An Insight into Graduate Fashion Week (GFW):
For many fashion students, one of the things that they look forward to at the end of their terms/years is Graduate Fashion Week. For students in their first or second years, it’s the perfect opportunity for them to go to an event to see what kinds of things are being explored by young designers from other Universities. It’s also good for second years (like me) to possibly see what everything will be leading up to at the end of their next and final year.
For third years, it's the final hurdle of your degree where you put everything you've learnt into practice for a chance to be in GFW. It’s the chance for them to show off their collections and portfolio’s of work to the industry that they have been perfecting and honing since the previous September. GFW helps with giving students the opportunity to put their work out there and giving them that first push into the fashion industry. People are able to visit GFW to see runway shows of the third years final collections and visit the stands of the Universities who take part in GFW each year. It isn’t as well known as LFW but can be helpful with building a platform for new designers.
Evelyne Babin- University For The Creative Arts, Epsom was named the winner of the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Swarovski at GFW 2018
What goes into making your collection?
Before you even get to GFW, there’s a lot of work that actually has to go into getting a collection ready. You have from January to the May to create your collection starting with researching into a theme or concept that means something to you or that you find interesting. Then from your research, creating/developing 2D designs and translating them into 3D designs/silhouettes on a mannequin, fabric board, pattern cutting, toiling each outfit, creating a portfolio of all your work and then making the actual collection itself. You also have to think about things like models, music for the show itself and styling including making your own accessories such as earrings, hats, bags, shoes etc.
University For The Creative Arts, Epsom Catwalk
I went to GFW again this year in order to see my University’s catwalk show (University For The Creative Arts, Epsom) because I wanted to see the third years final collection as throughout the year I had been able to see some of their work in the studios. I was really looking forward to the show before I went. Pictured below are some of the photos of the show that I managed to take.
Alice Clarke- University For The Creative Arts, Epsom
Isa Hummelin- University For The Creative Arts, Epsom
Hosanna Au-Yeung- University For The Creative Arts, Epsom
Suet Ying Lee- University For The Creative Arts, Epsom
Eden Russell -University For The Creative Arts, Epsom
Graduate Fashion Week Trends
From looking at the work leading up to GFW, I felt like neon colours was one of the trends and a popular choice for a collections colour palette as I always saw it a lot on instagram. I always look at instagram to see what could possibly come up during GFW, especially when it comes to things like textiles in a collection. I thought that there was a lot of cool accessories this year, especially from Ravensbourne University. Students are really able to think about the kinds of styling that they want to do in order to accompany their clothes as they walk down the runway. I have also noticed that more students are designing with things like sustainability in mind which is incredibly important in our day and age.
Graduate Fashion Week Awards
Students are able to take part in competitions during the few days that GFW is on by entering their own work and also they can be nominated for awards too. Some of the awards are: Accessories award sponsored by YKK, conscious design award sponsored by Swarovski, the Christopher Bailey collection of the year, Womenswear award, Menswear award, Hilary Alexander Trailbrazer award and many more. A lot of high street brands are sponsoring awards (M&S, Gap, Fat Face, TU clothing) as well as working with students too. For example, the photos below are from two different capsule collections that have been designed for TU clothing. I particularly liked the one that was designed for women because of how cute the designs are, especially the prints too.
Brian Mc Lysaght, Edinburgh College Of Art - Won The Christopher Bailey Collection Of The Year 2019
My Final Year...
"I can’t wait for September as I will be moving into my third year at University and I have chosen the collection pathway which means I will be creating my own 6 outfit collection. I’m quite nervous as I know that it’s a lot of work and will take a lot of time to create the work but I’m also extremely excited. It will be the year that I can finally showcase my own point of view and style in the industry."