Young Designers Turn Heads At Westminster Graduate Fashion Show
Is there anything better than graduate catwalks? When everyone talks about new and emerging design talent this is the group of people they are talking up. It’s no great surprise that graduate fashion shows draw such attention when you think that both Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane were essentially fast-forwarded through the ranks to fashion stardom by the strength of their graduate collections alone.
This year’s Westminster graduate fashion show kicked off with work from Hannah Duckworth whose Jil Sander-inspired jackets (all exaggerated volume and proportion) and dresses with pops of colour and pink candy, bright orange and emerald green panels provided a great opener. Her super tall conical hats were probably just for the catwalk but fun just the same.
Meera Sharma’s work included dominatrix-like superheroes in ruffled taffeta and plastic, which were contrasted by the pure white opulence of Catherine Bell.
Poppy Totman also ventured in white with highlights of light mint with sophisticated mullet coats, with sheer patterned panels. Ashley Williams, meanwhile, will be the designer everyone is talking about as she attracted Alice Dellal and Pixie Geldof to model her collection, but I genuinely believe they were not the best looks.
I actually preferred the red, black and white pencil skirt combinations she created and the cropped black top layered over a white shirt - the clever touch being that the black top actually looked like a tote bag cut open from the bottom with the handle still attached, as if you loved your bag so much you wanted to wear it.
Lucy Upsher’s collection was stunning, somehow her mix of bungee cord and graphic print resembled a Narnia-like character the twisted headpieces and chiffon layered over fur skirts. They were simply amazing.
Elsewhere, Annie Phillips provided an injection of colour as she was not afraid to marry all the acid colours into one outfit. Imagine if Anna Piaggi, Zhandra Rhodes, Vivienne Westwood, and Betty Jackson were part of one crew - this would be their wardrobe, and we would all want to be them.
The menswear was very strong but my favourite was by Aiden Weaver and not because of the gorgeous male models, but really because it was something I could see men appreciating – fur-lined hoods, cool gradient raincoats which married sportswear and fashion seamlessly.
Industry eyes were all on the running order of the 2012 of Westminster and the line-up did not disappoint, and set the bar high bar for the rest of the graduate catwalk season.
All images: Ashanti Jason