UCA Rochester- Graduate Fashion Week

University for the Creative Arts Rochester exhibited their fashion students work on the same night as their sister campus, UCA Epsom, this week. The show featured collections from graduating fashion design, fashion atelier, and fashion textiles students.

In the past years, graduating students from UCA Rochester have gone on to attain positions with prestigious international brands such as Marc Jacobs, Celine, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, and Burberry – to name a few. The graduating class of twenty-sixteen appeared to be following in those successful footsteps as they unveiled their graduate collections on the catwalk at The Old Truman Brewery this week.

Undoubtedly, Rachel Brown’s menswear collection was one of the best I’d seen at London Graduate Fashion Week. The use of white-on-white gave the designs a clean, crisp, and minimal aesthetic, while the varied use of fabrics and textures differentiated each garment from one another. The essence that Rachel endeavoured to achieve in her collection was the “suffocating vacuum of technology, the demanding emptiness of Modernity, and the ignorant compliance towards the domestication of a civilisation.”

A one-of-a-kind collection by Ami Gallagher had the audience transfixed during the show. Gallagher’s collection was inspired by the clothes and belongings of her one-year-old son: “abstract representations of his toys have been created through the use of sensory stimulative fabrics, which were then merged with blown up versions of key pieces from his wardrobe.” The collection was vibrant and bursting with a variety of textures, prints, and shapes. The influences that inspired the collection are certainly evident in each design.

A fascinating narrative lies beneath the collection created by Charlotte Norton. Each look is based on a different owl, and the concept is about “imagining that underneath the feathers they are actually mechanical functioning creatures with amazing abilities.” The collection consists of an earthy-toned colour palette, with the exception of one electric blue design. A look that stood out for me was the mink coloured silk two-piece, accessorised with an oyster silk scarf tied tightly around the neck. The two-piece is oversized which allows it to hang heavily on the body, giving it a look of luxury, and emphasising “the strong presence that an owl would have.”

The collection that was last to walk down the catwalk on the Monday of London Graduate Fashion Week was by Billie Jacobina who wowed the audience with her original one-off designs. In order to create a collection that was a fusion between sea life and Moroccan pattern, Billie utilised many different materials and techniques, such as foils, screen printing, printing onto sequins, and dying her own faux fur. Billie revealed that she wanted to “create a personal interpretation of futuristic, revolutionised characters to create each look.”

The fashion team at Jungle magazine wishes to congratulate the graduating class of UCA Rochester twenty-sixteen, and we wish you all the very best for the future!

Words by Kristie Smith

Photography by Justyna Radon