Graduate Fashion Week showcases new talent

GRADUATES from the fashion design course at Northumbria University will be showcasing their work at Baltic today before heading to Graduate Fashion Week.

GRADUATES from the fashion design course at Northumbria University will be showcasing their work at Baltic today before heading to Graduate Fashion Week. LIZ LAMB speaks to some rising stars of tomorrow.

Related content

Louise Dickinson

The 22-year-old’s creative talent runs in her family.

Her dad is a photographer, as was her granddad, who was also a very good artist.

Louise, from Wallsend, is turning her creative streak to fashion and is set to showcase her designs at the Northumbria University Fashion Show, as well as the Graduate Fashion Week in London.

She has designed a collection of womenswear based on cultural designs from Mexico and Peru and then converted it into British tailoring.

“We have one-piece ponchos which are then tailored to look like a normal rain mac, but everything is printed with maps from around the world,” she says.

“My inspiration came from vintage macs and tailoring, tailoring aspects of one-piece fabrics and turning that into a garment. I use a technique called moulage, which is basically draping the material over the stand and creating a British tailored shape out of this one piece of fabric.”

She uses muted colours, such as creams and greens, on hard-wearing fabrics.

After all the hard work of designing and remaking, she is looking forward to seeing all her work finally come together at Baltic on Tuesday.

“I can’t wait! I’ve seen it progress so much from start to finish. It’s going to be a fantastic experience, seeing everything walking down the catwalk.”

She has had some experience with a freelance company that does work for Henri Lloyd, and on her summer break she worked for clothing company Visage in South Shields.

“I’ve always been creative, and I used to love art and textiles at school,” says Louise. “ When I finished school I went straight to college and signed up on a course. I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

“Hopefully in ten years’ time, I’ll be creating my own collection for catwalks around the world – Hong Kong, Paris, Milan or New York, the perfect place.”

Amelia Chester

Related content

Amelia has based her womenswear collection on her home.

The 24-year-old has created an industrial-come-rural design, inspired by her home county of Lancashire.

She says: “It’s a rural area, but it’s broken up by power stations, oil refineries and steelworks, so I’ve kind of done a collaboration of rural and industrial. It’s also inspired by the 80s film Local Hero, where an oil salesman goes to buy a Scottish island.

“It’s an evolution of industrial going through to rural. It’s based on our future – how we’re running out of oil and we’ll all have to change.”

Amelia has used a lot of natural materials, like flannel, leather and silk to create sheepskin coats and dungarees in greys, taupes, beiges, pinks, and mustard.

“It’s the idea of getting out of bed first thing in the morning and chucking on whatever’s there,” she says. “ The sheepskin coat is based on a dressing gown, a wraparound coat.

“Then I have mini-collections within it – so I’ve got bits of lingerie, I have a suit that can be pieced together. There are a lot of separates and everything’s mixed together with mini-ranges in it.”

“It’s going to be great to see it altogether at once,” she says of the fashion show at Baltic.

“You work on an item at a time, so it’s going to be good to see it all come together as a collection.”

The fashion student has worked for designer Marios Schwab, Esquire magazine and shirtmakers Thomas Pink in Savile Row. Yet she is also interested in theatre and costume design and has had some experience with Emmerdale and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Her ideas for fashion, however, are more long term.

“I don’t like to see it as fashion design. I’d like to see it longer lasting,” says Amelia. “I prefer to make classics that someone will keep for a long time, rather than a crazy statement that will only be worn once. A bit like a really good coat that you will keep for ten years, or a really well fitting pair of trousers. It’s fashion, but I’d like to think of it having a longevity about it.”

Amelia is excited to be going to the Graduate Fashion Week and her future in fashion.

She says: “I would like to work for myself in some capacity, whether in costume or in fashion. I’d like to live in the country and work from there and keep going to the city. I’d like to have a nice country retreat and keep travelling to work.”

