First up is Aiden Weaver's fantastic menswear collection, which mixed great sportswear influences with some lesser-used references from outdoor activities such as rock climbing with the use of harnesses and rope as accessories, drawstrings on jackets and ties for hold-alls. Fabrics were high-tech and given an interesting twist by using ombre dip-dye techniques and mixing sheer and shiny fabrics created nice contrasts. The white, black and yellow colour palette used throughout created a cohesive collection, and looked great on the all-black roster of male models.
Annie Phillips' show was definitely the most flamboyant and memorable of all the graduates and her design aesthetic is crystal clear after viewing her collection. The show opened with a rather fabulous elderly lady working it down the runway, donning a crystal ball gown and fur boa, which definitely caught everyone's attention. Brightly coloured vintage-inspired silk gowns,mohair jumpers and Persian cat prints provided an impressive and accomplished collection with a very definite voice.
Another memorable collection came from Ashley Williams, who called on friends Pixie Geldof and Alice Delal to walk in his designs. The collection toyed with print as well as silhouette, and dresses were oversized and boxy, or sucked in at the waist, both equally as sexy. The printed blouse and loose-fitting trouser combo was a personal favourite...mechanic chic at it's best.
The temperature was dialled down a few notches with Catherine Bell's collection, which channeled Narnia's Snow Queen with sheer silver and white silks and fur shawls. Outerwear here was impressively well constructed, and the addition of black trainers gave the collection a modern twist.
Prairie chic was on the agenda for Daphne Stylianou, with pinnafore dresses, tweeds and checks creating an American mid-West vibe, complete with Amish headgear. Sheer embroidered lace layered over shift dresses or tweed skirts created interesting silhouettes and this Prairie-girl trend will be a big one this Autumn / Winter. Trust.
In my opinion, the collection from Lucy Upsher was one of the most professional out of the bunch, and you could be forgiven for forgetting this is the work of a graduate and not a seasoned designer. Vivid prints and sculptured clothing and accessories provided a touch of couture whilst also making the collection cohesive and relevant. The artistic woven elements that made up harnesses, buckle detailing and even underskirting were impressive and original, elevating Upsher's work from her peers'.
Finally, Meera Sharma pulled out an all-black collection that was very London, with leather, pvc and nylon a-plenty. While the whole look was very intense, some of the pieces could be versatile and wearable and there is always room for furistic dominatrix dressing in our fair city.
Image Source: WESTMINSTER FASHION.