Rochester Front

UCA Rochester: Atelier at it’s very best at Graduate Fashion Week 2015

University for the Creative Arts at Rochester’s graduates presented a well assembled ensemble for GFW 2015. Interestingly, UCA Rochester offers three eclectic fashion courses: fashion design, fashion textiles and fashion atelier, all of which were showcased here.

Atelier student, Daisy Flanagan, presented particularly innovative designs meant to “demonstrate the mind’s ability to reject truth and reason” and what this said about humanity – she explained. A deeply philosophical concept, she carried through by juxtaposing textiles together. Taking contemporary cut outs and intertwining them within layers she allowed bold colours to emerge, creating visually stunning distortions. Daisy used folds in her stitching to create subtle trailing strips for her silhouettes, often layered on top of one another. The results were clean and beautiful.

All Images by Debbie Martin



Rosheen Comerford Brunt’s sports-inspired collection demonstrated the range of her atelier skills. She added accessories to her garments that were made from with unusual materials. Each outfit was clearly meant to evoke a sport, and the collection could proudly stand in the window of Bottega Veneta’s who turned the weaving of ribbon into a brand identity. The gold ribbon extended to recreate body parts referring to our anatomy as the source of all our movement. Her colours were simple and classic, yet seductive and enticing. The adding of weaved ribbon made it even more so.

Jihae An, on the other hand, focused on merging traditional folk culture with the modern city woman. She concentrated on techniques within tailoring to produce clean, beautiful and flowing shapes. Appropriately, her title was “In Conjunction”, and referred to her personal experience of existing in between two cultures.


Rebecca Kellet’s design work was gripping. A focus on the contrast of nature and the metropolis, she varied her technique using intricate prints on some pieces and using plastic as the main material on others.

The graphics alluded to watercolour paintings: bright, fluid and printed on plain white creating stark contrasts. The plastic pieces – huge and round – were abrasive and shocking, producing tall, high-collared silhouettes. The result was an emphasis of the size of her shapes.

In Lauren Ward’s presentation, we saw a strong reference to Momento Mori. Models were dressed in a gothic and corpse-like way accessorized with sequins, sashaying towards a spiritual séance. Bold sentences such as “I hate you” were printed in glitter and fused onto softer, silk materials.


The juxtaposition of these two ideas clashed perfectly, giving us the mismatch she intended. Her work was kitsch: bright yet gothic, fun yet sombre, a mix of emotions not usually experienced together. It was unusual and exciting.

Overall, the work of the atelier students seemed to have taken centre place at the UCA Rochester GFW 2015 show, taking away the misconception that fashion is about just creating pretty things.

Although Daisy and Rosheen’s pieces were particularly beautiful, it was a result of careful and very professional take on traditional techniques acquired from a unique course that proved this range of work to be consistently high in quality.




Written by Emily Lyhne-Gold

Emily Lyhne-Gold

Emily is a fashion and beauty journalist who graduated from Oxford Brookes Unviersity in 2014, studying English. Always knowing she wanted to be a writer, she aspires to work for high-end fashion magazines and can be found blogging at