The FAD team were blown away by the designs on show this year at Graduate Fashion Week, especially those of our graduating 2013 FAD Competition winners and finalists. It was great to see whole collections emerge from the ‘Future Optimism’ garments they created for the FAD Competition back in February.
FAD’s highlights from the week include University of Salford student and FAD runner-up Nneka Okorie. Her rich menswear collection inspired by the film ‘Coming to America’ and her father’s Nigerian heritage, featured on the front cover of the official Graduate Fashion Week paper. Watch out for more of Nneka as she starts her FAD Competition placement with Topman next week before embarking on an MA at the Royal College of Art in September.
2013 FAD Competition winner, Stephanie Kitchen, from Bath Spa showcased a stunning and moody activewear collection inspired by great explorers such as Ranulph Fiennes. Her collection was selected by the jury to showcase in the GFW Gala Show on the final night, as well as featuring in the Best of GFW Show.
Morwenna Darwell from Edinburgh College of Art was nominated for the David Band Textiles Award, coming a very close second. Her vibrant yellow and cobalt blue collection also featured in the Graduate Fashion Week newspaper. Look out for more of Morwenna in the future as she is about to decamp to London to start an MA at one of London’s most prestigious universities.
FAD finalist Kimberley (Kim) Phillips from DeMontfort University made an impression on respected fashion blogger and Graduate Fashion Week judge Susie Bubble with her playful womenswear collection, resulting in her inclusion to the Best of GFW Show.
Meanwhile FAD finalist Robert Mills, from Manchester School of Art, received a lot of press for his empowering and beautifully executed womenswear, as did menswear designer Luke Harris from Ravensbourne, former teenage finalist of the 2009 FAD Junior Awards.
The FAD team were also really impressed with graduate collections by Liverpool FAD finalist Matthew O’Brien, who will be showcasing his own label at London Fashion Week this September and Estela Nevinskaite, who as a result of taking part in the 2013 FAD Competition will be starting a two week placement with Hunza in July. We loved her ethereal and textural designs at the University of East London show.
Also spotted at the event were Anna Kim, FAD finalist from Istituto Marangoni with her beautiful menswear range; Edinburgh College of Art finalist Louis Alderson-Bythell; Laura Chittenden of Manchester Metropolitan University with her hand crafted ‘Knitted Olympics’ collection and 2013 FAD Competition runner-up Stephanos Konstantinou, whose innovative laser cut designs took pride of place on the Nottingham Trent University stand.
Well done to all the FAD Competition winners and finalists! We would also like to say a huge thanks to Martyn and his team for inviting our Fashion Futures 2013 teens and Leadership Academy along to the International catwalk event. After a morning of checking out the hottest global graduate talent, they spent time at the exhibition and workshops gathering inspiration and valuable careers advice. FAD were also really proud to see so many of our teens volunteering at the event throughout the week sporting their distinctive white lab coats.
On the final day FAD Executive Director Maria Alvarez and Leadership Academy members Clara and Kasey, headed down to Earls Court for the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Awards in support of 2013 FAD Competition winner, Stephanie Kitchen. It was a fantastic close to the week. Congratulations to all the award winners!
Read more about FAD’s adventures at Graduate Fashion Week in our first blog post from the event featuring the launch of the 2014 FAD Competition and a very special collaboration with our sponsors George at Asda.