Creative Focus Week

This week the University of Central Lancashire opens its doors to the public for its Creative Focus Week from the 16th to the 21st June. A week long degree show exhibition of all its creative final year students individual work with courses stretching across a broad spectrum of subjects from Architecture, Media, Design, Fine art, Performance and fashion across the universities Preston campus.

The week features sculpture, design, paintings, sound instillations, animation, film and much more displayed in various studios located in the Hanover, Victoria and Harris buildings and the universities Media Factory. With the Hanover building also exhibiting work by the foundation year art and design students.

The week also features the Creative Focus Awards on Friday 13th June, with one student from each of the creative courses nominated and a student will be chosen from each area to receive the award. Friday the 20th of June will also see the catwalk exhibition of the UCLan Fashion Design students, many of which showcased their collections at this years Graduate Fashion week at London’s Truman Brewery.

The entire week long Creative Focus exhibition (10am-6pm )  is completely free and guided tours are available for businesses, schools and colleges. Staff and students can also be found throughout each building ready to discuss courses and individual work for any visitors wanting any more information. This highly anticipated event is a chance to see many important names of the creative future displaying their final major projects that their whole three academic years have been working up to.

Carla Lee Illustration

The word ‘illustration’ comes from the Latin word ‘illustra’tio, illustro’ meaning ‘enlighten’. True to its essence, Yorkshire-based Illustrator Carla Lee’s work is nothing short of enlightening.

Focusing on precise detail and intense observational skills, Carla shines a magnifying glass onto objects and animals and teases out intricacies so defined her images stray away from reality and approach the surreal.

Carla usually begins with the traditional Illustrator’s tools: sketchbook and pens. From here, her passionate imagination and desire to create are her ‘je ne sais quoi’, resulting in unique and striking images.

Carla is a self-confessed kitten lover, which is apparent in the feline, farmyard, feathered and four-legged motif that characterises her work (take a browse on her website). ‘The Fox and the Mask’ – a limited collection – brings out the wave-like tonality of her mammal’s fur, so detailed it could be a peacock’s tail. And it’s only too appropriate that Carla drew a collection of magical ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired illustrations in which animals and nature are recognisable, but somehow not quite right.

Talking stories, one of Carla’s proudest ventures was her first book for American company ‘New Adjustment Productions’ titled ‘Weevil & Nightshade’s Compendium of Farables and Tales’. This original piece treads somewhere between Aesop’s Fables and Grimm’s Fairytales. In seven tales written by Mark Roushe, the farables confront societal issues with a fantastical twist through characters Shannon Shee and her shadow Persephone, a living enslaved girl made out of chocolate. Carla’s poignant, imaginative and prickly style perfectly complements the lyrical yet dark tone of the farables, which interweave abstract and realistic themes with uncanny fluidity.

Check out Carla’s work on her website www.carlalee.co.uk and discover the wizadry for yourself.

Emma Robertson – GFW

With Graduate Fashion Week now over for another year it is now time for Gola to look at the enormously talented students behind the collections seen on the catwalk.

I spoke with Emma Robertson a final year Fashion Design student from the University of Central Lancashire who was one of the talented few to showcase her final collection at this years Graduate Fashion Week. Emma’s contemporary A/W 15 menswear collection put a new spin on track wear and made us re-think the PVC stripe. It focuses on the juxtaposition between the attitude of menswear style during the great depression of the 1920’s and the stereotypical look of the modern day jobseeker. Executed perfectly using a contrasting combination of performance fabrics, wool and nylon in a palette of dirty lilacs and soft powdery blues amongst much heavier navy and cream tones set against a crisp white.

What was the inspiration behind your collection?

The inspiration behind my collection came from a visit to the ‘This Way Out’ exhibition at the Camp and Furnace in Liverpool. While I was there I saw a Karl Lagerfeld quote on the wall, which read, “If you’re wearing track pants, you’ve given up“. I’d seen a lot of TV programs on ‘benefits Britain’ at the time and there was a lot of coverage in the media on how job seekers and those claiming benefits were being portrayed. I made the connection with the quote that I had seen and started to think about how people in different social and financial situations approach their own fashion style.

For example – people wearing track pants therefore must have given up and those in suits are the picture of wealth and high society. I wanted to look back in history to find a time that was suffering from the same social and financial difficulties that benefits Britain struggle with today, but where men had a different attitude to style regardless of their circumstances. I chose to research into the Great Depression on the 1920’s where men were searching for jobs wearing sandwich boards on the street but also wore their best suit underneath it.

How would you describe your collections look?

ER: My collection is a merge of 1920’s tailored silhouettes modernised by sportswear fabrics and fastenings and PVC tracksuit stripes.

You decide to use Gola Classics within your collection, why is that?

ER: The reason I chose Gola was because these are a classically British brand and shoe. It was important to me to use a trainer that fit well with my concept and so they had to be of British heritage.

How did it feel to be able to show your final collection on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week?

ER: To show at Graduate fashion week was an amazing experience and something we all as young designers aspire to. I feel that it’s a good platform to show your final collection as many people from industry attend graduate fashion week and it is also exciting to be able to showcase your work to your family and friends.

Emma’s collection was highly received at the Graduate Fashion Week showcase and she has now even been contacted by magazines, who have asked to shoot and write about her work. She also tells me that she has also received some exciting job interviews by some big industry names. With this hugely positive reaction to her final collection and Emma’s previous experience at big names such as Alexander McQueen, Savil Row’s English Cut and Sportswear International, it is clear to see that her name is well worth watching out for in the not so distant future and we wish her all the best.

