London Fashion Week opens with Westminster’s winning new generation
It’s always been about the next generation in London, never more so than this season. Especially at a brilliant graduate show from BA students at University of Westminster, a remarkable joint catwalk statement, which unveiled a gutsy and courageous new generation of talent.
Staged Friday evening in a looming basement on the Marylebone Road, opposite Madame Tussauds this collective show of 15 young hopefuls – each limited to five looks – packed enormous punch.
From a marvelous opening sortie by Georgia Fallon – body-hugging, color exploding leotards and body stockings that both Gianni Versace and Roberto Cavalli would have applauded – to a dynamic finale from Melissa Eakin, with saucy cowgirl Avatars in Pinto pony chaps and raw molded riding boots.
In between, a thoroughly assured expression of posh punk Goth by Oscar Doak; and bravo to Glenn Wigham for his fantasy color block patchworks; think Querelle goes to Burning Man.
James Harjette’s Dickensian dandy goes clubbing had memorable gusto, as did Louisa Yung’s fantastically theatrical painted plastic gowns. Truly powerful images that herald an important new voice in fashion.
Honorable mentions, actually make that magna cum laude efforts, from Linda Zhuang, Anna McKernan, Isabel Macinnes and Eduardo Vegas.
Oodles of parents and relatives cheered on in the audience, but for professional editors, buyers and talent spotters this can only be described as a great graduate show. The French have a term, millésime, to describe a vintage year for wine, and this was a vintage graduation statement.
In a sense, Westminster College is generally the third name one thinks of when discussing fashion schools in the UK Capital, ranked behind Central St Martins and the London College of Fashion. But this was a joint collection that all the students – and their professors – can justly be proud of.
There were at least a half dozen names to watch in this show. Quite frankly, many could easily walk into top houses in Milan and Paris and show the current creative directors a thing or two.
Respect all round.
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