Internationa Front

On the last day of GFW 2015 design students from all corners of the globe descended on the Truman Brewery for the International Catwalk competition, a highly anticipated show. Anyone looking to see collections that directly reflected the cultures from each of the 16 countries – including Russia, India, Australia and Italy – would have been disappointed. Instead, with the proliferation of the internet allowing access to information, designers didn’t look to one place for their inspiration; they found it everywhere. At GFW 2014, graduates showing for the International Catwalk had a couture focus; GFW 2015 saw a shift to industrial, deconstructed and rougher looking collections.

Giovanna Flores, a fashion graduate from the Pratt Institute in New York opened the show, presenting patchwork in the form of reconstructed womenswear, roughly sewn together with the ghost of the original garments present throughout. A memorable denim boiler pulled together with several leather belts drove home the shabby-chic collection from Flores.

All Images by Mary Moir
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A ‘Lolita’ inspired menswear collection from Nicolas Garcia followed. Blurring the lines between men’s and womenswear, the Academia di Costume e Moda student’s aim was to create a genderless men’s outwear collection of cute pastels, marshmallowy neoprene and cosy wool. Later in the year, the collection will be shown again in Berlin on female models. Garcia’s summery colours and oversized ice-cream motifs clashed with the wintery garments, subverting traditional seasonal palettes with great results.

Ekaterina Vasilieva of B&D Moscow displayed her strengths in tailoring with her subtle owl themed collection. Whether it be her prints or the fine line of feathers between the seams of one evening dress, Vasilieva’s designs were conceptual without being overtly so. The sleek evening wear was well crafted, sophisticated yet uncomplicated.

Jayathilake of Sri Lanka’s AOD brought an intriguing collection to London. Jackets, mid length skirts and trousers made of layers in dark greens, navy and black evoked a severe, military vibe. Jayathilake’s use of delicate, sheer materials that worked against the toughness of the colours to soften the garments was interesting, adding femininity to the womenswear collection.

Vito Michele Nitti of IED in Milan chose to work with textures in this menswear collection. Velvet, fur and shaggy material were mismatched in a way that could have been 70s inspired. Shorts and trousers of various lengths, haphazardly cuffed at the shin or knee, or scraping the ground in a relaxed fashion were effective. Effeminate blouses featured under the heavy coats and blazers brought breeziness to the collection.

With their monochromatic evening wear Moteskolen, Esmod Oslo, brought Scandinavian cool to GFW 2015. Designers Carl-Frederick Knudson and Christopher Stangeby balanced the tough, restrictive leather buckles and harnesses that were used throughout with white fluffs of tulle and conservative hemlines. An interesting print with cursive text scrawled across black material was a clever way of adapting black and white in a dynamic way.


 

Binus Northumbria brought a new kind of Mod to the runway with Avridya Kemala’s collection. Houndstooth and Comme de Garcon-esque prints were constructed into edgy ready to wear bomber jackets, shirt dresses and simple black trousers with huge sections cut out. The two toned pleats and uneven hem of a kilt featured may very well hit the high street in a couple of seasons- if the boys are brave enough, that is.

FIT Milan’s Buranee Soh’s collection of classic silhouettes had definite commercial appeal. Well cut, simple cream culottes and skirts were paired with the futuristic curves and a print that flowed elegantly; their lines were drawn with fluidity across the garments. An unusual holographic plastic panelling covered huge sections of the tops, changing colours as the girls moved.

Paulo Jair Ruiz Munoz’ menswear was super clean. And so it should have been, with care instructions blown up to extreme proportions as a print, literally turning the little tag’s role inside out. The Lisa Mode Paris student demonstrated tailoring with a twist as a few shirts were held together by half-blazers clipped with straps like a brace. Shirts reached tunic length, curving to contrast the straight, sensible lines of the coats and jackets they were layered under.

Universidad Centro Mexico’s offering was banana yellow and rendered speechless with equally vivid straps over the models faces. With only one colour to work with, Bibiana P. Colmenares attention was on the subtle details. Zipped trousers featured cheeky slits that cut horizontally so that stationary, they were barely visible. It was only as the model walked that they became apparent. Each jacket or top was either made to look as if it were being worn inside out, backwards or upside down. That, or there was a mix up in the chaos backstage. Either way, they were a slightly awkward but interesting clash with the sensible trousers.

With an earth toned collection, Maria Alejandra Parra from Colegiatura Colombiana displayed incredible skill in macramé. Loose, silky palazzo trousers and draped tops were bohemian and complimented the complexity of the macramé perfectly.


 

Garments woven with metallic beading that sounded fantastic as they shimmied along the catwalk made a beige looking collection unique and exciting.

Fedri, a graduate of NAFA in Singapore showed a street wear collection with interesting details up close. Soft grey, pink and oxblood pieces were subtly punctured and embroidered. This was another collection with commercial potential and a unique edge that sets it apart from less intricate sportswear.

A couture collection that celebrated India’s expertise in embroidering and beading represented FAD International Academy, the youngest school to participate in GFW15.

Sanket Bhansali’s collection did not lack technical ability. Bhansali was inspired by nature- the movement and ever changing colours of water, the red and browns of the desert, and the unknown mystery that the earth still holds. Tops capped in intricate embellishments and floor length sheer skirts fluttered at the knee or the shin made for stunning evening wear; A simple concept and beautiful execution triumphed.

Hailing from Melbourne, RMIT’s Yori Atira took advantage of the Australian school’s forward thinking approach to fashion. Translucent silicon was cut into fluid pieces and formed a base for grey, silver, black and mustard yellow constructions to wrap around half the model. Not even pretending to be a collection with commercial potential, Atira’s sculptural forms were unique and artistic.

Following in the success of 2014’s Shan-Liao Huang who won the International Catwalk Award, Shih Chien University’s Chou-Yun Ting menswear was beautiful, if not a little hard to understand. Apron-like covers over each garments created an interesting layering effect with different prints and shapes working together like puzzle pieces.

Modeconnect always looks forward to the Graduate Fashion Week International Catwalk Competition. The GFW 2015 edition left us satiated adding one more reason to look forward to it again in 2016.

 

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Written by Megan Doyle

Megan Doyle

Meg Doyle is a fashion journalist from Perth, Australia. Currently finishing her degree in Journalism and Internet Communication at Curtin University, she also writes the blog Darling, We’re the Young Ones. Meg currently writes for publications across Australia and loves discussing the in’s and out’s of the fashion industry, a world that is complex and fascinating to her.

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