Graduate Show 2003

Fashion graduates dream of the big time

The Guardian

"Twelve years ago, a fashion student from the University of Westminster won the womenswear award at the first ever graduate fashion week. Now Christopher Bailey has turned Burberry into one of the most sought after brands in the world.

Yesterday, Westminster was the first college to show at this year's graduate fashion week, which has students from across the country travelling to London to show their work, hoping to emulate Bailey's success.

There was a typical student mix of the wearable and the weird.

Sally Anne Graveling's kimono sleeve dresses had a professional touch and a strong use of colour, while Brett Shergold's bacteria prints on clinging mini-dresses were edgy but also commercial.

In contrast, Philip Normal piled on purposefully clashing layers and printed swear words in an oversize collection reminiscent of the late performance artist Leigh Bowery, and Carri Munden sent out vividly coloured club-kids who looked over-stimulated in sweaters with huge monster eyes."

Daily Telegraph

"Some of the designers at this year's Graduate Fashion Week came up with just the sort of presentations one might expect from student shows.

A man struts down the catwalk carrying an oversized mobile phone, dressed in a dog's-tooth plastic dress, complete with fluorescent pompom belt, leopard-print tights and a candy-floss fuchsia wig.

This was the University of Westminster's Philip Normal's spin on Eighties clubwear.

But while there is a niche market for such flamboyance, what really stood out this week were the designs by students with a firm grip on what will actually sell.

Many of this year's students seem to have taken a reality check and produced clothes with more commercial savvy than ever before, from hip-hop-inspired sportswear to immaculately cut tailoring.

Sally Anne Graveling, also from Westminster, whose alumni include Markus Lupfer and Burberry's Chris Bailey, showed a tightly conceived collection of vibrant pieces, including a printed turquoise kaftan, chunky primary-coloured knits and a colourful patchwork skirt, all in natural fibres."

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