Last year’s relaunch of Graduate Fashion Week in the heart of the creative East end heralded a fresh start for the UK’s largest gradate fashion showcase.
Organised by the team behind Fashion Scout and sponsored by the lovely people at George at Asda, the 2015 event saw even more creative stands, career talks and talent packed into the icon Truman building this week.
2015 saw the full effect of the tuition fee rise, with many university tutors talking about a noticeable dip in student numbers. However the most exciting shows felt stronger for it.
Among those who made the edit were many past Fashion Futures and FAD Competition finalists. Here’s our FAD graduate #OnestoWatch.
Catriona Pringle, De Montfort
2015 FAD Competition finalist Catriona Pringle was another talented Gala show finalist. Influenced by her granny who had a fabric shop in the 70s, Catriona’s covetable neon womenswear won her the David Band Textiles runner up prize. We loved her modern embroidery inspired by retro Bargello designs.
Lucy Day, Colchester School of Art
A real success story from this year’s 2015 FAD Competition final. After seeing her work for the FAD Competition, Colchester student Lucy was encouraged by judge Clare Johnston to apply for a place at the Royal College of Art. The fantastic news is that not only has Lucy been accepted to start an MA in September, the clever girl has also bagged the first ever Orla Kiely Scholarship Award! And all off the back of her FAD Competition entry – amazing! Read an interview with Lucy about her physics inspired graduate collection here.
Michelle Smith, De Montfort
A finalist in Fashion Futures 2010, we were blown away by Michelle’s graduate menswear collection which opened the much acclaimed De Montfort show on Monday. Inspired by the 1940s and sassy zoot suits, voluminous trousers featured metallic foil pinstripes while oversized shirts and cropped jumpsuits sported chintzy tropical prints. @MbyMichelleS
Holly Cooney, UCA Epsom
Holly was an FAD Fashion Futures teen finalist in 2011. Fast forward four years and the South London designer made waves at the Graduate Fashion Week Gala show this week with her cellophane wrapped menswear designs, inspired by artist Iain Baxter. Read more about Holly’s graduate collection in the Evening Standard and on her website.
Olivia Overton, Middlesex University
The 2015 FAD Competition finalist made waves at Graduate Fashion Week when she won the Karen Millen Portfolio Award. The acclaim continued at the Middlesex Fashion & Textiles BA show, held at Royal National Hotel, where the talented young designer was named ‘a standout’ graduate by both Dazed Digital and Wonderland Magazine. Olivia’s pieces were inspired by the Victorian tradition of Sunday-best dressing, combining its lace and pomp with a contemporary streetwear aesthetic, all informed by her interest in African culture and history.
Prash Muraleetharan, Brighton University
Those FAD supporters among you might remember the early days at Fashion Scout and a certain charismatic teenager and his Michael Jackson embroidered jacket? Well since then the Fashion Futures 2009 and FAD Competition 2015 finalist Prash has gone from strength to strength. This week he showcased a sophisticated graduate collection of Samurai inspired menswear in bold colours and crisp fabrics.
FAD would also like to give a big shout out to the other FAD finalists spotted at Graduate Fashion Week. Congratulations to Ashley Patterson, Christopher Clarke, Johnson Deng, Yeni Park, Francesca Phipps, Francesca Espinosa Baster, Adam Preece and Charlie Ibouille.
Are you about to start your 2nd, 3rd or final year of a fashion degree? This week FAD launched the 2016 FAD Competition at Graduate Fashion Week. Visit the FAD website for more information. For more FAD graduate highlights visit us on Instagram @fad_charity.