UCA Epsom – Graduate Fashion Week

The trendy boutique-filled streets of Shoreditch were heaving with fashion enthusiasts and industry professionals this week as London Graduate Fashion Week, the world’s biggest student fashion event, took over East London. The Old Truman Brewery near Brick Lane, which is in its third year of hosting London Graduate Fashion Week, is a ten-acre blank space that has been converted from the vacant and derelict buildings of the old brewery.

The venue was absolutely everything that you would expect: there was a constant humming of excitement throughout the space, and eager guests were trying to squeeze past each other in the crowded walkways. The catwalk entrance was constantly alive with energy as VIP’s stood at the front of the queue waiting anxiously for their much anticipated entrance to the show.

Upon entering the catwalk space, I took great delight in sitting at my reserved front row seat for the UCA Epsom show.

Matthew Stock was the first designer on the catwalk to catch my eye. The distinct womenswear collection by Matthew Stock is heavily influenced by the historical Victorian period of the eighteen hundreds. Matthew’s use of unconventional fabrics and a strictly refined colour palette is what makes his collection really stand out. The use of tulle and the monochromatic black and white palette forms the basis of his androgynous collection.

Stephanie Greenwood is undoubtedly one to watch. Her graduate womenswear collection oozes femininity through its soft colour palette and fine feminine tailored detail. The colour-blocking focused collection features double collars, cropped tailored jackets, pleated high-waisted trousers and chic neck-ties. Accessorised with colour appropriate hosiery and endearing ribbon laces on brogue-like shoes, this collection is stunning.

In my opinion, Ellie-Grace Frost stole the show: the intricate embellishment and attention to fine detail in her collection is outstanding. Each look from Frost’s collection demonstrates the microscopic textures of the wings of a butterfly through the use of lace and latex fabrics, combined with iridescent sequins and encrusted beads. Even the staple piece from the collection, the denim jacket, comprises of real latex-dipped butterflies.

An exceedingly feminine collection by Kayleigh Lawrence certainly acquired a reaction from the audience. Revealing, skin-tight, and see-through fabrics imitate intimate lingerie that accentuate the female body, while metallic fabrics that drape loosely over the body resemble a Grecian look.

The finale of the UCA Epsom show saw Chloe Le Brett’s collection walk down the catwalk. Le Brett focused on the traditional dress of a nun, but interpreted it in a way that was individual to her aesthetic as a designer. Le Brett explored the veils that are typically worn by a nun, but developed the idea by creating eccentric, oversized, and intrusive headpieces to compliment her minimal black garments. The revealing element to the garments within the collection contrast to the typical dress of a nun, but are complimented by the unique nun-inspired headpieces.

The collections shown at London Graduate Fashion Week by UCA Epsom Fashion Design students were exceptional. We would like to congratulate all of the fashion students graduating from UCA Epsom this year, and we wish you all the very best for the future!

Photographer: Andrew Gough

Words by: Kristie Smith