Monday, 16 May 2011

UCA Rochester Graduate Fashion Shows

This Wednesday saw Andrew and I make our way out of London, south into Kent. We were to go and watch the final degree shows of Fashion students at the University of the Creative Arts, who are based at the university's campus in Rochester. These shows are open to the public, but as Andrew has been teaching these students on and off for the last 3 years, we were incentivised to go. And it was a very good day!

The student's final collections, all of 6 pieces, were split into 3 shows. I'm afraid I don't have any photos of the first show, as our seats weren't great, but we had much more luck with the other two shows. There were garments I would wear myself, garments that will help me as design inspiration (really, the whole 3 shows were great inspiration), and the odd bit of knitwear used in some really interesting ways.

From the second show I liked this jersey dress by Lauren Christensen, inspired by Elizabeth the First's dual roles as powerful queen, and vulnerable woman. I wear a lot of jersey dresses, often because Andrew likes to make them for me, and always like a bit of asymmetry, so this is right up my street!

This collection by Letisha Gayle was great fun, inspired by the early sixties. This look doesn't actually use any braces on the trousers, the black stripes are a t-shirt detail, but it's certainly reminded me to hassle Andrew to make me some summer dungarees!

These two looks are from Egle Meciute's collection, inspired by several authors and ideas regarding "life existence questions". The top picture shows one of the mohair knit skirts used in the collection, and the lower one a really fun felt top, with 3D flowers attached. While the hat may not be terribly practical, it is very good fun!

The third show held some other treats as well!

 This collection by Chelsea Antwi, inspired by traditional religious artwork, was lovely. She used some realy cool shapes (love the jacket on the left here), and the colour was great.

One of the few collections to use true knitwear was this mens collection by Lauren Lynn. I love the big shoulders in the cardigan above, but I'm not completely convinced by the bobbles on the back.

One of the more modern looking collections came from Samantha Sutton, in a collection titled, "Electro Metropolis"

My favourite collection of the day came from Becky Whitbourn's exploration of the Sussex coast. I'd wear a lot of things from this collection, and, while I probably wouldn't wear a latex t-shirt, this garment (top photo, forgive the blurriness!) is fantastic. Using a knitted mesh under sand coloured latex this awesome texture is revealed. I love the sleeves on this too!

Last but not least, I couldn't resist putting in a picture of Jennifer Allen's collection, inspired by none other than Prince Harry! I particularly like the look on the far left of this picture.

All in all I got a lot of cool ideas over the day, and we had a great time chatting with the judges for Graduate Fashion Week. Congratulations to all of the UCA graduates, and good luck for the future!

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