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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Graduate Fashion Week: Gala Show and Awards

Earls Court 2, London , 11 June 2008

Written by Melinda Neunie

On Wednesday evening fellow art editor, Tanya, and myself journeyed down to Earls Court for THE fashion event of the month – the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Show and Awards. Now – being a somewhat high profile event, we were prepared to spot the occasional celebrity, what we were not expecting was the bizarre scene that we were greeted with on our immediate arrival. Huddled together in a group, Pixie Geldof, Agyness Deyn and Henry Holland stood ‘casually’ chatting outside the main doors – which just so happened to be conviently situated in full view of the paparazzis’ lens. While shimmying our way past this attention-seeking spectacle, all the while wondering why their conversation couldn’t possibly take place inside, we desperately hoped that this show would centre on graduate talent and not just end up being another who’s who celebrity parade.

Fortunately I can admit the show was brilliant. Sixteen graduates had their collections displayed in a flawless runway show which I’m sure was breathtaking for them to watch. The standard was impeccable from the designs down to the faultless music changes and lighting.

One of my top favourites was Nabil El Nayal from Manchester School of Art, who was also the winner of Best Womenswear on the night. His black and white collection was all about volume, layering and ruffles combined with light sheer chiffon, silk and cotton materials. Think big floating dresses worn by ancient Greek damsels in distress thrown in with a couple of sleek skin-tight bottoms, and you’ll get the gist of his clothing.

Sarah Kennedy from Northumbria University was another of my favs. Her catwalk show reminded me of a trendy modern day puppet show, complete with bright pink blush and bold accessories. The doll-like collection was crammed with childlike one-piece garments and baby doll dresses all covered in a Japanese style print.

The final designer who really wowed me was Craig Fellows from the University of Northampton with his classic Little Bo Peep inspired skirts and dresses.

All in all it was a good evening. I Particularly liked the mini hamburger hors d’oeuvre’s and the band’s radical frontman who slyly used this opportunity to lecture a room full of fashionistas on sustainable clothing.

Highlight of the night? – definitely seeing Gok Wan…I just love him!

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