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The Brit Edition Featuring the country’s rising stars in design, prints and blogging.


Next month the countr y’s hottest ne w talent in fashion design will fight it out on the catw alk for a £10,000 prize and the Gold Award title at Old Tr uman’s Brewer y for London’s 23rd Gr aduate Fashion Week. Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) is the largest global event for fashion graduates. Renowned worldwide, it has established the careers of leading fashion talents Stella McCartney, Julien Macdonald and Matthew Williamson, and works to launch the countryʼs future design talents to international markets. This year GFW, sponsored by Asdaʼs clothing range George for the fourth year in a row, will take place from May 31 to June 3. And featuring UK and international universities over 20 catwalk shows and a prestigious Gala Award Ceremony it is no surprise that GFW is the worldʼs largest graduate event. More than 42 universities will take part, hosting creations from around 1,000 fashion graduates from around the globe. Of these participating universities, the fashion and textile students are put forward by their course leader to be involved. The east London event at the Old Truman Brewery will also see the London College of Fashion hosting seminars and workshops throughout the week.

Glasgow Fashion Week trustee Hilary Alexander says: “The move to the Old Truman Brewery marks a new era for graduate fashion in the heart of one of Londonʼs most vibrant, creative areas. The location is sensational and the space allows us to expand the workshop and atelier areas of the exhibition, as well as showcase the graduate collections on some very cool catwalks.” Last year, the Edinburgh School of Artʼs Lauren Smith, collection pictured right, scooped the coveted George Gold Award and £20,000 prize. The collection, which was all about the imagination, showed a unique personality of which judge Rouland Mouret was drawn to. He speaks of the work: "When we saw Lauren's pieces and then met her in person it was clear that her collection as a whole was an extension of herself, which I think is important." At this yearʼs GFW there a number of awards that students can pick up. Winning an award at GFW is highly esteemed and could make your name in the fashion industry so there is a lot of pressure on the student designers to succeed. Combine this with a cash prize and itʼs an all-or-nothing situation to dominate the runway. Hereʼs a run down of the catwalk prizes up for grabs: The George Gold Award (£10,000 prize), Womenswear Award (£5,000 prize), Menswear Award (£5,000 prize), Stuart Peters Visonary Knitwear Award (£1,000 prize) and the Creative Catwalk Award (£1,000 Prize). And as well as watch the graduate designers fight it out for the prizes on the catwalk, spectators will be able to enjoy pop-up shows, live photo shoots and interactive talks with industry insiders. Tickets for each catwalk show and additional events can be purchased from See next page for more catwalk details.

Catwalk Schedule SATURDAY 31 MAY 11.30 Istituto Marangoni 14.00 East London University 15.30 University of Salford

SUNDAY 01 JUNE 14.00 UCA Epsom

17.00 Northumbria University 18.30 Edinburgh College of Art

15.30 Northbrook College & Wiltshire College Salisbury

20.00 University of Central Lancashire

17.00 Manchester School of Art

MONDAY 02 JUNE 11.00 Arts University Bournemouth 12.30 Bath Spa & Norwich University of the Arts

18.30 De Montfort University Contour 20.00 UCA Rochester


14.00 Nottingham Trent University 15.30 University of Northampton

12.30 The International Catwalk Competition

17.00 De Montfort University

16.00 Best of Graduate Fashion Week

18.30 Birmingham University

19.30 The Graduate Fashion Week Awards Show

20.00 Kingston University

Prints, Prints, Printed designs continue to dominate the racks to high street, fashion-conscious shoppers have Romantic florals in subtle pastel shades, bright tropical prints, paintbrush strokes and illustrative portraits as well as geometric shapes and tribal designs – printed textiles have never been more on trend. And in light of the print frenzy it is more important than ever to remember how vital prints are to the fashion industry. Many fashionistas would be forgiven for overlooking the significance of prints and patterns when thinking about the fashion industry as a whole. Lusting over Alexander McQueenʼs latest cocktail dress, the new Mulberry bag and what skirt length is most on trend means that prints, and the people behind them, can sometimes be forgotten. But these designs have been setting fashion trends for years. Indeed, in our beloved British Isles there are many designers flying the flag for prints. Illustrious fashion designer Orla Kiely is renowned for her 60ʼs and 70ʼs inspired designs and has incorporated her bold floral and nature-inspired prints in to all of the labelʼs catwalk collections. Established in 1997, the Irish designerʼs distinctive style and trademark pattern, pictured far left, clearly shows both her understanding and love of prints. And in the world of accessories, who better than Londonborn designer Cath Kidston to demonstrate the vitality of prints; she took her love for vintage-inspired ditsy prints, pictured above, and an initial investment of just £15,000

