Graduate fashion week in London boasts of being the world’s leading event for fashion graduates. It is a great opportunity for graduates to showcase their work in an environment that celebrates their accomplishments and creates exposure for their work in industry. I knew the opportunity to attend would create inspiration not only from the garments but through the portfolios as well. When I stepped off the coach to start walking down to the venue I could see massive signs showing the graduate fashion week posters, there was a lot of media exposure from the photographers and so many people attending the event. It was evident early on that graduate fashion week is a well-known event, it successfully and effortlessly draws attention to itself and thus allows fashion lovers and the ordinary public to appreciate fashion from the best graduates around Britain.
Upon entering the venue I was greeted with different universities displaying their best student’s portfolio work that showcased collections ranging from couture to sportswear.it gave me the opportunity to assess how other students displayed their work in a portfolio and what the industry standard is. From these observations I felt inspired in the way I would want to display my own CAD skills, illustration skills and design skills for my graduate portfolio. I felt so overwhelmed with all the work because it made me realise two things the first being that there is so much competition in this industry and you have to display your best at all times the second being that networking it essential in building relationships which is why I made sure to collect as many business card as I could. I made sure to take time to really appreciate the portfolios and garments on display after all this is what I had paid for and I took pictures of work that appealed to me, that I knew I could draw inspiration from.
I then had the chance to watch the best of graduate week fashion show, this is something I hadn’t anticipated on doing so I was so excited for the experience to see a professional fashion show, which just happened to be held in one of the fashion capitals of the world, that being London. There was a long white T shaped runway, with bright lights that worked in sync to only come on when the models came out to model the designer’s pieces. The back drop was also white and it displayed that the fashion show was sponsored by George; every time a new collection came on the designers name and their university was also displayed. All the designers had different pieces of music for their models to walk to; it looked like they had chosen the music carefully because it fit with the overall theme of the designs. I also observed how the majority of female models were white with low ponytails, a red lip and a strong brow and all the male models were redheads. I liked how the models all looked alike with a simple look because attention wasn’t being drawn on them but rather on the garments they had on. The model rotation was effortless, I noticed there were some models that were used more than once and they continued to maintain that professionalism backstage as well as on the runway. The collections that caught my attention were the works of Rebecca Rimmer and Lauren Lake; their designs expressed the brilliance that is British fashion.
However for our fashion show we didn’t have some of the luxuries that were present at the graduate fashion show, we had to make do with what we had to work with. This began with the recruitment of models; we couldn’t afford to have professional models but we managed to recruit people who had that ‘model’ look with height and features. As they weren’t skilled models we had to work with them to teach them the choreography to ensure the fashion show looked professional. We also managed to fit in a full day of dress fittings, this allowed us to create a database of what models would be assigned to what garments, which meant we could put garments on the rails in order of the list they would come out on the runway. On the day of the fashion show models had hair and make-up done, though the models had one make up look, their hair was all different and they didn’t all have that one look like the models did in the graduate show with the low ponytail. The backdrop with the rest of the set was made up of boxes and the runway was made up of wooden boards, as for the lights they were all different colours but the music stayed the same throughout all the collections. There was some disorganisation backstage because an intermission was called when it wasn’t scheduled to happen. This did allow the dressers and models enough time to get ready to next upcoming collections that would go down the runway. The models themselves remembered the choreography well; they were able to maintain their professionalism from the beginning ‘til the end of the show. At the end designers were even given the chance to walk out onto the runway and be appalled by the audience.
From this fashion show I learnt how difficult it is to recruit models and organise a fashion show, because there are so many tasks that need to be done in order to create an effortless free flowing fashion event. It illustrated to me how important it is to make sure that everyone in the team is doing their job otherwise things fall apart and the stress and disorganisation ends up being reflected in the show. I am grateful though that I was trusted with so much responsibility because it reassures me that I have a trustworthy character and that I have good problem solving skills as we did encounter a few issues leading up to the fashion show. I have never had to deal with a fashion show of this magnitude before so I believe it gave me an opportunity to have a feel for what it may be like in industry. I think as a team we also did well in being able to recruit models of differently ethnicities unlike in the graduate show were they only had white models which further reflects how racist the industry can be at times. On the other hand the graduate show models were more professional than the ones we had for our show, the graduate models had one universal look and I think that’s something we could have improved on and we can work on improving for next time. Both events had good and bad qualities but I learnt overall was that fashion shows are in evitable if you want a career in fashion, they are a must, and therefore skills are best gained through a hands on experience.