Page 2 - Sophie Dee >>

Related content

Sophie Dee

Sophie has taken her inspiration from vintage designs and the English summer fair to create her outfits.

The 22-year-old says: “It’s a vintage inspired, colourful collection for women., a spring/summer collection about movement, inspired by the English summer fair.”

“It’s got deep rich colours and prints on thick and thin silk, there’s a lot of movement in the skirts. Also, with the shorts, there are a lot cutesy type silhouettes, and it’s about layering textile techniques. It’s to capture the carefree attitudes of summer with a kind of rich and vintage appeal.

“The colours are quite deep and would normally be associated with winter-time, but especially with the imagery I’m using, the look and feel of the collection is very summery.”

She currently has four outfits but plans to make another two for when she takes her designs to London.

Sophie, from Middlesbrough, has been designing her pieces since September and after Christmas was working 12 to 14 hour days to make them. After many hiccups, such as print mix-ups and the clothes not fitting, she is very excited to see her work on the catwalk.

With Luella and Moschino as her inspiration and experience of working at Tatty Devine, Tom Cody and Gateshead-based Heidi Seeker, Sophie hopes her work will get her some interest.

“Since I was little, when you think about what you want to do, I thought I could seriously go into it,” she says. “When I was at college, fashion was my favourite subject, so I thought I’d do a degree.”

The graduate is really happy to be one of the chosen to showcase her work at Graduate Fashion Week and would like to own a shop.

“I’d like to have my own boutique which I plan on calling Dotty Dee’s, selling my own collection. That’s my dream, to have my own business.”

Naomi New

Related content

FLAMBOYANT singer Lady Gaga acts as a muse for graduate Naomi New, so it’s no surprise her collection is theatrical.

The 21-year-old from Sunderland has produced a womenswear collection inspired by a concoction of horse racing, armour, military wear and Mad Max movies, all with Lady Gaga in mind.

“It’s probably what Lady Gaga would wear in concert,” says Naomi.

“My collection is very theatrical as she is my muse.

“It’s very much about silhouettes and there is a lot of detailing.

“I really like Alexander McQueen’s work and I really like to make a dramatic statement.”

Naomi has used lots of leather and studs in her collection as well as ostrich skin, human hair and horse hair.

She is looking forward to seeing all her hard work over the past year come to fruition today.

She says: “I can’t wait to see the collection on the catwalk.

“I have always wanted to work in fashion from an early age. I used to go dancing and I loved the dance costumes.

“None of my family work in fashion, my mum can’t sew for toffee.”

Naomi is also showing off her designs at Graduate Fashion Week.

She says: “I am opening the show at Baltic, then I’m off to London – I can’t believe it.

“It’s very exciting. I did my placement at a company in London who supplies clothes for Primark and Peacocks, and they are going to be at GFW show which is brilliant.

“I can’t wait.”

Victoria Kirby

Related content

GLAMOUR and couture garments from the 1960s have inspired Victoria’s collection of eveningwear.

The 23-year-old has combined her love of architecture with draped dresses from the 1960s for her womenswear designs.

Her favourite designers are Yves St Laurent and Balenciaga.

She says: “When I was little I always wanted to be an architect, but then when I was 16, I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer.

“My collection is based on architecture, then linked in with the couture garments of 1960s and I looked into the work of Madame Gres.

“It’s about how they contrast but also work together.

“I have a lot of draped dresses in the collection but they are also quite structured.

Victoria, who is originally from Liverpool but now lives in West Jesmond, carried out a placement with Roksanda Ilincic, a Serbian clothes designer who showcases her collections at London Fashion Week.

Victoria says: “She designs eveningwear and long gowns, the same sort of thing that I do, so it really inspired me.

“I have used a palette of soft pinks and greys in my collection. I wanted a minimal colour scheme.

“It has taken quite a few months to pull together but it’s great now to see it all finished.

“I haven’t got a job yet when I finish.

I am going to wait and see what happens at Graduate Fashion Week.”


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer