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Graduate Fashion Week

With inspirations ranging from kids’ beach toys to Russian folk costumes, this year’s crop of budding fashion designers shows a wealth of creative nous

CHLOE HACKER

SomersetCollege Of Arts and Technology.

BA (Hons) Fashion

“The concept of my collection is quirky and youthful with an element of sophistication. I used a bright colour palette to illustrate this, and my designs are inspired by the seaside, using the shapes and silhouettes of children’s beach toys such as windmills, armbands, flags, buckets and spades. Although this is a spring collection, the British summer is not always that hot, so I have opted for quite warm fabrics, such as felt, alongside stretch jersey and silk.”

ABIGAIL WILLIAMS

PlymouthUniversity

BA (Hons) Fashion/Textiles

“I decided to base my textiles on my experience of visiting Chicago, which has not only sharp, cutting edge architecture but also a rich urban culture that has evolved over the years. As my collection is for autumn I have sourced fabrics that are practical for the winter weather, using wools, leather, jersey and silks. I am of Caribbean descent and as such have designed my collection for darker skinned women and have used rich colours to complement darker skin tones.”

RAINE HODGSON

EdinburghCollegeof Art

BA (Hons) Fashion

“My dramatic collection is called Folks Like Theseand is based on a personal love of historical Russian folk costume fused with haute couture. This is a rich, luxurious autumn collection which combines natural materials such as wool, cotton, silk and linen with ethically sourced animal by-products such as leather, sheepskin, feathers, horsehair and human hair, all brought together in an elaborate use of colour, volume and texture.”

AMY COSSINS

University of the West of England

BA (Hons) Fashion/Textile Design

“The underlying theme of my collection comes from the structural complexities of architectural construction. The garments are derived from the shape of buildings such as Sydney Opera House and those designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava in a mixture of contrasting structured and draped fabrics. Organic prints with intricate details inspired by the Eden Project evoke a sci-fi sensibility and are juxtaposed with the structurally bold silhouettes. Colours veer from autumnal shades to cool greys and bright yellows.”

FRANCESCA JENNINGS

University of the West of England
BA (Hons) Fashion/Textile Design

“The colours for this collection were taken from a Bauhaus painting, the composition of which inspired my exploration into geometric shapes and their 3D forms, digital print and surface manipulation. Contrast is a key concept throughout the collection, and exploration of texture is integral and informs the fabric selection. PVC jersey is mixed with woven raffia, leather and felt, and crisp paper-like folds sit next to draped silhouettes.”  

ANNA UNDERWOOD

Universityof Westminster

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

“My autumn collection is inspired by the structural elements of women’s underwear challenged by 1980s oversized masculine silhouettes. Sportswear has always been a major influence within my design and I have taken the concept of wearable, relaxed garments and developed that into my own form of sophisticated, luxury fashion. The key pieces feature shaped white acrylic plastic that emphasises and exaggerates the female contours to give a modest yet subtly provocative look, while soft, coloured wool jersey keeps it relaxed. Playful, quirky styling such as knotted ears on hats and furry mittens add a youthful edge.”

KERRIE STARLING

KingstonUniversity

BA (Hons) Fashion

“My collection is based around the concept of treasured possessions. On my twenty-first birthday I received a charm bracelet which I was asked by my grandparents to treasure and take care of as it represented different parts of their lives. Each look of my collection thus illustrates a particular feeling or state of mind through fabric, colour, and silhouette. My emotive garments include ‘Confused’, which comes through as navy silk chiffon layers, with red polka dots and an embellished surface, and ‘Awe’, an oversized jacket with a striking red under piece.”

JOHN MANION

Universityof Salford

BA (Hons) Fashion

“This is a masculine collection inspired by the concept of the ancient warrior. It focuses on armor and how this looks imposing and threatening to the enemy on the battlefield. For this, I created protective paneling using a system of building layers of technical fabrics into my collection.”

BEATRIC KORLEKIE NEWMAN

De Montfort University

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

“My collection is inspired by the opulence of empires, the Russian tsars and Arabian nights. It is made up of rich golds and coppers and uses embellishment, pattern and prints from palace interiors and Russian carpets on luxurious yarns. The key pieces are based on the beautiful knots and trims found on Russian military jackets which I have interpreted through knitting, macramé and crochet. The silhouettes explore volume in a subtle way, where luxurious techniques such as fringing are used to enhance the shoulders, arms and hips and beading embellishments add a sharp but feminine elegance to the outfit.”

STEPHEN HUGHES

De Montfort University, Leicester.

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

“My ideas for this collection began with my research into the Jewish faith. I started looking at Jewish folk costumes, religious artefacts and ghetto life in Eastern Europe. My collection works around several key silhouettes, including tiny cropped pieces, voluminous smocked garments and skinny fit trousers. The two key themes which run throughout the collection are the notions of layering garments, and the platting of garments together, for example, a chiffon shirt made up of seven other shirts. I have combined monochrome hues together with mustard, olive green, pink and apple white shades alongside gold foiling and quirky checks on wool cashmere, chiffon, corduroy, angora wool and jersey.”

LAURA FOX

Universityof Derby

BA (Hons) Fashion Studies

“The aim of my collection has been to promote the British manufacturing industry through fabrics, which include oilskin, tartan check and Harris tweed, and where possible most of my collection has been sourced from the UK. The inspiration behind the outfits has come from iconic British brands such as Burberry, Barbour and Laura Ashley. The print is inspired by the English country garden and the garments have combined traditional fabrics with modern processes such as disperse dyeing.”

GILLIAN RAMSEY

HeriotWatt University

BA (Hons) Fashion design for Industry

“A unisex collection inspired by pictures of my grandfather in the National Service in the 1950s, I have designed jeans with laser cut leather panels on the back, ginger sheepskin flying jackets, and reversible devore silk and moleskin jackets. All the clothes have been inspired by classic garments so the silhouettes are quite classic, such as straight cut jeans in navy denim.”

LUCY GLADDEN

LiverpoolJohn Moores University

BA (Hons) Fashion

“My womenswear print collection is inspired by languid images of art nouveau and Parisian nightlife. Curvilinear prints meet Swarovski crystal in black and silver grey with accents of grape, moss green and blue. The relaxed, uncomplicated silhouettes are created from silks, crepe backed satin, georgette and habotai.”

PANDORA BAHRAMI

NottinghamTrent University

BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design & Knitted Textiles

“I explored the ways in which coins and discs were used in traditional Iranian clothing and applied this technique to modern day designs. The contrast and conflict between my Iranian and British backgrounds inspired my collection, which features a series of body-hugging dresses in knit and crochet in a tonal grey palette with black and lilac.”

ZOE LEWIS

NottinghamTrent University

BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design & Knitted Textiles

“A collection inspired by the natural forms found on the sea bed, with texture and colour taken from the phenomenon of fluorescent corals together with the skins and scales of creatures of the deep. The silhouette has been influenced by the concepts of shielding and of garments acting as a second skin”

GREG DODD

BathSpa University

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

Progression of a Hooligan exaggerates the male form by creating a broader upper body silhouette through the use of padding on shirts and jackets resulting in volume under the arm and a slim waist. This is combined with skinhead-influenced high-waisted and cropped check linen trousers as well as cropped nylon jogging bottoms from the 1990s football casuals. Fabrics include micro checks with spray-bleached effects, leather mixed with plated knits, and bleached and ripped denim.” 

HOLLY SIMPKINS

BathSpa University

BA (Hons) Fashion Design

 “The concept behind Nightshades is based upon the electric sky formations which occur within the aurora borealis. Unconventional shapes were created through a mixture of abstract pattern cutting and controlled drape. The palette is vivid streams of piercing colours such as neon peach, violets and acid yellows, which are injected into midnight inky blues, dusky greys and metallic silvers. Textures contrast from crisp clean cottons to fluid luxurious silks, mixing sheer with opaque.”

VERITY PEMBERTON

WinchesterArt School

BA (Hons) Fashion Design (womenswear)

“My collection looks into characters I find inspirational such as Oscar Wilde and Napoleon Bonaparte and combines these characters with a focus on vintage fabrics. Oversized jackets are juxtaposed with leggings while a shorts suit features a shrunken mini blazer. I have also designed all the accessories for my collection as I see them as essential in creating a complete look.”

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