Fashion shows

Graduate Fashion Week 2016 is coming!

Graduate fashion week 2016

Graduate Fashion Week
serves as a very good bellwether of where fashion is at in any given year. I remember in the early years, the overriding influence was a Galliano-flavoured one (think deconstructed slip dresses and bias cutting), followed a few years later by McQueen-esque everything (bumster trousers and severely tailored blazers). This year, I predict it will be all very Vetements-meets-Hood-By-Air – that is, oversized puffa coats, deconstructed bombers and utility-luxe details.

What you get with GFW is a good balance of creative thinking and commercial nous. Now in its 26th year, it’s the go-to event for international brands sourcing fresh blood for their design and buying teams, and as such, there’s an effort to produce newness anchored in wearability. At Britain’s most famous design schools it’s clearly been drummed into students that designs absolutely have to sell.

From the selection of designers spotlighted by Graduate Fashion Week as stars of tomorrow, counter culture and youth culture references both retro and modern are omnipresent. From Edinburgh College of Art, Anna Madelena Currie’s collection is big on techy streetwear inspired by gang culture and historical Elizabethan dressing. Hence pieces like a tactile velvet puffa with voluminous sleeves and 3D graphic lettering that mixes casual comfort with a certain glamour (below).

Anna Madelena Currie graduate fashion week

From Manchester School of Art, Louis Trainor-Selwyn is championing the rock n roll dandy, having taken a trip to study the opulent interiors of Versailles. A stylist’s dream, his subsequent collection is colour-rich, textural, fun and energetic. And commercial to boot.

Louis Trainor-Selwyn menswear at gfw

Olivia Barclay from Nottingham Trent University is another breakthrough talent to look out for. Observing the importance of bedroom culture, her dreamy gauzy coats have ruching and utilitarian zips that take them straight onto the street. Looking at the styling on this one I’m seeing a Rihanna-shaped paparazzi opportunity waiting to happen…

Oliviia Barclay Nottingham Trent Yniversity

And as fashion itself has become fashionable, there’s been a growth in interest in all the ancillary fashion jobs out there. With the digital fashion revolution, it seems dozens of new job titles have emerged in fashion that didn’t exist ten years ago. I always enjoy checking out the emerging media talent at GFW and this year I’m getting to do that in an official capacity as a judge for the New Media Award.

Graduate Fashion Week is open to everyone from 5th-8th June, with shows every day, plus expert speakers in the Asos talk space. Check out the full schedule of shows and activities at and buy show tickets HERE.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
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THE DRG STYLE INDEX: Uniform Wares, Gucci, Rodin, Grace Coddington, Maison Michel, Faustine Steinmetz

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

Uniform Wares womens watches
Coming soon from Uniform Wares – women’s watches. I love the understated analogue style of Uniform Wares watches and the women’s line (available to pre-order now) retains the ‘masculine’ good looks of the originals. See more at and look out for them at Liberty, Selfridges and Avenue 32. (more…)

Petit Déjeuner – The Many Faces of Phyllis Wang

Part 2 of my DRG film strand, Petit Déjeuner takes us to the fashionable heart of Paris for coffee and comedy chat with my favourite raconteur…

Phyllis Wang
and I are balancing in heels on the back of her sofa, checking ourselves out in the mantelpiece mirror. We’ve just been trying on Céline shoes, talking about her comedy club, her love of Parisian life, her Asian mum and the joy of socks. She has downed her third coffee of the day. Although it’s afternoon, it’s technically breakfast time for this Taiwanese-American Parisienne, who works nights as a stand up comedienne, moonlighting as a fashion collaborator between shows. (more…)

Models remember 1990s Helmut Lang

1990s helmut lang
Not to get all ‘it was better in the old days’, but thank you Vogue Runway for these personal recollections of some of Helmut Lang’s best shows. Read what Jeny Howorth, Elfie Semotan (top left) and Stella Tennant said about modelling in those unforgettable 1990s shows here. (And enjoy the catwalk pics and soon-to-come videos here…)

Here’s Elfie Semotan…
“Helmut had special ties with a lot of the models and almost everyone who worked for him backstage. (more…)