A skilful clan at UCLan pulls out all the stops
The University of Central Lancashire presented for GFW 2015 an exciting group of graduates, with a mixed bag of techniques, materials and silhouettes. Whether this was bold splashes of colour or fine tailored garments inspired by Asian and African cultures, the skill set on show was as wide as it was refined. This year Central Lancashire students followed suit the success of GFW14‘s graduates in their use of prints and the inspirations stretching across continents, cultures and eras.
Sportswear was a popular theme at GFW 2015, with a number of collections featuring neoprene, sheer mesh and geometric details. The exaggerated toggles and thick rope that pulled together Megan Kimmance’s neon and navy outfits were a memorable detail that took sports luxe to a new costume-y level. Vivid prints were paired with heavier charcoal, navy and steel grey or crisp whites to balance each outfit.
All Images by Anna Wytrazek
Michael Egerton’s collection ‘Youth in Revolt’ embodied what the Central Lancashire graduates excelled in. Bright fuchsia pom-poms adorned a print-heavy collection, with half-jackets and sliced white shirts layered sparingly over each other. These were beautiful and dynamic outfits – but maybe not the most wearable.
The aptly titled ‘Arctic Passenger’ collection from Sarah Louise Stephenson was aesthetically beautiful and certainly one of the most curious collections on display. Was it a swimwear collection? Or were the plunging bathers merely a base for the well-crafted outerwear, including oversize knitwear and fur hoods? In contrast, the shimmer of viscose silver dresses and trousers provided a lightness that the fur and wool based outfits needed.
UCLan’s eastern design focus led students to source their inspiration from Japan, as seen with Lisa Esme Price’s ‘Beautiful Samurai’ collection. Traditionally tailored garments were brought to life with geometric embellishments and oversized silver accessories. This classic Japanese structure provided a strong base while layered strips of material in a myriad of blues created movement and flow as the models walked.
Jessica Violet Challis brought a unique cultural emphasis to the catwalk with tribal African accessories, including candy-striped staffs. Their distinct rigidity stood out in contrast to the drapery of Jessica’s trousers, jumpsuits and a billowing pistachio coloured jacket, Their detailed stitching was so fine that you’d miss it if you blinked.
Jessica Leigh-Wall provided a fun highlight to the show with her 50s inspired collection that exuded as much sass as it did humour. With kitsch gingham frills and oversized pop art inspired pockets, the girls slinked down the runway in a flurry of silky pastels and bright fluffy hot-pinks.
One to watch, Daniel Chu closed the proceedings with a regal evening wear collection, complete with hand made sequins and wiry perspex headwear. Folded and pinned, the deconstructed pieces were as successful as the clusters of glassy sequins in demonstrating his high level of technical ability and attention.
Central Lancashire University students showed a high level of skills through the intricacy of their work. Embroidery, printing and sequined embellishments could be seen in almost every collection, each unique and vibrant. With the glare of runway lights slightly blinding the audience to the finer details of the collections, these may have been better seen examined up close and personal.