I spent a couple of days judging the work of graduating fashion media students last week at the invitation of Professor Iain R Webb and Graduate Fashion Week.
I was completely blown away by the dedication and ideas of the students who had been forced to innovate in the face of the Covid crisis. With no access to on-site facilities, their supporting research to their Final Major Projects showed bedrooms fashioned as photo studios, and house share living rooms repurposed as magazine production hubs.
Whole projects derailed by the virus had to be completely rethought in time for the final deadline, showing admirable determination and resilience. It won’t be at all easy for these graduates to get jobs during the next few months, however I’m convinced the creativity, problem solving and strength of character they have shown should give them a head start in the turbulent world of fashion.
Here is the work of award nominee Fauve Wright from Northumbria University (above) on the cover of this week’s Guardian Weekend magazine. With no access to clothing samples, she improvised with that ultimate symbol of lockdown sustenance – a dress made of Domino’s take-out pizza boxes.
See all the nominees below for the GFW Fashion Publication Award and stay tuned for the announcement of the winner in July.
Beth Wilson, Northumbria University
Colleen Considine, University for the Creative Arts Epsom
Ella Kenneally, Manchester Metropolitan University
Emily Batters, Southampton Solent University
Fauve Wright, Northumbria University
Hannah Greenway, Birmingham City University
Jack Shanks, Heriot-Watt University
Jasmine Guioua, Arts University Bournemouth
Kit Bacon, University of the West of England
Maryam Ashfaq, Leeds Arts University
Shola Forbes, University of Leeds
Vimbai Mbanje, Birmingham City University
Post script: As a young student, I idolised the work of Iain R Webb in Blitz* magazine. A few years ago, he honoured me with this story about his post-student life, cavorting round the streets and clubs of early 80s London. Times were hard but imaginations ran high. Although none of us will be cavorting round nightclubs for some considerable time, I hope graduates take some comfort and inspiration from the creativity he expressed in his early years…
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Fabio De Paola, Guardian Weekend
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