Graduate fashion week kicked off on Sunday, now in its 18th year is the time when students from more than 50 universities across the UK meet for 23 shows. Quite disappointingly, I never made it the opening shows and it's heartbreaking that I may not be able to attend the highly anticipated gala tomorrow due to the tube strike currently underway. It's going to be an absolute nightmare trying to get into central London admist panicked commuters and bus replacement services!
Still, I've been getting my graduate fashion fix online. Key fashion editors have hand-picked the designers who've been grabbing the biggest attention at Sunday's show. Among the 15 collections that were showcased on the 7th of June, I have to agree with The Evening Standard's Karen Dacre when she selects Katie Huxley and Lucy Bryan as the two stand-out designers of the moment.
Both graduates from the University of East London (my old academic playground!) made a big impact with fancy flourishes of ruffles and pleats juxtaposed with strong shapes. It would seem Huxley's biggest influence for her collection was her fashion mentor Luella Bartley, who she interned with last year. The frills and sexy ruffles that were a firm fixture in her collection seemingly paid homage to Bartley's Summer collection.
However, it was Lucy Bryan's designs that dominated the catwalk. Her sculpted dresses and voluminous jackets stole the show. Two days later and Bryan's designs remain hot topic with much critical acclaim. With leather feathers and with futuristic shapes, she showcased some uber sharp tailoring and met the high standards of a more established designer, setting the bar pretty high for the remaining fashion grads.
Another graduate who critics believe has great promise is Lynsey Roberts, she made her mark with a delectable sports luxe collection. Serving up wet-look leggings and bell sleeved jackets, Roberts achieved a look that is both edgy and elegant.
All three are believed to be strong contenders for the series of awards scheduled tomorrow. Judged by British designers Giles Deacon and Matthew Williamson, the awards gala will reveal London's brightest emerging designers selected from the 50 universities participating.
Here is my pick of the catwalk crop from Sunday's opening show:
Images Credit: www.thisislondon.co.uk