Graduate Fashion collections

It is that time of year again, the weather is getting warmer (supposedly), nights are getting longer and Uni is finally finished for the summer.

Well except for those of us mad enough to study fashion, we have the last big event to go. Those of you in the loop will already know and for those who aren’t I am referring to Graduate Fashion Week.

Graduate fashion week is the culmination of the top fashion talent form all over the country. Each university putting forward their most promising students to exhibit and show. To give a representation of the best university has to offer prospective student. It also helps the students to make the next big steps into the fashion industry.

This year is no exception. With changes such as a change of venue this year is set to be one of the most exciting yet. Moving the location of Graduate Fashion week to The Truman Brewery, in the heart of east London has brought it bang up to date. East London is famously a hub of new talent and exciting business growth especially focused on the creative industries. It is a sponge waiting to soak up anything new and interesting, a great base for Graduate Fashion Week.

Before Graduate Fashion Week a lot of work goes on behind the scenes, visualizing and creating the collections that may be chosen to walk down the runway. I interviewed UCLAN fashion student Natalie Smith about her collection, inspiration and thoughts on this years graduate fashion week.

VP: What are your feelings towards Graduate Fashion Week?

NS: To be selected for Graduate Fashion Week is a great feeling. I hope showing my collection on the catwalk will open up exciting opportunities for my career, and as a student will help promote my name in the industry.

Natalie’s Collection is a menswear collection deeply rooted in tailoring with strong shapes and muted dull tones.
The beauty is in the detail, focus being paid to pockets and zips.

VP: What is the inspiration behind your collection?
NS: The inspiration for my collection is Brutalism. I looked at the structure and exposure of brutalism building in London, (Hayward Art Gallery & National Theatre) paying attention to how architects from the 1950’s and 1960’s used the inside functions as an outside feature. The buildings also helped to create my colour pallet as the grey tones were drawn out to develop an AW Collection.

The collection has three main focal points. A beautifully tailored grey two-piece suit. A crisp white shirt with a large black panel brazened across the front to make a bold statement. My personal favourite is the classic bomber jacket. This timeless classic has been given a modern twist by using fabric usually associated with suits to emphasize the smart casual feel of the collection.

VP: How were the concepts developed and who decided on them?
NS: My concept was developed through innovative moulage and creative pattern cutting. With help from my tutors we analyzed the shapes and construction lines and combined this with brutalism architecture.

When Viewing Natalie’s collection it is clear to see the strong influences that the Brutalism movement has made on her collection, from pallet through to construction and shape. Using the strong form Brutalism portrays while combining the concept of using inside function to create a pleasing outside aesthetic.

Aimee Green – GFW 2014

 

Amiee Green, 23, from Liverpool, is an upcoming fashion design student from the University of Central Lancashire debuting her collection ‘Dressing Down Dior’ at this years Graduate Fashion Week, held in its new location of East London’s Truman Brewery.

The collection was developed through experimentation with silhouettes and influences from fashion in history. Aimee’s inspiration was everyday casual street style mixed with design aesthetics from Dior’s signature look. The collection also features a strong colour palette and range of prints, all influenced by the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. Amiee is also using the Gola  Clasic’s, Women’s Spirit Jewel trainers to add the finishing touch to her look, with their classic sport shoe silhouette yet the added opulence of  small gems glittering with any movement.

With many previous students achieving promising careers in fashion after showcasing their collections at the event and the pressure to live up to UCLan’s huge success in 2012, with the fashion design students winning four awards and being shortlisted for seven, Aimee is feeling positive about the experience and feels it is a helpful steppingstone into the fashion industry.

Amiee’s collection ‘Dressed Down Dior’ was recently exhibited at Graduate Fashion Week.

Graduate Fashion Week 2014 – UCLan showcase

From blood bags to bike shorts the University of Central Lancashire’s catwalk show was a highlight of day one at Graduate Fashion Week 2014.

The show featured a huge wide of designs created by the hugely talented young students with stand out collections from Kimberly Blackburn featuring fierce fringing, large circular vinyl accessories, oversized necklines and sculpted fabrics caging the body as if it were armour, all perfectly executed in the darkest shade of black.

Chloe Siddall’s collection took the show in a much more sporty direction with a mix of bright neon hues of lime green and acidic yellow overhauling the garments clean monochrome shapes and stripes.  Bright red bumbags also made a bold statement over the clash of colours adding to the sporty feel alongside skin tight bicycle shorts and subtle statements carefully positioned on the garments. Plus large gold accessories from hoops to hefty chains adding a seriously cool street feel to the entire look.

However the collection that made the biggest impact of the evening was Hollie Robinson’s blood inspired collection receiving reactions ranging from amazement to a slight squirm from the more squeamish of the audience, although it was undoubtedly memorable . The catwalk saw garments made from malleable sheer frosted plastic decorated with giant blood trype labels attached, enormous hospital patient wristbands boldly draped around waistlines/ wrists, all contrasting with highly structured block colour shirts. Printed blood bags also adorned models necks and created an entire show stopping dress that had the crowd in awe. The colour palette was direct, featuring blood red (of course), frosted whites and just a hint of black adding to the collections very confident if yet a little controversial statement.

Many other fantastic collections could also been seen from such designers as Amiee Green, Natalie Smith, Kelly Welborn, Jayne Acton, Jenifer Echeverria, Lucie Bloomfield, Rachel Wlkden, Mary Nansove, Alice Houghton,  Emma Robertson, Troy Cooper and Stephanie Chesworth ,displaying the high standard of UCLan’s design students this year all styled by Sophie Benson.