I’m back in Southampton, after a weekend of birthday and Eurovision festivities, and am excited to say that my first post as a 22 year old is this one! I was contacted the other week by the wonderful team at Task PR about attending a drinks reception for online platforms to get a sneak peek at what we can expect to see this season at Graduate Fashion Week. Incredibly flattered, I RSVP’d and then counted down the days (thank you to both teams once again)!
For those who are unfamiliar with GFW, please don’t worry. I have some background information on the event to catch you up. So like the fashion weeks that take place in New York, London, Milan and Paris, Graduate Fashion Week is filled with catwalk shows and presentations. However, much like the name suggests, GFW is a celebration and showcase of up and coming talent in the fashion industry. The event takes place in East London and this year marks its 27th year of running.
As mentioned, the event showcases the work of students graduating that year and being selected to share your work or even being nominated for an award is a massive compliment and achievement. Whilst there, you will also be able to go round and look at stalls of universities, which will house selected pieces of work by their students doing courses such as photography or styling for example. Another thing to note is that Graduate Fashion Week is actually a charity. Some of their Lifetime Patrons include Christopher Bailey MBE, Victoria Beckham OBE, Vivienne Westwood DBE RBI and Nick Knight OBE. Seeing as GFW has also gained so much momentum since its inception that there will be participation from international universities including Parsons in New York, Israel’s Shenkar and Italy’s Academia Costume & Moda, as well as new additions to the Lifetime Patrons: Diane von Furstenburg and Nadja Swarovski.
The event is an incredibly exciting time for fashion students as it provides us with the opportunity to have our work represent our universities, meet other students going out into industry and network with current members of the industry. For a lucky few, there will be the chance winning awards, being headhunted or receiving recognition for their collection/work. And judging from what I saw last Wednesday, I think lots of people are going to gain a large amount of press coverage or alternatively get recruited or commissioned. A few favourites of mine included a faux fur coat made by Rachel Bateman Stansfeld of Nottingham Trent University – modelled by yours truly, here – a matching biker jacket/trouser combo covered in ‘Fragile’ white and red tape.
I will be there representing my university and I hope to see you there! Graduate Fashion Week is the 3rd-6th June and tickets can be purchased here.
Photography by Jack Bradley