Wednesday 13th June – Bath Spa University fashion design graduate Chloe Jones won both the Womenswear award and the £20,000 Gold award at Graduate Fashion Week’s gala awards event last night. Her collection, entitled Our father who art in heaven, was inspired by Gothic architecture, stained glass windows and the ethereal figures that inhabit them, combining sportswear with couture, in shades of grey, pairing hoodies with silk dresses.
Wednesday 13th June – Riona Horrox from Edinburgh College of Art won the Menswear award at Graduate Fashion Week, with a collection entitled Jack the Lad. Having completed her BA Fashion degree, Riona now moves to London’s Royal College of Art, where she will study for her Masters, specialising in Menswear Design.
Two years ago, Sara Ziff’s documentary Picture Me took audiences behind the fashion industry’s glamorous façade to provide a glimpse of the seedier side of life as a fashion model, with first-hand, direct-to-camera accounts of sexual and financial exploitation, and the objectification of models. More recently, Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall series The Model Agency raised questions about model agents’ duty of care to the vulnerable young girls they have on their books.
Now Ziff has launched the Model Alliance, a non-profit organisation that “provides a platform for models and leaders in the fashion industry to organize to radically improve the conditions under which models work”. The initiative, which is focused on supporting models in the United States, has attracted support from high-profile names like Coco Rocha and Diane von Furstenberg.
By contrast, here in the UK (where models are eligible to join the Equity union), there has been some bad news ahead of London Fashion Week: Erin O’Connor’s Model Sanctuary will not be operating this season, due to difficulties in securing a venue. In a statement on the Model Sanctuary website, Erin indicates that she hopes the Sanctuary will be back in September with a permanent home.
The organisers of the New York and London fashion weeks have agreed to move their dates for September 2012 forward by a week in order to avoid a clash between the London and Milan schedules. According to a joint press release, New York Fashion Week (NYFW) will now run from September 6-13th, with London Fashion Week (LFW) following on immediate from September 14-18th. Milan Fashion Week (MFW) was already announced as starting on September 19th.
The move represents a compromise by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the British Fashion Council (BFC). NYFW will now start just a few days after the United States’ Labor Day national holiday, which falls on the first Monday in September, putting increased pressure on designers showing at NYFW. The BFC (which had already been disadvantaged last September by many top models’ late arrival from New York and early departure to Milan to attend pre-casting for the Gucci show) also faced a challenge in rescheduling, due to the fact that the main LFW venue, Somerset House, is set to become “Casa Brasil” during this year’s Olympic Games. With the Paralympics closing ceremony occurring on September 9th, it was only possible to schedule a September 14th start for LFW with the cooperation of the Brazilian Olympic Committee.
In 2008, the organisers of the four major fashion weeks agreed a coordinated schedule, with NYFW starting on the second Thursday in September, and the London, Milan and Paris events following on, sequentially. However, last year, the MFW organisers, Camera Nationale della Moda (CNdM) announced dates for September 2012 which would clash with both New York and London, claiming that the 2008 agreement was only valid for three years. Chambre Syndicale followed the Italians by announcing that Paris Fashion Week would start straight after MFW finished.
There is, as yet, no word on what CNdM will do for 2013 but their thinking is likely to be influenced by the backlash they experienced when they announced this year’s dates – the chairman of Condé Nast went so far as to write to the Italians to warn them that the editors of Vogue (including Anna Wintour and Alexandra Shulman) would skip Milan’s shows if they clashed with New York and London. Now that the CFDA and British Fashion Council have gone to extra mile to avoid a clash this year, many would consider continued intransigence on the part of the Italians to be churlish. The Parisians, too, are likely to play a significant role, as the two largest fashion conglomerates – LVMH and PPR – are French.
Monday 19th September – We first encountered Anna Skodbo a year ago, when she showed her debut Phannatiq collection as part of the 2.0-10 Collective in East London. Last season, she exhibited at Vauxhall Fashion Scout and subsequently became part of the Felicities Presents family.
“It’s been going from strength to strength,” she told us. “I’ve got a few stockists now and received a lot of really lovely press coverage. It seems to be going in the right direction.”
This collection was inspired by Hackney Wick area of East London, which Anna describes as her muse. “The inspiration comes from what I see, so every time you go there, it’s a different colour combination and it directly influences my collection.”
Sini Moilanen showed at Alternative Fashion Week in April 2010 and exhibited at Vauxhall Fashion Scout last September. This year, she was back with a collection called “Birds of Prey”. As Sini put it, “it’s based on carnivores that hunt other birds for survival”.
She told us that things are going well. “I’ve got more stockists. I’ve got PR now. I’m moving to a studio from my living-room, which is nice! I think it’s getting more professional now. I’ve had to work full-time on this collection for the past few months.”
Last season, Sini showed at the Zip Zone trade show in Paris and she’s going back again this season. “There were actually more buyers in Paris than in London,” she told us.
Wednesday 8th June – Rory Longdon from Nottingham Trent University won the Gold Award at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, earning him £20,000. He will also have the opportunity to create a capsule collection for sponsors George at Asda.
Wednesday 8th June – Marissa Owen from the University of Central Lancashire won the Womenswear Award at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.
Wednesday 8th June – Felix Chabluk Smith from the Edinburgh College of Art won the Menswear Award at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.
Wednesday 8th June – Dominique Kral from Northbrook College won the Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award at Graduate Fashion Week.