It’s always challenging when I attend a graduation catwalk show, as on one hand you are faced with very excited young designers who have toiled for three years and have been chosen to showcase their collection to the world. They want to take that opportunity to dazzle with their creative brilliance and rightly so. On the other hand, knowing as I do how tough the fashion industry is, there is always a cold commercial question hanging over the designs presented on the catwalk: “would this collection sell if it was hanging on a rail in a retail store?”
One has to suspend belief in part, so as not to rain all over the parade of the young hopefuls, but also just to enjoy ‘creativity’ in fashion for its own sake. I am pleased to say that The University of Westminster BA(Hons) Fashion Design graduate show did not disappoint.
Here are my “Top Talent” picks from the graduating class of 2016 BA (Hons) Fashion. Goioiza Ferreras Gandiaga, Jack Byrne, Philip Luu, Annie Malcolm, Lydia Smith, Yasmin Cakli, Pip Paz Howlett and Christopher Pak.
Of the 16 designers presenting I selected these eight as ones who in my view excelled in one way or another, and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a very “truthful” when I critique collections, so a 50% approval rating from yours truly is quite something. And furthermore, five of the eight designers I selected were “menswear” collections (completely unintentional) but which once again cements the strength of menswear at Westminster. With the new two-year MA degree in Menswear coming on stream and headed up by academic stalwart Ike Rust, it will be very exciting to see how menswear is elevated in the future.
BA Fashion Design degree Course Director Andrew Groves is a tour de force, think formidable with a liberal dash of fabulous, and runs a very tight ship at Westminster, and it shows! These young designers are hopefully the future of fashion and that future is looking bright.