RCA Graduate Show 2012 – Part 1

by Katie on June 5, 2012

The RCA graduate fashion show is always worth taking in. Not least that the Royal College of Arts is now in its 175th year of producing esteemed graduates that influence the culture of our society but that the blinding array of recent RCA graduates already making waves on the London Fashion scene include the blindingly talented Holly Fulton, avant-garde jeweller Katie Eary, menswear designer Matthew Miller and shoe designer Camilla Skovgaard.

The catwalk show featured 28 collections by students from 14 countries specialising in menswear, womenswear, knitwear and millinery as well as footwear & accessories (such as Alvaro Gonzalez Bombin’s collection (below).
This season knitwear came into its own with a strong showing in both mens and womenswear. Rachael Hall, Benedict Holmboe, Apu Jan, Lucy Hammond and Rachel Chan all showed collections worthy of a place in London Fashion Week with vision, structure and a distinctive sense of their own presence.
The womenswear collections in particular seemed to breathe confidence and colour, bowling you over in its myriad uses of pattern, texture and form. Lorren Johnson’s flowing silks (shown above) were a riot of Indian hippie culture meets the ultra modern urban sophististreet style. Lorren has worked with uber technical patternmeister Jonathan Saunders and it showed. Silk prints clashed beautifully and as easily as the silk draped over the body. This was dip-dye art taken to arts extreme and paired with oversized quilted shrugs in the style of Thea Porter, there was a nod to the ’70s luxe hippie.
Denmark’s Trine Hav Christensen managed to wow an already impressed crowd as her collection was shown 2nd to last. Colourful mermaids in skin tights silks and flowing ruffles shimmered down the catwalk, their perspex and Swarovski elements glinting with a showy, couture like ‘look at me’. This collection showed vision and difference with its ability to produce 3D forms merged with sleek flowing bias cut and ruffle and stand out like a 21st Century watery Kate Bush.
Rajinder Johal’s streaks of modernist cerulean blue with black piping were offset against glowing metallic jutting belts and armulets that created structure while Holly Russell also showed long, linear lines but more Gareth Pugh futurist with fabric contrasts, strict archetectured lines (severe short jackets with flowing wide, graduated colour pants) and an eye on Daphne Guinness’ style.
Mega futurist Daniel Pollitt razorcut great swathed collar coats to perfection with Prometheus type styling and a nod to his Roland Mouret internship in its beautifully tailored severity. Paired against plastic coated drainpipe trousers, modern fetishistic in their garb, the look was London through and through – albeit it a grown up, faintly anarchistic, below the skin one.
This graduate show is a dead cert to produce future New Gen London Fashion Week designers with an audience of fashion media and insiders clamouring for tickets. If there are brands there to sponsor and nature this awesome talent, there’s an eager audience just waiting to see and buy. Now their work really starts.

See part 2 of the RCA Graduate show reviewed HERE.


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