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.