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.
“Eccentric songstress, Noosha Fox is my muse for this season” says Holly Fulton about her Spring/Summer collection 2014. And as the models walk down the catwalk to “Only You Can”, it is pretty obvious that she was successful in recreating the summer vibe from the 70s that she was looking for. If her show was to be described in a few words, it would probably be energy and fun, two words that also seem to match her personality. Her quick but smiling appearance at the end, in a gorgeous kimono dress, finally convinces – me, at least – that Holly Fulton has a bright fashion future ahead of her.
Born in Edinburgh, she studied at first at the Edinburgh College of Art before entering the Royal College of Art in London. Despite her young age, she is considered one of the most promising designers in Britain, and has already won the 2009 Swarovski Emerging Talent for Accessories, the Young Designer of the Year Award at the Scottish Fashion Awards and the Elle Style Award for new designer in 2010. Today, after creating six shows with the same enthusiasm, Fulton has successfully imposed her very unique style among the London fashion scene. Her incomparable designs have even led some to describe her as the “Scottish Roberto Cavalli”!
Watching her Spring/ Summer 2014 collection, you will be caught by reminiscing thoughts of 70s disco nights overloaded with color and dubious prints. But Fulton, unlike my twenty year-old Dad, avoids fashion faux-pas, and successfully combines the modernity and vibrancy of New York silhouettes with vintage styles. That choker necklace that our Mum hasn’t worn in public in thirty years? Looks great when stylized with great taste and a well cut bustier dress! She has managed to impose geometrical prints as her trademark and the tribal feel that she has given to her work for this season falls in with what she has done in the past. Her unusual use of accessories, from XXL jewellery to unexpected fan-bags, never fails to surprise and is certainly worth the look.