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Graduate Fashion Week 2010: UCLAN Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) served up a treat on Sunday 6 June at Graduate Fashion Week, with a roaring tribute to beautiful Blighty, complete with union jacks to wave…

Written by Lauren Smith

Danielle Reed, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

The Central Lancashire show was an upbeat, patriotic affair. Models strutted down the catwalk to a stonking soundtrack provided by students from the performing arts department, and we waved collections along with the cute Union Jack flags left on each seat.  

The clothes were a lot of fun too – with the standout students playing around with conventional British icons – from Beefeaters and Big Ben to British school uniforms.  

Kirsty Stringfellow created interesting textures with her whimsical collection of knitted designs. Column dresses in thick, appliquéd floral cream ruched across the models’ chests like a curtain, and were adorned with sparkly crochet, printed lace and gold netting. Whilst some of the curtain-esque dresses seemed a little heavy, Stringfellow is clearly gifted at manipulating different textures – the fine-knit cream designs with intricate layers of ruffles were sheer romance.  

Kirsty Stringfellow, illustrated by Zarina Liew

On the other end of the scale, Danielle Reed and Rachel Wolstenhome both had fun with a tough, urban take on sportswear. Reed paired white bobby socks with black Dr. Martens, black grommet-laced waistcoats with slouchy joggers and manipulated aertex fabric into loose jumpsuits. The effect was a strong collection of grunge-inspired sportswear, with PVC fabrics and a monochrome palette adding a gothic edge.  

Danielle Reed, illustrated by Gabriel Ayala

Wolstenhome created the sole male collection on show, and her futuristic sportswear borrowed shapes and fabrics from a manner of sportswear, a mash up of scuba-esque one-pieces, foam hoods, and deconstructed jersey sweat pants, with cut-out holes and harem-style drapes and folds.  

Rachel Wolstenholme, illustrated by Aniela Murphy

A special mention should also go to Sunny Kular for her attempt to spice up school uniforms with Indian elements. We loved seeing that boring grey fabric we remember from our school days twisted into sari shapes, ties and blazers in Ikat prints and jackets emblazoned with a ‘Ganesh’ school badge.  

Sunny Kalar, illustrated by Donna McKenzie

But UCLAN’s strongest suits are clearly printed textiles, forming the basis of two of the most eye-catching collections.  

Jessica Thompson’s surreal collection of printed designs was full of quirky, cartoonish imagery, manipulated onto a spectrum of designs, from fitted shift dresses to sporty anoraks. Everything demanded attention, from the Beefeater printed slip that made the model into a marching drummer, to the dreamy shifts emblazoned with chimps and birds.

Some images were distorted into unrecognisable shapes and quirky patterns, forcing a closer look.  The final piece was a red, floor length printed mac, that looked like it was printed with moon craters – the coolest cover up for a rainy day.  

Jessica Thompson, illustrated by Gemma Milly

Saving the best till last – Sara Wadsworth’s amazing printed collection chimed with the patriotic mood. The whole collection was crafted in chiffon, printed with British icons – the Union Jack, Big Ben the London Eye and what looked like parts of Trafalgar Square, all blown up, re-sized, and patterned across wisps of fabric.

Sara Wadsworth, illustrated by Abi Daker

Wadsworth let the prints do the talking, choosing almost sheer chiffon in muted shades of grey, white and occasional splashes of olives and teal. Bright yellow bras peeked out from beneath the designs, ranging from floor length kaftans to a Vivienne Westwood-esque draped dress, and a sweet smock top and short combo. Who would have thought our most touristy landmarks could be re-imagined into such wearable designs?

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