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London College of Fashion did themselves proud last night at their annual runway show. The venue, the organisation, the press and celebrity attendance (including Mr Hudson, Edith Bowman, Diana Vickers, Faithless, Gemma Cairney and Rhianna's creative director), the politeness of the student helpers and most of all the catwalk show. London College of Fashion also managed to trump many huge design houses (who are a trite behind the times in such matters) by being the first fashion college to livestream their collection to fans worldwide on their website.
I usually get impressed in spurts at student catwalk shows but this one was a stellar performance from students whose collections showed depth, imagination, originality, great print and colour combinations and pzazz. London, we still have it.
The show was comprised of 26 collections, selected from over 200 students in Womenswear, Menswear and Surface Textiles so the selection was honed to the best of the best already by a panel of industry professionals and designers. Hats off to them. The show rocked. I've said it before and I'll say it again; Often the student shows are better and more original than start up designers who bend to the restraints of commercialism and finance and water down their concepts. It would be a travesty if this happened to some of the stars of this show whose vision should be exploited and strengthened.
From Naoya Nakayama's play on the trench coat (main pic), pairing classic daywear with gold glitz and juxtoposing lengths and textures to Kate Atkinson's simply stunning prints in bright turquoise, purple and red, this show started with a bang. Nattaphon Sampataphakdee showed sharp, striped menwear tailoring reminiscent of 80's classic Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto which worked as he picked up 'Collection of The Year.'
Yelena Loguiiko showed one of my favourite collections of the night: a hint of Russia with overblown Cossack type 'hair' hats paired with muted Celine like razor sharp tailoring - completely modern, completely wearable and very sophisticated for a student show. Yelena won the prize awarded for design & technology.
A take on Mongolian bedwear was shown by Xiao Li which was richly original, colourful and fun. Jennifer Ruth Low's beautiful collection of muted navy and grey silk printed dresses paired with rough hewn but sexy jackets was as stunning as Kai Yeung Yau's take on 'Lady Gaga meets Tibetan Buddhist and goes clubbing' was original, colourful and outlandish. (Pic shown above) Flett Bertram gave us a feminine collection of short skirts, tassels and embroidery which I can see on future catwalks and Jess Sayers showed a measured and memorable collection of clashing navy jersey and sequins which I'd be glad to wear as soon as it hits stores.
Vilvin Sabu's colour clashes, fringing and styling was right on the money as she showed by winning 'The Barnett Lawson Trimmings Award for Best Use of Embellishment'. Her colour combination of clashing greens and ochres, was terrific and swished and sashayed delightfully.
Lets hope these young designers go on to a promising future. As international design houses main aim is selling luxury accessories and fragrance bearing their name with huge mark-ups, it's getting mighty bland out there and for an excessive price.
Selected catwalk images by Chris Moore. Katie Chutzpah's own catwalk shots have also been used.
To see more images of the London College of Fashion Catwalk show, please visit Katie Chutzpah on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/32g58bb. As always, please feel free to add a comment below or write in the 'shout mix box' opposite.