Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Fashion Talent T'Up North

Graduate Fashion Week may seem a mere memory now but I’m still dreaming about the view from the front-row. Whilst others are cooing over colour at Jonathan Saunders (admittedly so am I) and False Start’s prints at the London Collections: Mens, the standard of design at the Manchester School of Art show has left me with a ceaseless good vibe.

Jousianne Propp opened the event with a knitwear collection that was futuristic, contemporarily wearable and set the bar for her peers. Already the winner of the £2000 Mulberry Design Competition, the designer was later to find out she had won both the Karen Millen Portfolio Award and the Stuart Peters Visionary Knitwear Award for her efforts.

The collection was a vision to behold; both technically skilled and intellectual in its concept. Propp’s pieces explored the ‘friction between science, technology and religion’ and we were left wide-eyed at 3D prints in luminous colour and her silhouettes of the future (bring on the mother ship!) Abstract shapes taken from digital body dissections were stylised to produce statement-making, voluminous jackets so delicate in their detail yet forming an armoured effect of which the Terminator would have been proud. 

The play of science and art as a vision of the body is reconstructed into a masterpiece.

Competently avoiding an overly sci-fi style, the designer broke up her collection with sheer maxis and relaxed, bodycon knitwear.

Despite already being a multi-award winning designer, Propp was humble in her achievements, reportedly stating, “I really wasn’t expecting to win either of the awards and definitely not both of them

The bar was certainly high but Manchester's students have a lot to say for themselves. Roz Lamkin, finalist for the Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award, presented a print-based range celebrating the graphic qualities of classical architecture across "wardrobe essentials and statement pieces". 

Linear details (check out the heels too) follow the sharp contours of the buildings used for inspiration.

The new smasual; designs suggest the soft lines of this skirt were influenced by the curvatures in domed rooves.
Francesca Quinn gave us a wholly different style of digital print with popping colours and graffiti patterns in sleek, feminine shapes. 

It's a midi skirt-practically acceptable as work wear!

It was fantastic to see the kaleidoscopic tropical prints so in style at the moment in more subdued colours. Emily Craven's designs were some of the more wearable pieces; jewelled tones worked perfectly with the elegance of the collection. It's no wonder the graduate has already been snapped up by Abercrombie and Fitch!

Yes to socks and sandals!

Just as good from the back!

Balance between a refined, girly collar and sneaky peek of skin.

The show closed on a high with the avant-garde and experimental designs of Rebecca Scarlet Stant. Inspired by "ridiculous Victorian inventions" , half the models did look like they were carrying seaside fairground rides but you could see the historical elements in cute petticoat trims and pantihose-like pedal pushers too (yes, you heard correctly, pedal pushers have been resurrected).

Elegant lace details saves the look from resembling a Butlins redcoat. 

Stant enjoys communicating fashion "as a spectacle".
Now, as fantabulous as these pieces are, did you spot the star in the background? (I realise I'm name dropping here but might as well make the most of it before the next drought of fame) When I wasn't aahing over prints and knits, I was checking Colin McDowell's reaction to the shows as he sat opposite-a mere catwalk separating us. 

Unfortunately, there wasn't such a barrier protecting Hilary Alexander from my potato sack of a handbag. The writer had to step right over it and passed me in a flash before I even had time to trip her up and get her autograph!

Ok, pretentious rant over...almost. In the third and final part of my GFW review, I finally get my face and name in Vogue. Regrettably, I look like a tramp and the name is spelt wrong. 



  1. Some amazing pieces here! So impressive! x

  2. I know, there was so much creativity!

  3. Wow, that is one fashion show I'd love to attend! Everything was gorgeous, and I loved the play on architecture and fashion! Thank you so much for that wonderful comment, best comment i've received so far! New fan chica!

  4. No problem love, it was well-deserved :) x

  5. Wow I can actually see how they were inspired by science, some of the designs remind me of fluorescence probes used in DNA testing(I'm a biology dork). Also, Thanks so much for your kind words ! you hit the nail on the head, I was trying to channel Audrey and I'm glad someone noticed ! I'm following you back with pleasure and definitely looking forward to your posts :)

    Masala Diary