Drapers takes a closer look at the big winners from Graduate Fashion Week 2017.
Christopher Bailey Gold Award and Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award: Halina North, Edinburgh College of Art
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With their extreme structured silhouettes, North’s sculptural creations made a powerful impact on the Graduate Fashion Week catwalk. Shoulders were wide, waists tiny and hips full in dresses that reflected an exaggerated, powerful image of the female form. The rigidity of the garments, the experimental shaping and North’s fun use of cutouts made the collection feel entirely current, and her masterful use of materials added a further layer of innovation to the designs: recycled paper and plastics were pieced together to create the looks, and the collection was fresh, daring and playful, balancing modernity and tradition across many levels.
M&S Womenswear Award: Irene D’Antonio, Edinburgh College of Art
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Sunset tones and Far East influences made for an ethereally elegant and feminine collection from Irene D’Antonio, which was nevertheless striking and bold. Kimono outerwear in rigid fabrics gave a structural note to the collection, and the oversized silhouettes struck a contrast with the feminine prints and pallette. Traditional garments were refreshed with modern shaping – high waists, wide-leg trousers, cropped blouses and midi-shirts combined to create a collection that embodied east meets west and old meets new.
Debenhams Menswear Award: Daniel Rynne, Arts University Bournemouth
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Rynne’s collection fused urban workwear influences with a romantic, countryside whimsy. An almost androgynous aesthetic of high, cinched waists and fluid shapes, combined with distressed bleached denims and faded textures, lent an air of the reconstructed. Tactile fabrics – fuzzy textures and heavy denims – were set alongside loose shirting and slouchy trousers to create a collection that was part delicate and part industrial, reflecting modern ideas of masculinity.
Visionary Knitwear Award: Ruth Williams, Edinburgh College of Art
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Williams’ knitwear was oversized in every sense. Loose maxi-dresses and fingertip-grazing sleeves were layered together with hoods and jackets in varying shades of brown and caramel, and were looped and draped around the models. Some pieces were constructed with exaggerated knits – loops created peekaboo sheer trousers and a super-sized weave was used to create an almost chainmail-like fabric that accented the collection across dresses and coats.
Catwalk Textiles Award: Maddie Williams, Edinburgh College of Art
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With a collection made entirely from plastic, which appeared as torn bristles as well as in clear vinyl pocketing, Maddie Williams made a powerfully theatrical and carefully curated statement. The space-age aesthetic of the angular and oversized sculptural creations was juxtaposed with baby-doll pastel colours and candy bright pops that were reminiscent of Harajuku street style.
George Catwalk to Store Award: Laura Capello, Bath Spa University
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Laura Capello’s collection focused on crisply modern, feminine shaping and powerful silhouettes that had distinctly trend led, yet commercial appeal. Ruffles, statement sleeves and cropped shirting exuded femininity and formed an appealing contrast to military motifs of utility buckles, statement zips and lace-up detailing. Together, they created a collection that combined sensuality and a sense of masculinity.