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Graduate Fashion Week 2018 – A Round-up

June 12, 2018

Fashion | by Ross Pollard

Candid’s Fashion & Grooming Editor, Ross Pollard looks at the next generation of fashion at Graduate Fashion Week 2018.

For once in my life I’ve got something to say
I wanna say it now for now is today
A love has been given so why not enjoy
So let’s all grab and let’s all enjoy

If the kids are united then we’ll never be divided
If the kids are united then we’ll never be divided

As the son of one of the Hersham Boys that Sham 69 sang about, any excuse to have a listen to them is taken. So, with the words of Jimmy Pursey in my ears, and laced up boots on (Dunlops rather than Docs, so not quite right) I headed off to Truman Brewery for this year’s Graduate Fashion Week 2018 shows.

Graduate fashion is something I take very seriously, and if you want to find the stars of tomorrow, this is the place to be. I need do no more than point out that Christopher Bailey was the original award winner. You may have heard of him. Rebecca Wilson from the Arts University Bournemouth won the Christopher Bailey Gold Award this year (above), judged by Diane Von Furstenberg, Nathan Jenden, Christopher Raeburn and Fabio Piras.

This year the levels of creativity and quality really hit a peak. The impeccable needlework and tailoring was better than most of the runway shows I watch in that most venerable of weeks by the Thames in February and September. As for the creativity, it was there in absolute mountains. From streetwear vibes via abstract couture to high-end suiting, we were treated to show after show of excellence.

Hannah Gibbins from the University of Brighton (above) took home the Debenhams Menswear Award, noted for her design techniques, dying and textures. Gibbins said: “It’s so nice to be working on something for years and to have received such a great response to it”.

Graduate Fashion Week 2018
Saskia Lenaerts from Kingston University won the Considered Design Award – photograph by Becky Mukerji
Graduate Fashion Week 2018
Saskia Lenaerts from Kingston University won the Considered Design Award – photograph by Becky Mukerji

One of the reasons that Graduate Fashion Week 2018 is so important to me is that it acts as a barometer to the health of our industry. It’s the first look at the next set of designers who will shape our boutiques, runways and high streets. The designers here will have an impact over the next few years, taking fashion to new places, and depending on what we see, new highs or new lows.

Graduate Fashion Week 2018
Danqi Chen won the Swarovksi International Award – photograph by Becky Mukerji

This year I can say with absolute certainty that the future is in very safe hands.

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