Northumbria University will be representing Newcastle at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week in London. We spoke to Fashion Design and Marketing programme leader at Northumbria University, Hilary McGloughlin, who talked us through the design process and let us get up close with the final work of both students heading to London and from the end of year fashion show.
‘The students will all start with a concept and a mood board because it helps us to consider where they’re coming from with ideas and research,’ says Hilary, who explains this leads up to the end promotional work and three looks. ‘They make a final portfolio that presents them to a company as the designer they want to be,’ she adds, stressing how important the photography is. ‘That’s what promotes any brand today on the internet or through a magazine.’ The students must create a brand and ethos that they hope customers – and companies looking to sell their clothes – will buy into. Having recently put on the final year fashion show and now gearing up to London’s Graduate Fashion Week, it’s all go go go in the department as a select few prepare for one of the most important weeks in their lives.
Lancashire-born Caitlin chose the pathway of Fashion Design Knitwear with inspiration coming from the British Royal family, specifically Queen Elizabeth’s reign. She’s given traditional royal garments an exciting twist by combining embellished lace, beads and velvet with knitwear. She’s featured in the New York Times twice and helped create the concept for a River Island collaboration during a placement.
While designing pieces, Harriet takes inspiration from personally linked points in time and uses contemporary fabrication and pattern cutting techniques; her collection Entwined is inspired by the lives of her grandparents in the North East, capturing a feel of safety, comfort and security. She set up a small business six years ago which sells textile accessories and was asked to assist at London Fashion Week.
Inspired by overseas hip-hop artists such as Rihanna, Newcastle-born Lavony has created her autumn/winter collection Gangsters in Air, with pieces hand-embellished with crystals to create luxury urban wear.
Sophie’s collection was inspired by one of the most famous women pilots, Amelia Earhart, whose aviator style has been strongly reflected in the pieces. Hilary points out: ‘It’s quite a sporty look she’s come up with – you can see it’s a bit like parachute straps.’
Danika is an example of a student who chose to go down a 2D route instead of making garments. Her lifestyle publication’s concept is about emotional enrichment, self-improvement, growth and identity. ‘This is a huge amount of work,’ Hilary tells us. ‘She decided to draw pretty much everything.’ Although Danika backed up her work as she went (she scanned and retouched her drawings) she was using so much memory on her computer that one day it all fried and she had to start again.
Charlotte’s lingerie range for DD+ women was inspired by her research that showed when going up cup sizes the colours became quite dull. She wanted a bright, fun range for younger women which Hilary explains needed to be promoted in the portfolio. ‘What we wouldn’t want is for a student to go away and then get a really, really skinny model. If it’s for girls that are heavy-chested they probably have a slightly fuller figure – so promote that as your brand. You want people to buy into it.’