Last night’s annual Graduate Fashion Week gala belonged to one girl in particular: Grace Weller. The 21 year old from Bath Spa University scooped up a double whammy: both The Womenswear Award and The George Gold Award went to the young designer for her intricate and delicately embroidered lace layers. Her textile skills were plain to see in a strict and striking colour palette of navy and red – girlish but gothic, soft but tough, it’s no wonder the esteemed judging panel (Philip Treacy OBE, Peter Pilotto, Louise Gray, Sarah Mower and burgeoning menswear duo Agi & Sam) decided to give Weller’s CV a twofold boost. Her next move is to now create a limited edition line in collaboration with George – so watch this space.
This year GFW relocated to The Old Truman Brewery in the heart of East London and it felt right that the verve and enthusiasm of our country’s most exciting new talent had the chance to present their vision in a location to match.
Colleen Leitch's creations [Getty]
Also impressing the Grazia team were – in no particular order - Colleen Leitch and her bold use of black sequins [above] - it felt like the right fit for a modern Grace Jones. Also Camilla Grimes’ cyber-kitties tapped into the current mood for old-school club-gear, Stephanie Chesworth’s bold summer prints provided a new take on tropical, Lauren Lake’s uber-fluffy pink shearling coat was a show-stopper to rival any, Hannah Donkin’s elegant LBDs felt grown-up and glamorous, Rebecca Swann’s monochrome knitwear had #cozygirl written all over it while Rebecca Rimmer make the audience smile with her cheeky cartoon-like trompe l’oeil creations.
Add in the strong menswear collections and awards for other industry facets like photography, styling and PR/media, there’s no doubt that yet another brilliant batch of promising fashion people is on the rise.