On Brick Lane, East London, on 30th May, AIU London held its annual Graduate Collections Show. The venue was an enormous industrial car park, which had been transformed into the perfect space for a catwalk show. The black carpet ran down the centre of the space surrounded by lights, and around the bar were hanging fluffy clouds containing lights. The atmosphere and visuals created by the AIU London student production team were both professional and modern.
This year, there were 15 final year students showing their collections. The show opener was Nazish Kalani (design pictured at right). She showed a monochrome collection, titled, ‘Elixir of Refinement’. It showed clothes that bore a resemblance to puritanical garments, the Amish, and had added embellishments of interesting textures such as home felting and intricate pleating.
The collections that followed showed a huge variety of styles. Students had chosen to create garments that were commercial in their appearance, alongside others that took the more avant-garde route. Mona Ali showed a blending of styles from Somalia and Scandinavia. Prints were self-designed and shapes were softly structured, making rounded silhouettes, the results were both wearable and fashion forward. These could be transported to a store and sold right away.
Lizzy Australis showed a womenswear collection that stemmed from wartime children’s clothes. Oversized garments in a grey-green moody colour palette created the impression of children that played in the city streets of old London.
The show ended with Johnny Wang’s collection for an imaginary science-fiction expedition to the Arctic in the year 3286. Plastic tubing had been put to creative effect and paired with more synthetic texture in the guise of fake fur. The shapes suggested futuristic Inuits, complete with robotic wellington boots. This collection challenged people’s understanding of what fashion is.
Everybody who attended of course had their own favourites. This was a very strong collections group that was successful in challenging opinions and creating conversation about fashion. A fashion education is supposed to push design limitations, cross boundaries, and create intellectual conflict. Our fashion students comment on what fashion is, and how it evolves with the current zeitgeist, through making these inspirational collections.
This article is presented by American InterContinental University (AIU). Contact us today if you’re interested in an opportunity to develop knowledge and relevant skills with an industry-current degree program from AIU.