and turned it into a global empire now worth £75 million. Cath Kidstonʼs retro-print bags, umbrellas and now even clothes can be found in shops worldwide and, like Orla Kiely, the designs are in high-demand and instantly recognisable. To make it in the fashion industry, wannabe designers who value prints at the core of their work can follow in Orla Kiely and Cath Kidstonʼs footsteps by using their print designs as a tool to stand out and get noticed. This is exactly what Scottish designer Rachel Bell, pictured far right, did. After graduating from the school of fashion and textiles at Galashielsʼ Heriot Watt University with 1st class honours, the 24-year-old took up an internship with Bespoke Atelier, a hand screen printed textile company in Glasgow. From here, the talented designer was offered to take part in Collect Scotland, an exhibition ran by the company. This prestigious event handpicks Scottish talent every year to showcase their prints to leading interior design and fashion insiders. As a testament to her talent, Rachelʼs exhibition print was picked up by one of the worldʼs leading sports companyʼs for their new line. Dumfries-born Rachel says she was overwhelmed and ecstatic to sell her print. “It was a great sense of achievement knowing all that hard work over the four years at university had finally paid off”, she adds. “Iʼve always been interested in art growing up but it wasnʼt until I went to college for a year to study a HNC in Art and Design I discovered my love for printed textiles. Seeing the translation of a simple hand drawn design on paper onto fabric is fascinating!”

way people “Thecombine print together shows per sonality and

FASHION TIP: Rachel recommends wearing the Enchanted Garden trend this

Everywhere for the upcoming summer season. From catwalk their pick of the print. The choice is endless. Rachelʼs style is heavily influenced by the 1950s and 1960s bold, playful geometrics. She also gets inspiration from traditional 18th century illustrative designs such as William Morris with modern, over scaled prints from Reed Krakoff and Mary Katrantzou. And the 24-year-old, who is currently working as a graphic designer, is very passionate about using different methods and materials to create original, abstract prints. She says: “I love the processes involved. Itʼs interesting how print looks on different fabrics and textures. Experimenting and combining hand screen printing and digital printed techniques is fascinating. I like to let my experimentation lead what I do rather than stick to a plan I have devised; I think itʼs more exciting and usually results in a more interesting project.” To work with prints in the fashion industry confidence is a very important factor. You must belief in yourself and your prints enough to sell them to industry experts and have the conviction to defend your designs if necessary. Rachel also advises: “Itʼs important to have a strong sense of what you like. Be confident with your designs. Identify your style but allow your designs to change and evolve.” “The way people wear and combine print and textiles together shows off their personality and individuality. Where would we be without it?” Despite her fashion success so far, Rachelʼs plan for the future is to start her own range of printed garden furniture.

wear and and textiles off their individuality

She confesses: “Ever since I took part in a university exhibition at Dovecot, Edinburgh with fashion designer Mark Eley as curator, Iʼve became obsessed with hand printing colourful and bonkers patterns onto wood. For Dovecot I produced what looked like a mini dog kennel covered in botanical birds and florals with retro geometrics. It sounds mad but I knew then thatʼs where I wanted to finish up, in outdoor furniture.” All prints and sketches displayed on this page – excluding the Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston print to the left – are Rachelʼs designs. To view more visit

summer – jungle blooms, bur sts of colourful, tropical florals with an abstract edge.

Blog your way With more than a billion results popping up on is fierce to make your site stand out from the your style statements and Every wannabe fashionista hopes to make it in the industry, and a blog is the perfect way to start. It gives people the outlet to share their love of fashion with others while making their mark in the fashion world. So it is no surprise that fashion blogs are, indeed, very common. Most blogs feature shopping hauls, daily outfits, product promotion and general fashion thoughts, all to grab the attention of readers. But a successful blog goes much further than simply getting readersʼ attention. Bloggers must convince readers that their word means something in the fashion world; if they put up a post hailing clashing prints a trend to watch, and are then post a picture wearing such an outfit, their followers should believe it and rush out to Topshop to pick up similar items. And while the idea of sitting front row at fashion week, receiving free clothes from brands and socialising at top industry events to report back to followers seems like a dream come true, fashion bloggers Lots of fashion brands work tirelessly every have already approached day to reach this level and to keep Catherine, above, to work their blog up-towith them.

