A couple of weeks ago I was invited to Fashion Says Stitched, the fashion show and exhibition hosted by UWE’s graduating fashion students. The night, held at the stunning Trinity Centre, represented the culmination of three years of hard work for the students, whose disciplines include knitwear, styling, illustration and print. As an ex student myself, I’m familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that will have gone into creating each collection.
The ground floor of the building was dedicated to the fashion students who focused their final year studies on illustration, photography, styling, print and textiles. Sheets of chipboard displayed fabric samples, ink illustrations and photographs. Influences such as Martin Parr, Meadham Kirchhoff and Martin Margiela were clear, as were print in every form: digital, screen prints, geometric and tribal gave every corner of the exhibition a jolt of colour. I was particularly taken with the work of Karolina Stitilyte, who used a muted colour pallete and dolls made out of wooden pegs to create some beautiful prints and laser cut fabrics.
After grabbing a drink I headed upstairs to take a seat in the huge room housing the catwalk. The Trinity Centre was once a church, and its stunning arched windows and stained glass remain in tact, even though it’s now used for everything from plays and gigs to indoor picnics.
Over 40 students showed their collections and the catwalk, and the result was a diverse mix of prints, fabric manipulation, tailoring and colour palettes. Unfortunately my camera was playing up (yeah, yeah, a bad workman always blames her tools and all that) so I couldn’t capture the collections in all their glory, but the best shots of the bunch are below.
Standout collections for me included Niccole Thompson‘s mesnwear line featuring a deliciously autumnal palette and simple but excellently executed garments, Molly Petts‘ 50s-inspired silhouettes and candy colours. Sophie Borton used a mix of clashing 70s style prints, Stella McCartney-esque black sheer polka dot fabric and florals to create a modern, youthful collection (see more of her work here with fellow designer, Emma Fudge, photographed by Matthew Lord) and Alexia Longman used LED lights in her men’s monochrome jacket.
It was exciting to witness the future of British fashion and I was blown away by the finishing of the garments – almost all the collections were polished, with great attention to detail. I look forward to seeing where each designer, stylist, photographer and illustrator ends up working, and what they do next after graduation and GFW.