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Closing the first day on a high at Graduate Fashion Week’s 21st anniversary at Earl’s Court, Manchester’s Salford University fashion graduates showcased an array of stellar designs and fresh ideas. As the room gradually filled up and 80’s surfer rock music eased people into their seats, the 18 designers and models; who were sporting real gold leaf make up, prepared their collections backstage.

From a multifunctional wheeled rucksack that transformed into a raincoat during Georgina Norbury’s ‘lost in the wilderness’ inspired collection, to James Greig’s colourful tailored sportswear final model closing the show by waving a yellow neon flag with the peace sign printed on it, it was a very dramatic show as the attendees cheered along to Salford’s students innovations.

Inspirations and themes varied with Kate Marsland taking direct note from American printmaker Frank Stella, Dhaval Joshi providing classic, simple, and chic menswear catwalk, and Sophie Smith creating a relaxed/new age look using long coloured feathers, beautifully flowing see-through harem pants, and a variation of colours and materials to channel the self-expressionist and community atmosphere experienced at the ‘Burning Man’ event that takes place in a desert in Nevada annually.

A clear highlight was Natalie O’Hare who attempted to challenge the conventions of female elegance by creating a very modern, contemporary, and wearable set of garments that played with geometric shapes. It was rich in gold, beige, and brown colours and that stood out with golden sequins and fur collars as the models stomped to the beat of Azealia Banks banging sleeper hit ‘212’.

‘Folie en Famillie’ is a free Iphone app that was launched by the University last month and features all the BA Fashion design students work for Iphone, Ipads, and is available on i-tunes App Store via short films and images.

Walter Ugarkovic

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