Saturday, 16 June 2012

GRADUATE FASHION WEEK 2012: International Show

This is not the full article, one designer has been left out due to image troubles: Read the full piece on The Style Column.

Last but not least, I have published my catwalk report for the International Show - featuring designers from Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, and Berlin. They put on a true spectacle of a show.
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ESMOD BERLIN
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SONJA DISSBERGER – “Unusual”
True to name, Dissberger’s collection opened the international show with an unconventional display of masks, clogs, and disjointed pattern. The designer claims although she is classified as menswear, her clothes are not “for a certain sex, but for individuals who refuse to be placed into categories”. Her inspiration is drawn quite heavily from the neo-expressionist artist Jean Michel Basquiat, with an eccentric choice of colours and pattern. The collection also clashes materials with knit, plastic, wool and linen based fabrics for a true spectacle of an opening.
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KAREN JENSSEN – “Benu Berlin”
This collection displayed two main types of look: the leather clad fighter, and the more feminine warrior princess. The collection had an elemental feel with one outfit in rich fiery tones of orange and burgundy, and three others in hues of turquoise, electric blue, and murky ocean grey for a rainy feel. Jenssen explains her collection is a rebellion again consumerism, and emphasises this by using only second-hand materials – leather from old sofas, used denim and braided knit. The outfit had great movement with an assortment of fringing and lace.
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EUN JUNG LEE – “Contemporary”
A modern collection ironically based on ancient tradition. Eun Jung Lee was inspired by the Olympics, but took an original angle by looking into the uniforms of the Roman competitors in togas and large Greek columns, where the Olympics began. The display is futuristic, taking athletic silhouettes and creating asymmetric, tight, all-in-one outfits in contrasting materials of leather and chiffon. Structure is strong but inconsistent, with both fluid draping and stiffness. This, combined with the use of both light and dark colours emphasises the idea of rebirth.
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LOUISE FRIEDLAENDER – “01”
This collection showed us that true sophistication lies in going back to basics. Friedlaender’s dynamic display of unique, geometric, sculptural volume and clean fabrics create a modern and well-crafted ensemble. Varying forms of silk and leather proved the base materials, and instead of an overload of accessories, detail was provided with sexy, discreet cut-outs, sky-high heels and statement metal jewellery.
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ALEXANDRE KOHLMEIER – “Occupy my soul”
This was a menswear display inspired by Chinese concept artist Ai Weiwei. Displaying bright, earthy hues of white, beige, and light khaki, the collection was relaxed with flowing silhouettes and rough, light, natural fabrics. Heavy layering also featured, with focus on voluminous shape and a chic, summery colour scheme. Closing the show, Kohlmeier managed to highlight Berlin’s student emphasis on encouraging freedom and natural, sustainable living.
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INSTITUTO MARAGONI MILAN
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ZHU LIYALANZI
The next show was kick started by a collection that stays true to the uber-chic Italian style that Milan is famous for. Described as ‘retro-futuristic’ by its designer, inspiration for the innovative pieces comes from a darkroom, with a colour palette of strict red and black, and accessories in foil silver. Photography was highlighted once again with the hundreds of mini photographs and digital prints patterning the attire, as well as models carrying vintage cameras with them down the catwalk. There was an emphasis on movement, with individual, reflective, mosaic style tiles flapping as the models walked. Fabrics were made mainly from printed alligator cloths, and futuristic shapes were prominent in the heels of the shoes and cut of the shoulders.
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NICOLETTA SARACCO
This was a spirited display of both majestic luxury and animalistic instinct. It featured rich colours of ruby, gold, bronze, and azure blue, alongside metallic trousers and an array of glitter and feathers. The collection was clearly focused on visual appeal and texture with clean linear lines and rigid fabrics under all the brightness. The stand-out accessories were the carnival-like crowns full of sequins and feathers. Despite the riot of materials, these headpieces weren’t too much, but actually added to the exciting theme.
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JUNG JAECHUL
Named ‘Shy’, this menswear collection acts as a new wardrobe for the more timid man who appreciates classic style, and wishes to express himself through his clothes. The outfits are colourful, with shades ranging from warm to cool but still remain rigidly monotone. Likewise, shapes conform to the basic form of menswear but Jaechul instead experiments with length and layering. Boiled wool is the main fabric used and is thick enough to create beautiful, organic volume.
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SOFIA COLASANTE
Ms. Colasante delivered a wholly fitting finale for Milan with her drastically futuristic collection. Greatly influenced by art, the twenty-one year old designer experimented heavily with different mediums – billowing smoke from inside a glass skirt, and a shift dress adorned with mosaic tiles on spikes away from the body made up just two of her creations. With the addition of heel-less shoes, 3D dresses in perspex orb shapes, and decorations made from transparent tubes, her outfits prove perfect for any sci-fi princesses.
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AMSTERDAM FASHION INSTITUTE
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AYLA VAN MAARSCHALKERWEERD – “Umma”
Amsterdam’s first designer aimed to unite all cultures with its bohemian display of tribal patterns, bare midriffs, bright colours and gypsy skirts. ‘Umma’ was a summery, beach style collection in bright orange, canary yellow and deep navy. Particular pieces included a cropped top and dress entirely hand beaded with lace trimming, relaxed chiffon maxi skirts and fluid, billowing trousers. One model even had her head fully covered, reinforcing the idea to fuse all religions and cultures.
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YVONE KWOK – “We dance like little Marys swaying to the symphony of destruction”
Kwok describes her collection as being inspired by the marionette doll, carnival, and punk.  Her quirky pieces focused on shape and pattern, with an eclectic mix of lace and pleating within the leather, suede, felt and chiffon. Using earthy base colours in a multitude of shades, Kwok sparked excitement within her pieces with sharp turquoise, hot pink and neon yellow. Statement accessories included thigh corsets and and baubles hanging from shirt collars. The designer showcased her tailoring skills with shoulder ruffles and puffed pleats. Kwok’s collection was visually alluring and rich with texture.
   
