The ever evolving fashion industry is extremely competitive, especially in the current economic climate. With already established Designer Houses opting for elaborate editorial campaigns to gain top advertorial position in the likes of Vogue, Elle and Harper and competing for the attention, and ultimately the money and custom of fashionista, the fleeting world of fashion is hard to break into as a design graduate. Vauxhall Fashion Scout is a great concept that helps new designers show their talent. However, each year Graduate Fashion Week showcases the best in recent design graduates from many of the most esteemed fashion and art schools across the UK. Graduate Fashion Week consists of several fashion shows - international and domestic - as well as stalls for each university with space for the recent graduates to present pieces from their graduate collections as well as their portfolios and sketchbooks to give guests the opportunity to understand the journey and hard work that design students embarked on to produce their collections. When I was in high school, as a textiles student, I was fortunate enough to attend a graduate fashion week and it really was inspiring.
Graduate Fashion Week, which this year was sponsored by George at Asda, is also a great place for design graduates to appeal to buyers and potential press representatives as among the student guests, industry experts also attend to scout the newest, most unique and innovative designers.
This year, although I didn't attend myself, I did keep an eye out for any up-and-coming designers that would catch my eye. Introducing Hannah Donkin - a fashion design graduate from Northumberland University. Her predominantly black collection stood out to me because of it's subtle sexiness resulting in mysterious drama. Her collection was shown at the Graduate Fashion Week awards, and although she did not win, her skill must be commended.
To me, the collection feels like it was inspired by middle eastern or arabic dress with the largely hidden or obscured face juxtaposed by exposed eyes. The lace and knitwear headpieces definitely added a sense of obscurity and mystery to the collection, enhanced by the sheer lace panelling. Hannah Donkin showcased her talent working with numerous materials including feathers, the aforementioned lace and knitwear and also leather, giving the all black collection depth and debuting all her skills.