Amelia's Magazine | Graduate Fashion Week Extra: Royal College of Art MA 2010

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Graduate Fashion Week Extra: Royal College of Art MA 2010

It's been so hard to decide... But here is Amelia's Magazine review of the RCA's talented class of 2010. With illustrations by Lesley Barnes, Katey Harvey, Gemma Milly, Marnie Hollande, Naomi Law and Joseph Keirs

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft


Illustration by Gemma Milly of Zara Gorman’s Millinery.

Over the last few years the RCA’s MA Fashion course has quietly been producing a series of extremely talented designers; from those reinventing menswear: James Long and Katie Eary to the individual take on womenswear by Michael van der Ham, hospital Erdem and Holly Fulton (whose influence could already be seen on the Bournemouth catwalk). All of whom (except perhaps, stomach Erdem) subsequently – pretty much straight away- showed at London Fashion Week via Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East.

Zara Gorman’s graduated from the Milinery MA (a class of one) with her exquisitely shaped hats constructed from a combination of leather, pilule wood and plastic.

Illustration by Katey Harvey

Astrid Andersen plays with fashion’s ability to celebrate and pastiche it’s own brand at the same time on the same item (think LV’s monogrammed bags or Moschino Jeans). Her menswear re-constructed the base elements of sportswear – the hoody, the sweatpants through incredibly luxurious materials (sadly this show was sponsored by Kopenhagen Fur – this is not a luxury material!). This was sportswear for the nouveau riche and a celebration of trashy aesthetics so loved by Eddie of Ab Fab

The less media friendly elements of sportswear were visited on the RCA catwalk this year, Courtney McWilliams’s take on casual wear focused on the harder youth. Who displayed across t-shirts and jackets what in recent years has come to represent a particular type of English youth: the Pit Bull. The word ‘Chav’ being the inspiration for a couple of the 2010 MA graduates, this collection was a literal inspiration of a term created in the media. Both designers exaggerated how an idea of masculine dominance and power can be created through dress and aesthetic choice, playing with the viewers ability to associate certain items of dress with particular ideas surrounding masculinity.

Illustration by Joseph Keirs

In contrast to Andersen and McWilliams, Trine Jensen provided a jovial take on menswear through his breathtaking sweaters covered with charms (as in bracelet) to hoops. A nod to the collector within us all.

Victoria Stone’s cut up chiffon shirts in conjunction with her oversized suits presented a masculine take on womenswear, a look for those inspired by Woody Allen’s Annie Hall Illustration By Marnie Hollande

Sam McCoach’s tubular tightly woven knitwear sashed down the catwalk. The ankle grazing dresses set off by the muted colour block graphic coats, complete with exaggerated rounded shoulders. A nod perhaps to Louise Goldin experimental knitwear.

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Poppy Cartwright’s white collection was skin tight and slightly trashy through the use of high shine trousers. The collection celebrated femininity and the female form through the cut of the dress falling tight across the body. The body emphasised through the sections cut out and the white on white embroidery.

All illustrations by Naomi Law

Frances Convey’s colour and shapes were a moment of joy, the designer’s soft fabrics accentuating hips and shoulders.

Illustration by Katie Harvey

The monochrome creped collection by Cecile Bahnsen came complete with 1990′s inspired sportswear jackets. Elements of grunge reappeared through the designers choice of length – often the dresses hang tightly around the ankle. Flashes of Amber from clueless appear with the presentation of the Fez hat. It’s that time already. The revival of the 1990′s.

Illustration by Marnie Hollande

Bahnsen’s graphic monochrome was interspersed with pastel pink dresses constructed through negative spacing.

Yuri Yufere dramatic feminine shapes were hardened by the narrow metal poles woven into the garments, creating a visible extension of the body. Pushing the material into that grey area of personal space which surrounds us all. This year’s 2010 graduates presented an incredible exhibition of the craft, research and invention currently occurring within the RCA’s Fashion Department. Amelia’s Magazine waits eagerly to see where they go next.

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

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