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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Graduate Fashion Week 2010: Bath Spa

Bath Spa explode onto the Graduate Fashion Week scene on Tuesday 8 June, with 1920s glitz, European nobilty AND lampshades on heads... AGAIN!

Written by Nina Joyce


Nicola Roberts, dosage illustrated by Jenny Robins

So it was time to wrap up what was a pretty crazy week in the form of the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show. After making arrangements for a ticket a while ago, viagra 60mg I was bemused to find that at the door there was no sign of said tickets.

Perhaps it had been taken by another contributor? Unlikely. ‘Are you sure you’re supposed to be at this (star-studded) show?’ ‘Yes’ I said, ‘that’s why I’m wearing a bow tie’.

After a few quick radio calls, I was allowed in. Into Earl’s Court, that is – not into the champagne drinks reception. ‘Sponsors only’ was the reply when I asked if I could have a quick drinkie. ‘Sponsors only my eye’ I thought, as I recognised half the people in the fashionably-roped off bar area.

So I waited patiently at the entrance to the theatre. And waited.

And waited.

‘We’ll get you in,’ I was told. ‘Before it actually starts?’ I thought to myself.

As I waited I was entertained by a lovely student called April who could see my blood boiling – stood a little distance away to avoid the steam coming out of my ears. ‘After all I’ve bloody done this week,’ I thought to myself, and then said aloud to April, who quickly excused herself.

Finally I was allowed inside and ushered into a press seat, and, true to form at these events, there were three seats either side of me that remained empty. ‘Typical!’ I thought to myself, and then thought I really should stop thinking to myself so much.

With a few whoops and a whizz, the Gala Show kicked off in fabulous fashion, with Britain’s Got Talent champions Diversity. Fun. Next, Caryn Franklin, resplendent as ever, arrived on stage. It was a whistle-stop tour through the non-catwalk-based awards, including those for fashion marketing and promotion. I was pleased to see Northumbria added a few more to their metaphorical mantelpiece.

A host of celebs had turned up, and from my seat I could spot front-row regular Erin O’Connor (who later presented an award), Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame (who has quickly swapped pop for paps, Fashion Week regular that she is). I even brushed past her on my way to the loo, and she is genuinely gorgeous in real life.


Another Nicola Roberts, illustrated by Antonia Parker

It’s always great to see the wonderful Hilary Alexander (who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at the Northumbria Show) who presented mature student Ellen Devall with the ‘First Word’ Journalism Award, because it left her ‘wanting to know more.’

Another of my favourite spots was Barbara Hulanicki, who was here to present the Textile Award to Natalie Murray from Northumbria University. She’s utterly bonkers but gosh what a woman.


Barbara Hulanicki, illustrated by Abi Daker

Onto the main event – the Gala Show(case). I was thrilled to see many of the graduates we’d already talked about on the website appearing in this Best of the Best-style show, including Naomi New from Northumbria (one of my personal favourites from GFW as a whole) and Northbrook’s Rhea Fields.

The staging for this was incredible, and justified the ghaslty white sheet that hung in the background for the first part of the show. It burst down to reveal a scaffolding set, where models pouted, lights flashed, and the music roared.

So, the winners then. With the inclusion of the International Show this year, it was great to see them honoured with an award, which must have been a great end to a fantastic week for International Students. The winner, Roya Hesam from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute won over the judges with her minimalist collection.

Pretty soon afterwards, out popped everybody’s favourite glamorous granny, Zandra Rhodes, to present her Textiles Award.

The competition was fierce here – all were fantastic – but it was Anna Lee’s literally fierce collection of big cat prints that triumphed.

Dylan Jones, editor of GQ Magazine, presented Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne with the marvellous Menswear prize, owing to his sleek, sophisticated tailoring.


Dylan Jones, illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

Rhea Fields (yay!) from Northbrook college won the womenswear award for her covetable collection and unique use of materials, presented by Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto.


Mark Eley, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

So, the moment we’d all waited for (and in my case queued, sweated and been reduced to tears for) was the River Island Gold Award. God knows how the likes of River Island design director Naomi Dominique, Lorraine Candy of Elle and Kim Jones chose the winner, but it was down to fellow judge Alberta Ferretti to present the award.


Alberta Ferretti, illustrated by Paolo Caravello

And the winner was…

…Rebecca Thompson from Manchester Met! Thoroughly deserved for her inspirational collection. Alberta Ferretti proclaimed that Rebecca had triumphed because of her ‘unusual and interesting combination of fabrics and for the contemporary feeling of her collection’.

As the ticker tape covered Rebecca and her models, I thought to myself,’What a freakin’ fabulous week.’


Nicola Roberts, viagra approved illustrated by Jenny Robins

So it was time to wrap up what was a pretty crazy week in the form of the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show. After making arrangements for a ticket a while ago, medical I was bemused to find that at the door there was no sign of said tickets.

Perhaps it had been taken by another contributor? Unlikely. ‘Are you sure you’re supposed to be at this (star-studded) show?’ ‘Yes’ I said, ‘that’s why I’m wearing a bow tie’.

After a few quick radio calls, I was allowed in. Into Earl’s Court, that is – not into the champagne drinks reception. ‘Sponsors only’ was the reply when I asked if I could have a quick drinkie. ‘Sponsors only my eye’ I thought, as I recognised half the people in the fashionably-roped off bar area.

So I waited patiently at the entrance to the theatre. And waited.

And waited.

‘We’ll get you in,’ I was told. ‘Before it actually starts?’ I thought to myself.

As I waited I was entertained by a lovely student called April who could see my blood boiling – stood a little distance away to avoid the steam coming out of my ears. ‘After all I’ve bloody done this week,’ I thought to myself, and then said aloud to April, who quickly excused herself.

