own but the placement of the prints made these pieces even more captivating.
While all of the fringe and extra additions were not really my thing, this was another collection using tent fabric which was one of the strongest of the week.
Savannah's collection while, again not my thing was a great mix of modern shapes with 1990's hip hop prints and colours.
There were some similarities with Sian Colley's collection and Kadime's was more feminine and takes inspiration from Tibetan culture.
I loved this collection. Matthew-Erik's collection reminded me of old school Margiela with the glasses and asymmetric bodies. His collection was inspired by the film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Lucy says her collection was inspired by her father's life before and after having a stroke. Her story is that the way he wore clothes changed dramatically and she took inspiration from old photos and videos from holidays and family days out.
Another collection influenced by exploration, Jojo took inspiration from the expedition of Sir Ernest Shackleton to Antarctica with an utterly feminine twist.
All of Briony's garments fit to perfection. The colourful prints and eccentric styling were inspired by the 1954 film adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, which totally makes sensse.
Lauren was one of the nominees for the Best of Graduate Fashion Week. Her collection took some obvious inspiration from a day by the Margate seaside with extremely childish silhouettes and pretty on-the-nose prints.
Kwok Kui Ho
Kwok's collection was very Assassin's Creed. For some reason, this collection really stood out to me. there was an outfit at the end which used some great laser cutting techniques.
Megan Louise Boulton
Megan's collection was crafted for a glamorous ski weekend. Her fabric experimentation and innovation added extra facets. She manipulated fabric by playing with fur and lace with PVC allowing the bright colours underneath to shine through.
Jennifer took inspiration from Japanese artist Aya Takano and the cute faces of the characters in her paintings. The mix of fabrics added extra dimension to the garments.
Rosie used influences from cultures around the world to add some democracy to her collection, leaving it accessible to everyone.
Now I didn't really get this collection until I read the description, then it all made sense. Her menswear collection was inspired by a street vendor in Nigeria who stack all kinds of items around their body, moving from place to place to move their wares. Of all of the collections throughout the week where there were bags all over, this one has a very original story.
This collection was designed for a woman about town. Sara used different upholstery fabrics for each look, a reflection of the life of a woman with many lovers and the interior designs of different motel rooms.
Katie was inspired by the wardrobe of traditional Romany women (Katie used the word gypsy but I know that can be offensive to some), which is evident in her knitting techniques and mix of colours. One of her skirts had Barbie legs used as fringe, which was an interesting choice which fit with the story.
Claire Tagg was the runner up for the M&S Womenswear Award, but in my opinion, she should have won. Claire's was a perfect example of taking inspiration from an abstract place and turning into art without being so direct. She was influenced by the glamour of air hostesses from years ago, which can be seen in some of the prints and the seat belt buckles used to accentuate some of the pieces.
Here, you can see the show from last year.