Graduate Fashion Week Preview: Sneak Peek of Rhiannon Wakefield’s Graduate Collection

FAD Competition, FAD Projects, FAD Stories
It’s been a busy couple of months for talented 2014 FAD Competition winner Rhiannon Wakefield. The Middlesex University fashion student has been working hard on her graduate menswear collection, which is set to gracethe catwalk at Middlesex’s Graduate Fashion Show in less than two weeks.
FAD’s Ivy Scarlett caught up with Rhiannon during a photoshoot of her final collection, to find out what she has been up to since winning the FAD Competition.

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How has taking part in the FAD Competition helped you with producing your graduate collection?

It’s helped me a lot with my time management skills. I don’t think I would have been able to do the amount of work that I have done without going through the making process for the FAD Competition. The competition gives you the platform to really understand how long everything is going to take, which has given me more experience in all the different areas of producing a collection.

What is the concept behind your graduate collection?

I started looking at a British artist called Ben Nicholson, and his work was the main inspiration behind my collection. I really enjoyed looking at his pieces which are very modernised and abstract. It was from his work that I got the inspiration to create my own prints.

Your collection does contain a lot of print – what was the inspiration behind your prints?

My surroundings. I went around with a camera taking pictures of interesting things that caught my eye, in particular textures. I started doing a whole lot of printing experimenting with screen, digital and sublimation techniques.

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Have you always wanted to design menswear, or was this something that you decided to do for your final year?

I did a menswear project in my second year which I really enjoyed. After that I noticed the style of how I worked and my designs started to change, so I started to re-think my options and really consider having a  graduate collection that is menswear based.

We are on set today at Speos Photography School in London where you are doing a preview shoot of your collection. Could you tell us a bit more about this?

After winning the FAD Competition Graham Diprose of Speos approached me and we discussed, through FAD, the opportunity of me having my final collection shot at Speos London Photography School. It’s been a really exciting experience. Having already seen my outfits from the FAD Competition final shot by Speos, it made me more excited to have my graduate collection done here too.

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What advice would you give to students looking to study fashion design?

I think if you want to study fashion design my advice would be to stay in London! It’s the fashion capital and a hot spot for fashionistas. A great place to see and be seen.

What’s next?

That’s a good question. I want to do so many things; it’s a really exciting time! I think I’d like to get more industry experience in the business side of fashion, so working for bigger companies where I can really learn how the industry works and potentially work towards setting up my own brand. I am open to many things!

Feeling inspired by Rhiannon’s story? FAD will be at GFW on Monday 1st June to launch the 2015 FAD Competition. Read more about the FAD Competition for university students on our website.
Read more about what FAD will be up to at GFW here.
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