News & Runway

The Future of British Fashion: Graduate Fashion Week 2012

The official Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) is taking place at Earls’ Court in London this week, and yesterday we were lucky enough to make it down to the event. Forty universities, mainly from the UK, but some from overseas such as Esmod Berlin, are participating and showcasing the very best of their newly graduated BA degree fashion students’ designs. It was exciting to think that we were perhaps mixing with the next Stella McCartney.

The participating universities ranged from the more prestigiously acknowledged fashion schools, such as De Montfort University, through to the perhaps less well known design locations like Liverpool John Moores University. For a full list of the fashion schools on display, check with GFW.

GFW Designer of the Year Award

It was Christopher Bailey who won the first ever GFW Designer of the Year Award, proving that this event really does predict and promote the future of British fashion. To mark the 20th anniversary of Bailey winning the award, he will present this year’s winner with their prize at the end of the week.

Some of our favourites

As we walked around the exhibition centre, many of the creations on display truly took our breath away. In particular, the most striking stands were by Bath Spa University and Nottingham Trent University, and the high quality of work was clear to see. One of our favourite designs, and therefore most memorable, came from the University of Wales Newport: a silk panelled dress with leather shrug and a plethora of necklaces, including a pair of golden goggles which somehow made the outfit feel a little Lady Gaga! Hats off to Amsterdam Fashion Institute’s exhibition (pictured) too, as its dark and almost space age display, complete with masked mannequins, certainly made the crowds stop and stare.

Good luck to all of the emerging designers displaying their work, we can’t wait to see who scoops up the top prize this year.