It's that time of year again, when all the UK's fashion universities gather under the roof of the Truman Brewery to show off the best new young design talent that Britain has to offer. This year I opted to not see any of the fashion shows, as a. I couldn't really afford to, and b. I feel like if you can't watch them all there's not much point in seeing just one. Instead I explored all of the university stands, which is free to the public. Since moving to East London, GFW is evolving the way in which it presents itself. There were plenty of interactive spaces dotted amongst the Univeristy stands including chillout areas, photo studios, cafe's and lecture halls. Interestingly, certain Universities had much smaller stands this year, presumably to accommodate these new spaces, and allowing some of the higher profile Uni's to showcase the full range of fashion courses they offer. With so many universities showing, it's understandable that a huge investment goes into stand design, to make them stand out from the competition. My only complaint is that I felt there was more focus on how good the courses were, rather than the main aim, which is to promote the students. I had difficulty in finding out about who the designers were behind the garments without talking to the people on the stand. Anyway, I'm quite happy to say that one University whose praises I really can sing is my own Alma Mater, Newport - or as it is now called USW (or the University of South Wales). Newport and Cardiff merged this year to create one super-powered fashion course. There was some truly great design work coming from the students - my favorites including some super slick menswear by Katrina Frances Feakes, Gorgeous unisex pieces by Julia Trufin and super cross-stitch inspired embroidery from Cathie Thurgate. Check out a few pics below.
Nottingham Trent also had some great menswear on show. Unfortunately I don't know any of the designers names, but (as I'm sure you can tell by the amount of photos I took of it), one menswear look really caught my eye - I loved the cut of the trousers paired with the graphic monochrome shirt.
Also on my radar was Edinburgh. Andrew Dhesi created some amazing silhouettes and ridiculously intricate laser cut rubber pieces that were truly fascinating. I was also loving the meanswear created by Rachael Eustace, a few photos below.
Here are a few more photos of bits and pieces I loved from around the stands. GFW is still on until Tuesday, so I urge you to check it out, or else you will have to wait a whole year until you can see it again!