There’s no point in us enthusiastic bloggers giving lots of love to fashion graduates that we have picked up on Catwalking.Com and gone ‘Oooh ooh…. that’s pretty!’. Mainstream fashion press are slowly devoting more attention to fresh graduates. However the real platform of exposure that graduates really want (and need!) is a retail one, a place that will take the chance on the REALLY up and coming. Selfridges will be unveiling their 20 piece pop up shop in October that sells the best of what was seen at Graduate Fashion Week to the public with the full retail price going straight to the designer. A big retailer like Selfridges can certainly afford to do such ventures but what of the up and coming e-boutique?
I spoke of my love for Nina & Lola, or more specifically Lola (quite possibly the coolest mannequin stalking around London!) a while back. It seems Lola has been making her way around Graduate Fashion Week and has chosen to be seen in the works of a selection of 2007’s fashion grads. On a serious note, Nina May, the real brains behind Nina & Lola was very keen to get some graduates onto her site and hopefully in doing so, reduce the ‘fashion-clone count’ as she puts it. Of course graduates aren’t able to meet the demands with their solo pair of hands so every piece is made to order hence some of the sky-high prices but let’s just say if I had it… I know where I’d prefer my money to be going to if given the choice of a truly one-off outfit and a straight from the department store, much-publicised one.
So onto the class of 2007…
William Tempest graduated from LCF and has worked for Giles Deacon and you can see the ‘couture craftsmanship’ in his work. I love that miles of fabric were used to give a softer edge to black PVC and shocking hot pink.
From Ravensbourne, Elizabeth Gaffney presented her ‘Futurist Remnants’ collection that is all discis, sharp lines, metallic accents all combined in a balanced graphic composition. The monotone, pieced together quality of her collection is quite stunning.
Helen Louise Jones snakes and knitting with metal. So the John Cass School of Art grad has combined the two to make these pendants in 18ct gold or sterling silver, naming each necklace after a different snake.
The one designer of the bunch that I got to try on at the press day was Melania Defelice and probably the one I’m most intrigued by. From Central Lancashire, takes the literal slogal t-shirts ‘I am a Square’ and pairs them with origami folded skirts and jackets. I tried on the origami folded jacket and I loved the iridescent quality of the material highlighting the puffed out folds,
It hasn’t been easy though nailing down those flight grads what with one dropping out because he decided fashion wasn’t for him and one having visa troubles. I tried on these graduate pieces at the press day two which sadly didn’t make the final cut.
I now also know why the smart fash insiders get in on coat buying early. When they attend press days in June and get an eyeful of coats like this one I fell in love with from Spijkers en Spijkers (Lola is most definitely outshining me here…but she didn’t get drenched in the rain… some ppl just have it all…), it just can’t be helped when you declare that you want it NOW, despite it being mid-summer. I’m loving the palette that Spijkers have used in general – all aubergines and yellows and blacks…. vividness that isn’t in yer’ face.
Other early peeps at Nina & Lola’s AW07-8 offerings that have peaked my interest? Volker Lang bags. Sure everyone can see what I’m carrying but I’m not ashamed of my various gadgets, Cutie magazine and dirty make-up bag peeking through. Also, Olanic, who got me very excited in the early days of Style Bubble is also being stocked at Nina & Lola. Playful prings, ladylike blouses, knickerbockers and metallics? It is odd…but in a good way…