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Talent scout

On the eve of Graduate Fashion Week, Drapers previews emerging design talent from the UK's fashion colleges

Kirsten Bridgewater - University of Westminster, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"My menswear collection is inspired by festival culture and the great outdoors, incorporating details typically associated with travellers and explorers. The collection uses simple, strong cottons and nylons in shades of khaki and brown with contrast orange detailing, and is comprised of extra-large outerwear and hooded jumpers. Straps and bungee cords are used to pull huge oversized coats into distinctive, practical shapes. Pairing these with rugged skinny cord trousers and Converse sneakers echoes the grungy, rock-inspired look of the festival goer."

Hayley Szymonski - Wst Wales School of the Arts, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"This is a nostalgic collection inspired by possessions that belonged to my great grandparents, including postcards sent from France during the First World War, an embroidered handkerchief, a gold sequinned purse and a fox fur stole. These artefacts have evoked a vintage theme which looks to military styling and 1920s-inspired glamour by mixing structured wools and delicate floral printed silks. The palette combines navy blue, brown and green shades with mustard, royal blue and orange."

Cecilia Robson - London College of Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology: Womenswear

"For my final collection I looked at several creative areas, such as the Bauhaus movement, the art of Victor Vasarely, Alexander Calder and Miro, and the colours of Mephis furniture. The range has a modernist spirit, challenging the shapes and proportions of the body. To retain a sense of luxury I used lots of silks in different weights."

David Mattson - University for the Creative Arts at Rochester, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"My range is entitled 'Exo-Sketron'. It is inspired by the new Transformers film and takes a futuristic view of fashion. I've used stiff upholstery leather to recreate the hard shells of robotic forms, while the use of delicate silk represents the soft internal organs."

Victoria Griffiths - Winchester School of Art, BA (Hons) Fashion

"Inspired by corsets, crinolines and Victorian underwear, my collection is based on the idea of restriction. Avoiding obvious skin-tight silhouettes, I have focused on manipulations of volume. My pieces, including dresses, high-waisted trousers and a draped jersey catsuit, are pulled in by belts, toggles and straps."

Lucy Phillips - University of Leeds, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"Juxtaposing an eclectic range of different eras, this menswear range is heavily inspired by traditional tailored looks derived from Victorian silhouettes. Bold, modern colours and prints are used as a contrast, with layering playing a leading role in the overall look."

William Tempest - London College of Fashion, BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Technology: Womenswear

"I was inspired by the glamour ofactresses such as Rita Hayworth and Katharine Hepburn, and played with the stereotypes that regularly feature in film noir, from the femme fatale to the private detective. The use of straps and slats in some of the garments references the harsh lighting, shadows and angles in the films."

Hannah Widdicombe - University of Westminster, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"Based around the idea of school prefects and school uniforms through the ages, this collection uses wool suiting, cotton shirting, jacquards and tweeds. Fabric treatments include laser-cut wools and shirting with origami paper-like edges."

Gemma Woodcraft - Colchester School of Art & Design, BA (Hons) Art & Design and Fashion & Textiles

"Feminine design meets masculine styling in my collection, which draws inspiration for details from armour and other military references. Contrasting fabrics include denim alongside silk chiffon and leather alongside silk tulle, while soft flesh tones are mixed with futuristic silver and shadowy black. Details include top stitching and prints based on magnified fabric patterns."

Stacey Elder - Heriot-Watt University, BA (Hons) Fashion Design for Industry

"The collection manipulates classic silhouettes through the use of bandaging, as well as leather and Lycra combinations set against softer silk and chiffon. Voluminous shapes dominate, with a colour palette that highlights shades of blue, brown and purple."

Zowie Wilson-Foster - University of Central Lancashire, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"The collection draws on Americana themes, from Western styling and boxing through to sportswear and the 1980s, interpreted in contrasting Liberty print silks and striped jersey fabrics."

Louise Henderson - Heriot-Watt University, BA (Hons) Fashion Design for Industry

"Taking inspiration from the dark and sometimes sinister aspect found in classic children's fairytales, the range contrasts heavy wool suiting with airy silk and organza, with metal studs and delicate bead embellishments. Silhouettes are based on Alice shrinking and growing in the story Alice in Wonderland; so a shrunken dress is worn as a jacket and an oversized pair of trousers have been reworked into a dress design."

Luis Lopez-Smith - Manchester Metropolitan University, BA (Hons) Fashion

"This collection, called New Super Heroes, is a post-rave pre-war statement. Influenced by Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck, capes dominate the silhouettes, with printed denim and polyester sports fabrics at the fore."

Sophia Daniels - Colchester School of Art & Design, BA (Hons) Art & Design with Fashion Textiles

"Juxtaposing visually beautiful elements with much darker references, the collection is rooted in drawing a positive from a negative. Songs and scriptures of war inform the design. Sinamay is sculpted into a skirt with multiple curls that reference the Dead Sea Scrolls. It's barbed and edgy, but the overall look is luxurious."

Leah Hutchinson - University of Salford, BA (Hons) Fashion

"The collection looks at clothing that shields the wearer from extreme weather. Each outfit combines a skin-tight layer of stretch fabric in either sparkly nylon or technical Tyvek fabric, which are then multi-layered with additional pieces."

Sarah Pitcher - University of Wales, Newport, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"Inspired by conceptual designers including Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, architectural lines come into play in this collection. Taking inspiration from the new Welsh Assembly building in Cardiff, the range features textured fabrics including boucle wool and cashmere, while silk pleating references the wood grain interior of the structure."

Samantha Edwards - De Montfort University, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"In homage to the 1950s, my collection flaunts teddy boy-inspired jackets, full skirts, dresses and shirts decorated with delicate pleated detailing."

Jodie Ruffle - Middlesex University, BA (Hons) Fashion

"Inspired by the work of American novelist F Scott Fitzgerald, wealth, excess and romanticism are key themes throughout the collection. Luxurious fabrics including printed silks and gold link-constructed chain mail feature in a rich colour palette of navy blue, aubergine and mushroom, which is highlighted with metallic tones."

Ruth Milliam - University College for the Creative Arts at Rochester, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"Using the metaphor of women being trapped like caged birds, my collection uses machine-made loose-weave knits and delicate lace inserts on suede to mimic the plumage on a feather, while leather straps are used to imitate the spine."

Yvonne Chan - Nottingham Trent School of Art & Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Design

"Japanese culture is the main source of inspiration for my collection. Using a selection of metallic silk, organza, paper silk and stretch wool fabrics, each design uses the starting point of a bird base, which is manipulated around the body to form each different garment. Origami folds and a rich colour palette derived from traditional kimonos are a central theme, with much of the inspiration coming from the story of Madame Butterfly."

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