Hi! My name is Alix; I am a 14 year old GCSE student at the Lycée Français (the French school) in London. I am interested in pursuing fashion studies when I finish school. As I am in Year 10 here in London, I had to do a week of work experience as part of my coursework. ModeConnect offered me the fantastic opportunity to attend London Graduate Fashion Week (LGFW or GFW) as an undercover reporter. I have experienced this unique event over three days and will report now what I saw and learned.
LGFW is an annual event, taking place at Earl’s Court, London. It gives the best graduate students from all over the UK the chance to show off their work. For fashion design students it usually is the six outfits which form their ‘degree collection’. I was surprised however to find out that there was a lot more to fashion education than purely fashion design; there was also students in fashion communication, management, marketing and journalism.
This year at GFW there were 39 schools and 1,200 graduates present. The huge crowd (20,000 people overall) invaded the stands that were perfectly laid out into a massive grid. The stands were designed with care, each in a different style. Bath’s stand for example was quite simple; mannequins were set out, filling up the whole stand and dressed up with Bath’s students’ best pieces, in coordinated colours black or red. In a completely different style, Istituto Marangoni’s stand was elegant; it was separated into two parts: a projection room where they were showing films about the school and its students; and the other half offered static presentations.
There were many conferences. I attended that of WGSN. WGSN is a leading fashion trend forecaster: it helps big companies understand how tastes evolve and know what will sell best in the future. To be honest I had no idea that such companies existed. The power point presentation was very business-like, it was both visual but also the person presenting used rather elaborate terms to describe the ideas, feelings and emotions that fashion could rely upon in the future. I realised then that fashion is a lot more complicated than what I had experienced so far.
For me the main events, the most exciting ones, were the catwalk shows. Students had clearly invited their friends and families to attend and support them. I did not expect to see so many members of the press and recruiters from famous companies with reserved seats for labels such as Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. The fact that all these important people were there, made me feel like I was in the movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. I was very lucky to be sitting in the front row with the press. During the show, I could sense the excitement of the crowd and the nervousness of the students.
On my first day, Monday, I went to see three shows: De Montfort University, Arts University College Bournemouth & Northbrook College Sussex (showing together)and Nottingham Trent University School of Art & Design. I really liked the Nottingham show: each collection shown was very different in style. The students presented unique designs each expressing their individual creativity. De Montfort was quite strong, the students used very unusual materials such as plastic and worked with bright colours. There were men and women of all ages modelling the garments; the Bournemouth show even included a collection for children.
This was my first day. I went back home thrilled but exhausted. See you tomorrow.