My, how time flies. The year since graduating has flown by at rocket speed and I find myself watching the current crop of fresh talent, whilst my room has barely recovered from the influx of yarn and extra furniture I brought back with me. Watching the Nottingham Trent show at Graduate Fashion Week brought back a few choice memories of the eventful final year, so it was nice to go into a show without having witnessed all of the drama behind the scenes (but also strange as I could remember the feeling of anticipation before seeing my show last year). I spent most of the hour filled with the amazement that I get when I see a jumper with an interesting detail or a dress made up of intricate stitches, trying to work out how it might be done in my head before giving up entirely.
Hover over the photos to see the names of the students
There was an almost equal mix of Fashion and Knitwear students, the latter being what I automatically focused on with my trusty Canon, though you might notice a few woven collections have slipped through. I did cheat somewhat by seeing a hint of the collections on a friend's Facebook page prior to the show, but the experience of being two rows away and having the extra styling touches made me appreciate the work more than through a computer screen. I normally filter out menswear, yet somehow couldn't help loving the poppy brights and contemporary styling of Lucy McLoughlin's collection, which wouldn't seem out of place on the catwalks at the recent menswear shows. My photos of Tamsin Lakhani's collection didn't capture her sophisticated patterns as I would have liked, but luckily the images of her controlled stitches and colours are etched into my mind. See more photos (from the front) here (plus Ashanti's amazing shots) and admire for yourselves.
I didn't quite realise how many awards there were when I sat down to watch the Gala Show, but reassured, GFW has every discipline within fashion covered. My seat wasn't ideal for catwalk photography (turns out that Row F is the back row) so I made the most of not blocking anyone's view by grabbing these pics standing up. Luckily the designs still had impact from afar, with the surreal nature of James Walker's accessory inspired collection and serene cloak-like dresses by double-winner Chloe Jones becoming firm favourites.
Have you been following any of the graduate shows this year? I'm overwhelmed by some of the ideas out there and maybe it's inspired me somewhat to create something else. Hopefully the next year won't go too quickly and I'll have a more suitable lens for next time.
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