University of Central Lancashire: Shortlisted for the Fashion Photography award at Graduate Fashion Week 2014
When entering the building to meet a shortlisted Graduate Fashion Week student, I expected to be greeted by a stressed, shaking shell of a student. However, Emily Long was the image of calm, cool and collected – remarkable considering it is just two days to go until the opening day of the event at East London’s Truman Brewery. Bringing her portfolio we discussed her inspirations behind each piece and her aspirations once leaving University.
A strong believer in sustainable fashion and the fashion revolution, Emily name checks Vivienne Westwood and Professor Sandy Black as inspiration. Emily’s passion for strong females and the empowerment that they portray therefore shines throughout her work. A stand out piece in her portfolio is a collection of images that takes ideas from the world of jousting. Originally brought up within a family of jousters, aspects of the medieval sport can be seen throughout, with the deep colours and styling of accessories screaming out. Although the images show inspiration, she likes to take her imagery one step further by adding context through history. Each shot is taken at the National Trust site, Rufford Old Hall, a site known to hold regular joust events giving the thought process that little bit of an extra push. Although the images portray the empowerment of females, it is only very subtle throughout, making sure that they do not push political messages.
With the use of both recycling and upcycling throughout her styling methods, Emily cites the environment as another important inspiration. Taking me through images that have incorporated her love for water sports and the outdoors, she believes it adds a sense of freedom to her work, especially with the unpredictable nature of film photography.
With a whole host of UCLan past winners pursuing promising careers in the fashion industry, the pressure is on for the 19 shortlisted nominees to live up to the previous success of the University. Emily believes that whether she wins the award or not, the nomination and attending the event alone brings great opportunity to her future career and an all in all astounding experience. However, having already been featured in Vogue Italia last year, I have high hopes for this young stylist and photographer.
Emily’s work plus a whole host of other Graduate pieces will be able available at Graduate Fashion Week 2014 from Saturday 31st May onward.