Graduate Fashion Week, sponsored by George at Asda, concluded on Tuesday evening crowning Hannah Wallace, from Manchester School of Art, as the winner of this year’s gold award. Her ski inspired collection included a range of oversized jackets and clothing emblazoned with her personal brand. Wallace follows in the footsteps of previous winners Matthew Williamson and Stella McCartney, scooping a £10,000 prize to evolve and expand her sportswear collection. Having been approached by Nike already, she’s on the right track to establishing a thriving career.
— GFW (@OfficialGFW) June 2, 2015
The Old Truman Brewery played host to the charity event and saw a range of quirky and innovative designers. Melissa Villevielle, from Edinburgh College of Art, was a double prizewinner receiving the catwalk textile award and the womenswear award. Ella Nisbett from Nottingham Trent, also picked up two awards for visionary knitwear and menswear for her collection of daring stripes and floral prints. Ella said: “I think that now is a very exciting time for menswear, and the collection is a bit of a celebration of men being able to dress with confidence.”
With London Collections: Men on the horizon it’s impressive to see how menswear has become a booming business. GFW highlights the evolution of the industry and offers an exciting insight into how men’s fashion will change and adapt in the future.
Celebrity judges at GFW15
Famous faces such as international Vogue editor Suzy Menkes and fashion blogger Bip Ling, watched the shows from the front row, as judges including presenter Gok Wan and designer Julien MacDonald judged an assortment of collections ranging from sportswear to artistic interpretations and kooky takes on conventional classics. The music varied as much as the collections, varying from relaxing reggae to hardcore hip-hop.
Speaking of the show Gok Wan said: “GFW is one of the most important dates in the global fashion calendar. Not only does it promote emerging talent, but it also acts as a source of inspiration for current leading fashion designers.” MacDonald also echoed Wan commenting that these fresh-faced designers will be the next Alexander McQueen.
Ella Nisbitt, Nottingham Trent University
Graduate Fashion Week is the epicenter of new talent, which could explain why both Boohoo and River Island were recruiting at the event. With over 1,000 graduate designers all in one place they certainly had the cream of the crop, and there are sure to be some fantastic careers launched. The 24th edition of GFW saw contributions from 40 UK universities and offered a chance for the public to involve themselves in the industry, with show tickets being available to purchase to 23 BA shows. The fun didn’t just stop at the shows though; industry professionals and models were on hand to offer engaging talks as well as live photoshoots. This also gave the chance for students to mingle and network to forge future relationships.
With over 30,000 visitors over the course of 4 days it’s clear to see that the future of fashion lies with the next generation of creative minds.
All images courtesy of Freud’s PR company