20th Century art featured heavily at the University of Central Lancashire’s GFW show, with Picasso-esque, Warholian and Kandinsky-inspired influences scattered throughout the collections.
This was reflected in the drawn-around eyebrows; the sole make-up for all collections. Digital printing and material manipulation featured heavily, with a colour scheme of bright blocks; Yves Klein blue, bright yellow and lime green broken by many collections that focused on black and white.
Claire Acton’s Pop Art-esque looks epitomised the brighter collections, with her very successful quirky use of hair clips. These were used literally to hold back fringing around printed faces, but more cleverly as an actual material, as a skirt and a dress.
Laura Bowler’s riffs on a pencil tin, based on an all white tailored collection, showed a subtler nod to the art room. Her white pencil collar was a striking accessory to a successful collection.
Away from artistic inspiration Emma Guilfoyle used Margaret Thatcher as her muse. From campaigning rosettes and the famous tweed boxy handbags to a witty ‘The Lady’s Not For Turning’ printed quote on the reverse of an outfit, this was a clever and wearable nod to the Iron Lady.
A softer vibe was evident in Sarah Whaley’s collection that brilliantly exploited digital printing technology to create wonderfully draped dresses and jumpsuits based on jungle waterfalls.
Structurally the collections were split between highly structured and very drape orientated, sometimes these were juxtaposed within individual graduates’ work.
Flats were worn throughout, which appears to be an emerging trend at GFW. Perspex was the prevalent material for accessories, through bold jewellery pieces; this was tempered with bold, yet delicate, jewelled overlays and pop-inspired plastic sunglasses, one even featuring the Eiffel Tower. Art and artistry were dominant throughout, creating a successful and inspiring show.
Image credit: Simon Armstrong, simonarmstrong.com