UAB for Graduate Fashion Week 2015: A Love of Lace
Arts University Bournemouth fashion design graduates kicked off GFW for 2015. Womenswear dominated the show with a satisfying variety of textiles and textures. Lace, donated by Sophie Hallet, (one of the most important lace manufacturers today) was featured with two designers and treated in distinctive styles.
Olga Novikova presented couture style dresses reminiscent of the 1950’s ball gown. She used disjointed shapes with heavy bulking around the waist and Chantilly lace as a luxury; an extravagance in it’s own right. The layering of cordial lace and tulle certainly alluded further to the extravagance. Olga cited Christian Dior as her most significant inspiration, and it showed.
All Images by Alexandra Cryle
Louise Boland, on the other hand, confronted these traditional associations. Psychedelic rainbow prints rebelled against bright floral lace, a jumble of textures that said: “Hey! I do not conform to convention. I am my own”. Skirts layered over leggings, colour blocks, and shoulder fringes created a frenzy of colours and prints. Her major influences were the fusion of UK and Afro-Caribbean street culture from the 1960s onwards. In other words, miniskirts and lacing meets tie-die and fuchsia pink.
Anja Povey presented a very sentimental piece that relished in simplicity. Inspired by her grandmother’s presence on Broadway, she incorporated treble clefs all around the body of each item. Here, we saw a personal connection applied in a highly creative way. High waisted, wide legged trousers matched neat, three quarter length sleeves in muted blues in simple A-line symmetry.
The models, poised and posed, sashayed this sense of streamline, creating elegance in a way that was uncomplicated and not fussy. As a result, her work was outstanding – it just worked.
James Andrew presented the most androgynous collection referring the Russian Revolution. The models stormed the catwalk in corduroy flares and hessian oversized frills. The designer merged the majesty and poverty of the period by working with harsh, rough materials embossed with feminist gold sequins on the shoulders. The juxtaposition of rich with poor created an impressive rawness. Leather belts, fur, leather shoulders and opposing greens and reds showcased the nature of civil war.
If the AUB menswear wanted to particularly emphasise one thing in 2015, it was that accessories are now part of garments.
Lara Gunnarsdottir presents thick and oversized woollen jumpers under harnessed leather straps across the back. One material bolted down by another, it created the illusion of outdoor backpackers venturing down the catwalk, glowing in the sunlight. Are we wearing hoods? Are these combats or joggers? Are we summer or winter? Seasons seemed lost in translation here – and perhaps irrelevant – as heavy, bright anoraks and fair isle wool met with sandals. Perhaps none of this mattered. What we were to focus on here were the use interweaved accessories ranging from leather to wool.
Arts University Bournemouth’s creative director Anne Chasey calls the first year a “boot camp”. If students cannot pattern cut properly, they repeat a year of school. We don’t doubt this for a second. The work presented here was penetrating, nothing short of clean and professional. She is obviously very passionate about her students.