date. Updating your page daily with new outfits, making sure your site design is on trend, keeping up with the latest looks as well as making sure you are using the top camera equipment; fashion blogging is a huge commitment. And for most, fashion blogging is not a full-time profession so there is more pressure to make time for your blog outwith other commitments. Catherine Delves from London, pictured left, blogs in her spare time. So blogging, although a big part of her life, isnʼt the only thing she does. The 18-year-old multimedia broadcast journalism student says: “Iʼve always wanted to write and as I got older and started to become more passionate about fashion and make-up I decided to start a blog. Iʼd started reading fashion and beauty blogs and loved them, so I thought why not just start my own! My blog was started last autumn but I didnʼt start promoting it until October once Iʼd got my design exactly how I wanted it; Iʼm a perfectionist!” Catherineʼs blog, You Wish You, already has around 500 followers and this support base continues to grow. She tells The Fashion Foreword that it is a lovely feeling knowing these people take time out of their day to read what she writes. “It does give you more confidence in the everyday fashion choices you make knowing that your followers like and trust your style”, she explains. “I love knowing that each and every one of them have chosen to follow me. Every day I get more followers, more views, more comments and more emails from brands wanting to work with me, and I think that is down to the amount that I do to reach out to other bloggers and brands. “I do try to do a healthy mixture of fashion, beauty and lifestyle posts so there is a bit of something for everyone but at the same time, I post things that I want to post. A successful blog is one that finds the right balance in writing for themselves and writing for their readers.”

“A successful

the right writing for and writing rea

on to the FROW Google for fashion blogs, competition crowd; to make people take notice of admire your outfit choices. Fashion blogging gives you the opportunity to meet likeminded people at events and just by looking at each otherʼs blogs. This gives bloggers the chance to swap tips and further improve their sites. Catherine says: “I have met some lovely people through blogging, been to some fun events and had some amazing opportunities with brands since Iʼve started. “My blog itself has developed massively since I started up. I think you learn the more that you blog and Iʼve come to understand more what readersʼ want and how to communicate with brands. “Iʼm still learning as I go which is why I love it so much, the blogging world is a place where you can always learn and improve.” At events, bloggers also have the chance to meet new brands and develop contacts. Being approached by brands to work with them and promote their items is a sure sign that your blog is taking off; they only want to work with people if there is a chance it will improve their sales. And Catherine has been surprised by the amount of outreach she has received from brands so far. “I never expected to get so many emails from brands who say they like my blog and want to work with me. “Itʼs nice enough having readers who want to follow you, but when brands want to work with you it is really flattering. I love learning about new brands and connecting with them, itʼs a lot of fun.” To write a fashion blog it is very important that, like Catherine, you are passionate about fashion as this will show in your writing and commitment to keeping the site updated. From speaking to Catherine, her passion for fashion is obvious. “Fashion is fun!” she exclaims. “There are so many opportunities in the world of fashion to express yourself and bring across your personality, whether that is classic and minimalist or bold and loud.

blog finds balance in themselves for their der s.

Fashion has no limits for you to be you!” And she shares her style tips and fashion inspiration: “I read a lot of fashion magazines, so I get lots of style influence from them. I like minimalist style so I love reading about current trends and subtly adding them to my look. “Other bloggers also influence my style. Reading blogs gives me so much inspiration for fashion and beauty buys. I trust bloggers when it comes to product or style reviews, so to me they are almost the best source of fashion advice.” Despite her success so far, Catherine knows how hard it is to start up a blog. Being scared that people wonʼt like your style choices, that nobody will follow you or that your writing wonʼt be good enough are all common fears for first-time bloggers. But Catherine says just go for it. She adds: “I held back for a long time before posting my first outfit post, Youtube video, make-up routine because I was scared. “The thing I learnt from that is the only person who was getting in the way of me succeeding was me, and to get anywhere in life – not just blogging- you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. “So donʼ be afraid to post outfits you think are a bit different, you wonʼt get anywhere without pushing your limits.” You can visit Catherineʼs blog at





The Fashion Foreword  
The Fashion Foreword  

A one-off fashion supplement featuring the countrys rising stars in fashion design, prints and blogging. The word foreword has been borrowe...