Each year at around this time a fashion event occurs in London which celebrates the graduation of students from the many disciplines of fashion and associated creative arts. I've know about it for a couple of years and have hung around outside with other photographers photographing the stylishly dressed attendees. Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) is hosted at the old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane which in the heart of Shoreditch. Even when GFW isn't on it's well worth a visit to the area for it's market, boutiques, cafes and indian restaurants each with a persuasive host standing outside tempting you to enter with the promise of free beers or food that has been awarded recognition by those who know about good food.
Perhaps the most striking thing about Brick Lane and it's side streets is the amount of graffiti on the walls, windows and doors of the buildings. To call it graffiti is probably to do it a disservice. It's rather more than the tags of a spray and run teenager. The artists bring ladders and large selections of colours and often spend hours or days creating stunning murals and graphics. But that's a blog post for another day. On with GFW
This year I got myself a media pass and went inside the building. It wasn't quite what I expected but I'm not sure what I expected. I had thought it was an event for a single college in London but it was a reveal of the work of students from around the country. Thirty nine universities had created display areas showing the final portfolios of clothes, photography, media, ideas, concepts, crafts, marketing and shoes. It was a vast array of incredible talent by people ready to launch themselves into the world of fashion.
My media pass also allowed me go to the cat walk shows held throughout the four days. At other catwalk shows I've attended I've been chaperoned by sponsors of the event. This time I was there on my own merits. The photographers pit was already crowded. It was easy to spot the pros as they were the guys set up in the best positions centrally looking down the walk. Folding stools to gain height and monopods to bear the weight of large heavy lenses for the hour. Despite my position to the side I was still able to poke my lens in a gap and get some good shots. The show was for the University of East London with each graduate having 6 models to play clothes horse. The styles ranged from bright and colourful to pure whites to neutral darks. From multi layered to figure hugging to structural. Outsized accessories, cloth as light as sheer can be to thick and textured. My favourites were the more tailored cuts and simple shapes. I prefer elegance and style to busy and formless. I hope you enjoy the photos.