Who Said The Fashion World Begins And Ends In London?
The Debrief: Over the years I've realised how London-centric the fashion industry is. But as a proud Geordie I'm here to prove that there's just as much emerging fashion talent coming out of the North East..
I will forever be a proud Geordie, but I've spent a lot of time working in London, in and around the fashion industry. And it's started to dawn on me that no matter how much knowledge or experience I posess, I feel like I would be taken a lot more seriously if I had a different postcode - simply because people find it hard to believe there’s anything going on in the fashion industry outside of London.
So I'm here to call bullshit on the idea that the fashion industry (and the world) starts and ends in London. Newcastle (and the North East) boast an alumni that include Fashion photographer Luc Coiffait, Radio Queen Lauren Laverne, and Uber Cool Designer Helen Lawrence. Can I add Sting to this list?! I’m going to add Sting to this list.
Equally, there are North Easterners hanging out ALL OVER the fashion indsustry, from Chris Moore, the founder of Catwalking.com and ‘godfather’ of fashion runway photography to Frances Davison - Fashion Editor of So It Goes Magazine
As you can probably tell, I love any excuse to champion the talent the region has on offer, so I was excited to attend my first Northumbria University BA Fashion showcase. Northumbria has long had a strong rep for producing great design talent, who are now employed by brands including Lanvin, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, WGSN, Nike and L'Oreal.
I picked a great show to attend as my first, as Northumbria’s BA Fashion course was marking its sixtieth year. The swish BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art housed the event where 58 students showcased their work. Here's my pick of the best - all of whom prove that there's nothing unstylish about the North East.
Auste explained that her menswear collection began with a study of Japanese culture and dress. She looked at the kimono, Zen gardens and architecture of Japanese ‘folded houses.’ Explaining that she didn’t want the references to kimonos too be literal, ‘too easy’ she says. Instead it’s shown in a slight wrap of fabric, angled hemlines and tied belts. The 3D elements and raised quilting and pleating were perfectly executed. Auste’s impressive collection was not 100% set in season, a versatile collection of garments that could be mixed and matched, including knitted jumpers with shorts. Every look was made beautifully and wouldn’t look out of place on any international catwalk.
It didn’t surprise me that I found Annie McKie’s collection so impressive, I had an inkling it may be one of my favourites after hearing earlier on in the day that her wears had caught the attention of Vogue’s fashion writers. Her collection is made from reclaimed tents founded Ebay, Annie managed to make a simple but powerful collection that was fashion forward, durable, and in the best way, didn’t look like its former life was ever a tent!.
The electric purple, black yellow long line shirt gave a runway wow in Vera’s collection. With great use of print, we’re obsessed with the black lace trousers, and loved the suit styled with a hint of the corresponding print scarf peeking through. #Borrowfromtheboys? We think so.
She cleverly put one orange rough hemmed dress into her all black collection. Without, the looks may have been lost in a sea of darkness. The 4th look, a lace floral little black number was simply stunning. We were taken back to memories of Simone Rocha’s AW 15 collection, with the veiled black fabric added to the model’s attire. County Durham-based Victoria was inspired by contrasting themes of Catholicism and the Circus, as well as Italian film director Fellini’s baroque fantasy.
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