June was the month of Graduate Fashion Week and London Collections Men. We were fortunate to have visited to some truly amazing shows this season and we were truly amazed to find so much fresh and fast-rising talent in the fashion industry.
The International Warrior Fashion Show of the Milan School of Fashion Istituto Marangoni, as part of the London Graduate Fashion Week in Brick Lane, was outstanding. Madelyn, Grain’s director, and I were so impressed by the ideas and concepts behind each design, especially the Apocalypse-inspired, futuristic menswear collection below.
We also visited exhibitions of more than 50 fashion schools throughout the UK. From minimalistic to edgy, hippie-inspired looks, each design gave us different perspectives of how the fashion world is constantly changing every day. Madelyn truly loved the pieces by Beth Lundberg at Sheffield Hallam University, whereas I was fascinated by the spectacular designs shown at the University of West London’s booth (and I also bought two wonderful books about Alexander McQueen and David Bowie’s style, hurrah!)
The London campus of Istituto Marangoni also invited us to see their students’ 14 collections at the Italian Embassy in Grosvenor Square, just around the corner from Green Park. The creations on the catwalk highlighted the talent of the aspiring fashion designers, nurtured at the London-based fashion school.
Grain is no stranger to this industry: we have worked with global brands such as Gucci and Burberry and continue to help newer fashion brands grow such as Petit Tribe and Kaytie Wu. But what I found from the fashion week visits is the endless inspiration that only fashion can bring to each of us. Stepping into the fashion design industry, you would mainly be designing products based on customers’ needs, competition in the market or through trend forecasting. There are certain rules you have to follow when you come up with an actual design and the product is often a response to the market rather than what you truly are passionate about.
But when we were there, we could truly see the love, the care and the inspiration of the students’ design, and we felt so refreshed by the unique approach to the collections. You can clearly see the hard work behind each work and what the designers had to go through to bring these second-to-none collections to the audience.