Finally I was allowed inside and ushered into a press seat, and, true to form at these events, there were three seats either side of me that remained empty. ‘Typical!’ I thought to myself, and then thought I really should stop thinking to myself so much.

With a few whoops and a whizz, the Gala Show kicked off in fabulous fashion, with Britain’s Got Talent champions Diversity. Fun. Next, Caryn Franklin, resplendent as ever, arrived on stage. It was a whistle-stop tour through the non-catwalk-based awards, including those for fashion marketing and promotion. I was pleased to see Northumbria added a few more to their metaphorical mantelpiece.

A host of celebs had turned up, and from my seat I could spot front-row regular Erin O’Connor (who later presented an award), Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud fame (who has quickly swapped pop for paps, Fashion Week regular that she is). I even brushed past her on my way to the loo, and she is genuinely gorgeous in real life.


Another Nicola Roberts, illustrated by Antonia Parker

It’s always great to see the wonderful Hilary Alexander (who I had the pleasure of sitting next to at the Northumbria Show) who presented mature student Ellen Devall with the ‘First Word’ Journalism Award, because it left her ‘wanting to know more.’

Another of my favourite spots was Barbara Hulanicki, who was here to present the Textile Award to Natalie Murray from Northumbria University. She’s utterly bonkers but gosh what a woman.


Barbara Hulanicki, illustrated by Abi Daker

Onto the main event – the Gala Show(case). I was thrilled to see many of the graduates we’d already talked about on the website appearing in this Best of the Best-style show, including Naomi New from Northumbria (one of my personal favourites from GFW as a whole) and Northbrook’s Rhea Fields.

The staging for this was incredible, and justified the ghaslty white sheet that hung in the background for the first part of the show. It burst down to reveal a scaffolding set, where models pouted, lights flashed, and the music roared.

So, the winners then. With the inclusion of the International Show this year, it was great to see them honoured with an award, which must have been a great end to a fantastic week for International Students. The winner, Roya Hesam from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute won over the judges with her minimalist collection.

Pretty soon afterwards, out popped everybody’s favourite glamorous granny, Zandra Rhodes, to present her Textiles Award.

The competition was fierce here – all were fantastic – but it was Anna Lee’s literally fierce collection of big cat prints that triumphed.

Dylan Jones, editor of GQ Magazine, presented Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne with the marvellous Menswear prize, owing to his sleek, sophisticated tailoring.


Dylan Jones, illustrated by June Chanpoomidole

Rhea Fields (yay!) from Northbrook college won the womenswear award for her covetable collection and unique use of materials, presented by Mark Eley of Eley Kishimoto.


Mark Eley, illustrated by Lisa Billvik

So, the moment we’d all waited for (and in my case queued, sweated and been reduced to tears for) was the River Island Gold Award. God knows how the likes of River Island design director Naomi Dominique, Lorraine Candy of Elle and Kim Jones chose the winner, but it was down to fellow judge Alberta Ferretti to present the award.


Alberta Ferretti, illustrated by Paolo Caravello

And the winner was…

…Rebecca Thompson from Manchester Met! Thoroughly deserved for her inspirational collection. Alberta Ferretti proclaimed that Rebecca had triumphed because of her ‘unusual and interesting combination of fabrics and for the contemporary feeling of her collection’.

As the ticker tape covered Rebecca and her models, I thought to myself,’What a freakin’ fabulous week.’


Ruth Strugnell

Bath Spa’s electric and original collections show they’re not afraid to mix things up at Graduate Fashion Week. 

Bath Spa began with all guns blazing for their boutique show with Bournemouth, this web setting the scene with a soundtrack of haunting thunder and lightning. As suspense grew, page a model stepped into the spot light…with a lampshade on her head. As more models filtered onto the catwalk, Ruth Strugnell’s quirky eccentricity became clearer in garments that made the most of mismatching, from multicoloured socks to panels composed of various prints and wools. Despite looking like they might’ve had a tussle in a dressing up box, the models’ nipped in waists and cute, soft take on the harem pants added a sense of maturity and direction to the pieces.  

Jack Duffy mixed things up again with clashing prints and a melding of culture; oversize jackets suggested elements of Eastern tradition, whilst large, ornate collars mould themselves round the body into demi-hoods more befitting of European nobility. 

Thierry Davies’s hypnotic monochrome prints bend the mind but when paired with a neat, boxy jacket a line of harmony seems to be drawn amongst the chaos. Another perennial favourite of this year appears again – the jump-suit, this time spruced up with a dramatic contrast between blue and white sections. 

Jodie Clay’s garments varied from the loose, long hem of her black jacket to the glitz of a bespoke neckpiece and sheer blouse. The wardrobe of the 1920s women was re-examined in the modern context and energised with splashes of murky blues, but held an element of reticent class.

Natalie Ellis’s use of vintage fur coats and gloves reminded us of the staple role they played in the wardrobes of women gone by, but cropped double colour trousers were a reminder of Ellis’s unfailing dedication to modernity. Interesting shapes appeared on the body as high waisted trousers split cream khaki and black across the body, complimented by ethereal, floating blouses and fur barrel bags. 
*Here at Amelia’s Magazine we don’t advocate any wearing of fur at all, so we hope this is fake, otherwise, DON’T WEAR IT!*

Outi Silvola deconstructed apparel in the most immediate sense, repositioning collars, shoulders and buttons to give a mixed up feel that wouldn’t look out-of-place in Dover Street Market. A fully made collar placed forward on the body was a walking work of art. A shirt is at once open at yet concealing the figure, showing a careful appreciation of the simple practise of putting clothes on the human body. 

Photographs by Sally Mumby Croft

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