Craft and technology combine in Royal College of Art fashion graduates show.
Designs by Morten Underbjerg Olesen, Nabil El-Nayal and Frances Conteh at the Royal College of Art fashion show
Colour, embellishment, craftsmanship and a high-tech approach to fabric manipulation characterised the Royal College of Art's MA graduate collections shown in London today (June 10). Thirty-three students from the RCA’s prestigious School of Fashion - the world’s only wholly postgraduate fashion department - presented their collections to press and industry heads; ten students from menswear, and eighteen from womenswear.
The menswear collections took inspiration from J.G.Ballard’s novel, ‘Crash’, chavs, Spanish matadors fused with hip-hop culture, soldiers and skinheads. Designs included copper and silver metal yarn woven into tailored suits, smocking techniques to creative unusual shapes and volume, and a bling-bling hybrid of Pop-Art and bubblegum colours, fur and golden embroidery.
The womenswear collections included tunics and robes embellished with thousands of porcupine quills, hand-crocheted dresses with pom-pom hems, silken gowns decorated with handmade silk roses, and mini-dresses made from bands of fabric joined by metal rods. Zara Gorman’s hats made a dramatic accessory statement, being fashioned from leather, wood and plastic, cut in the manner of windshields, Venetian blinds and shells.
Other accessory designs were featured in the RCA’s static display, including footwear made with Perspex, PVC, latex, silicone and digitally-printed satin; together with artisan-influenced bags employing techniques such as basketry, and weaving and knotting, using bamboo and leather.
The RCA’s Fashion department was founded in 1948, by the former Vogue editor, Madge Garland. Among its most famous graduates are Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, Philip Treacy, Antony Price, Julien Macdonald, Christopher Bailey and Erdem. More recent graduates who are creating a buzz are Holly Fulton, Heikki Salonen, David Longshaw, Rachael Barrett, the shoe designer Camilla Skovgaard, and the milliner, Jusatin Smith. The head of the School of Fashion is Professor Wendy Dagworthy.