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SLADJANA PENGIC – “When I was 7”
A dynamic collection that maintained a balance between the strict smartness of uniform and the purity and softness of a snowy winter. Influences stemmed from the military, with hints of traditional uniform but in a crisp, wintery white. The collection was thoroughly modern but the high necks and long sleeves gave a vintage finish.
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FLEUR ROOSEIN – “Drops of a domestic housewife”
Probably one of the most wearable of all the collections in the international show, Roosein explains she ‘tried to capture the desperation of a sixties housewife stuck in her own decorated world.’ A glamourised version of everyday dress in warm colours of burgundy, mauve and khaki meant the collection was reasonably varied but suitable for ordinary occassions. Feminine silhouettes of clinched waists and pencil skirts exacerbated the housewife look whilst low drop necklines and sheer knee socks added sex appeal.
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TESS VAN ZALIGNE – “The same old lines, the same old stories of breathless trains and worn down glories”
A combination of tribal African culture and old Dutch heritage closed the Amsterdam display. Zaligne gave some risque designs with lingerie, but made them unthreatening with a wild and bright colour scheme. Other designs featured billowing maxi skirts halter neck tops in shades of purple, pink and yellow and aztec pattern. Digital print leggings gave the bodysuits extra life, making the entire collection the perfect uniform for a modern tribe of sexual women.
   
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INSTITUTO MARANGONI PARIS
JUSTINE CHOMETTE
Paris was first introduced with Chomette’s collection of men’s attire. In strict shades of grey and charcoal, items like the inspired gentlemen’s smoking jacket gave a luxurious feel, and the loose-fitting, draped shawls added to this in a low-maintenence, casual way. More modern pieces came in the form of leather sleeveless jackets and baggier trousers. Femininity also snuck in with musketeer-style shirts adorned with ruffles.
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DAN EL ALMAGNER
An ultra feminine, classic collection was showcased by Almagner. With a thoroughly vintage theme, the designer explains he was inspired by the economic recession and wanted to create a parallel with the great depression of 1929, and the following decade’s influences of art deco and music. One of the most wearable of the shows, Almagner used wool, tweed, lace and silk to create this homage to a more elegant time. He produces clean cut clothes with more rounded feminine details, and the lace is organically cut, crusted and draped to produce different finishes.
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KIM EUNHYUNG
The next show displayed a sophisticated collection in warm wintery colours of beige, wine, dark brown, and black. Eunhyung explains that she focuses on wearability, producing clothes that have a modern structure with long and straight silhouettes. She used flanel fabrics in wool, cashmere, mixed cotton, and mesh organza, with leather to accessorise- here featuring leather bands in complimentary colours to trademark each outfit around the waist and neck.
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MARIA MARTIMO
This collection opened with what looked like wedding dresses: stunning ivory gowns with a detail twist, using paper to create 3D shapes along the chest, inspired by artists like Matt Shilan. The designs created a combination of both fluid and stiff fabrics – the dresses also used lace and chiffon, but the suits that followed contrasted with denser structure and flashes of bright red. Overall there was a romantic feeling of fragility which was  represented by little ruffled flowers made of tulle and plaster.
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LI WAN
The final show was a feminine collection of menswear. Li Wan combined traditional masculine cuts and block boots with floral shirts and headbands. Wool trousers and cashmere flannels featured, and a colour palette of autumnal dark colours of burgundy, grey and brown were contrasted with natural and bright pale lemon yellow and plant green.
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Words by Elle Jenkinson
Photography by Jack Grange