Creativity is always the centre of Graduate Fashion Week but this year it has been even more prevalant. The exhibition itself looked amazing and we had the pleasure of meeting judges Sarah Curran or Hillary Alexander throughout the day. These amazing people came together for a common cause; to encourage students to pursue their dreams.
Only 5% of design students will get to have a catwalk show at GFW and only a tiny percentage will go on to finally make a name for themselves in the fashion industry. Despite the statistics, GFW does its best to push students to believe in themselves, and for the few lucky creatives who do get the chance to showcase their collections GFW is a priceless and much welcomed platform.
One of the most interesting and exciting things I found this year were the talks hosted by sponsor George; these talks featured industry professionals such as Hillary Alexandra, Henry Holland and Collin McDowell, all sharing their experiences and trying to convince students of one thing: that yes this is a tough industry to break into, but nothing is impossible. In order to get a shot you have to never give up and you need to be prepared to work hard.
In addition to all the university stands, we came across All Walks Beyond the Catwalk, their project, “Diversity Now!” fronted by Caryn Franklin, caught our attention because of their idea of empowering all women to pursue their fashion dreams. This national student competition works across Womenswear, Meanswear, Fashion Film, Fashion Photography, Zines and Fashion Journalism, driving women towards a future that truly celebrates individuality.
At the Gala Show we saw the best of the best presented by experts and celebrities such as Livia Firth, David Koma, Bip Ling, Jefferson Hack, Matthew Williamson and Mary Katrantzou; who was dressed in black as always.
Next to Fiona Lambert, brand director at George, and Suzy Menkes, International Herald Tribune’s fashion editor, was the amazing Daphne Guinness, who presented the prestigious Gold Award which went to Chloe Jones, of Bath University. Jones presented a collection of floaty, chiffon full-length skirts, with chiffon parkas and chunky layered hoodies. Chloe Jones, also took home the Best Womenswear title, with her collection entitled “Our Father Who Art in Heaven”.
Overall the tone of the event was NEVER give up on what you love to do. 5% may very well be a small number, but with enough determination and the right attitude you can achieve. Here at MSL we loved the message that nothing is impossible and we believe GFW is an institution which enables creativity and nurtures those who dare to dream.