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An excited buzz from the assembled crowd greeted Berlin, Milan, Amsterdam and Paris at the Graduate International Show 2012. With clogs from Berlin and smoke from Milan, it was a highly stylised presentation.

The best of Esmod Berlin, International University of Art for Fashion, came from Eun Jung Lee with his ‘Contemporary White’ collection, creating wearable armour-like pieces made from mounds of sheer fabrics, embroidery clusters and pleats: minimal yet textured. With a sheer wrap skirt over white cigarette trousers (a trend already forming within GFW) Louise Friedlaender took a different approach, opting for oversized cocoon shapes in bold royal blues and rich caramels, finished with gold statement metallic accessories.

From the Istituto Marangoni Fashion School in Milan, Sofia Colasante stole the show with her solar panelled dog-tooth printed and clear Perspex cased dresses, adorned in the likes of clear tubing and even a real working smoking eruption, entertaining the crowd from the skilful display. Nicoletta Saracco presented a strong collection of feather head pieces, glitter encrusted coats in gold and tonal bronze, crimson foil metallic dresses and cigarette cut trousers in orange and blue metallics. With glitter adorning sleeves and collars, Saracco created a well-designed collection that intrigued the mind and attracted the heart.

From AMFI, Amsterdam, Ayla Van Maarschalkerweerd secured the sheer skirt wrap trend over trousers and a faceless floating kaftan in a hypnotic yellow with Aztec print trim. Yvonne Kwok’s strongest look was the turquoise and coral outfit of a playful pleated ballerina skirt, with detailed collar created by woven fabrics and embellishments that had the front row smiling with glee.

Justine Chomette, also from Istituto Marangoni Fashion School in Paris, paraded pirate captain-esque white shirts with floating sleeves and draped button-less jackets. Also from Paris, an ivy print, green lace dress reminiscent of wrought iron,from Daniel Almaguer glided down the catwalk, the print also then translated into a skirt. Merlot-red sheer dresses were held together by bands of leather on the body by Kim Eunhyung, releasing flowing chiffon.

Flower headpieces for the men by Li Wan, complete with cute stickers stuck on the toe caps of white ribbon laced, black Dr Martens. The contrast of the feminine florals printed on inner linings of jackets and patent leather panels creatively complimented the more masculine palette of dark green and grey.

Words – Samantha Goodwin
Images – Damiana D’Ascenzi

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