Sunday, June 3, 2012

2012 UoN Graduate Fashion Show

Being a Fashion Marketer

Having just completed my first year as a Fashion Marketer at the The University of Northampton, I couldn't be happier! Prior to this, I studied an Art Foundation course. It was during this year I realised I wanted to combine my love of fashion & creativity with business & marketing. I was so excited when I found out about the Fashion Marketing course as it seemed the perfect link between the two (& boy was I right!) This first year has gone so incredibly fast however looking back, I've learnt & achieved so much.
Sallie Laurie, our course programme leader for FM has been fantastic from the word go. Also taking us for one of our major marketing modules, she understood the link between creatives & business minded people more than anyone else. It was such a relief having someone to turn to for both sides of the course & to keep us focused. We had regular tutorials in both small groups & as individuals throughout the year which I know I found hugely beneficial.
Emmeline Child, course programme coordinator for the School of the Arts for FM took us for our 'Fashion Through Time' module. This module was undoubtedly one of my favourites as it allowed us to unleash our creative sides and get to grips with how the world of fashion has changed over the decades. At the start of the module we were given the opportunity to take part in a series of photoshop sessions. Here we aquired new skills & techniques ready for our first project.
Fashion graduate & founder of Red Rock fashion label Kiran Lall took us for '21st Century Fashion'. This module was hugely beneficial as it enabled us to explore so many aspects in fashion from trend forecasting & shop reports to the world of blogging and the internet. It was great having a graduate as a lecturer as she new exactly what we were experiencing & was the perfect person to advise & assist us along the way.

I can undeniably say, Fashion Marketing is a fresh & truly unique course & I am proud to be a part of it.

So last Thursday was the day of Northampton University's annual graduate fashion show & what a day it was! Being a first year Fashion Marketing student, I jumped at the chance to go along & help out. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling & there was a real chilled atmosphere about the place. The event took place at Northamptonshire's Silverstone race track inside the iconic wing building. With it's beautifully designed exterior overlooking the grounds, this was without a doubt the perfect setting. The theme for this year's show was "Making Britain Great".. quite fitting really as 2012 is undoubtedly oozing British culture more than ever before with the Queen's Jubilee & of course, the Olympics coming to our very own capital. 

The annual show gives fashion and textile students the opportunity to showcase their creativity & exciting, innovative designs on the catwalk. The exhibition allows guests to take a closer look into some of the students' work, with a wide range of footwear & textiles on display along with visually stimulating sketchbooks to flick through. Manikins were dotted around the exhibition area along with a selection of artwork, providing guests with lots of exciting bits and bobs to feast their eyes on!

Not forgetting the feature piece of course... a racing car specially designed for the event!

The University were lucky enough to secure sponsers with international hair professionals Schwarzkopf, Hensmans hair salons, Lighthouse Fashion Photography, the British Leather Technology Centre, Engine Creative, Belmey, Video Inn Production (VIP) & the global leader in the fragrance branding industry, Brandaroma. The support the University of Northampton recieves is amazing & it is with the help of these fantastic organisations that the School of the Arts is the success it is today.


           & the day begins..

We left at 9am & got back around 11pm (that's right, 14 long hours) but every second worth it! When we finally arrived at the beautifully sunlit Silverstone grounds, we met with the event organiser Nicky Chapman to discuss the day ahead. Everyone was assigned roles ranging from ticket distributers, to dressers & back stage assistants. There were also some cute black t's with the event logo on which I must say looked pretty snazzy.


Above- 2nd year Fashion Marketers Lexie & Jessica

Above- 2nd year Fashion Marketers with their course co-ordinator, Emmeline Child.

I was also very impressed with the personalised flower pots (easily pleased, I know).

Not long after arriving the models began to show up with their pretty selves. They were soon trying on the outfits (no messing around) & perfecting their walks ready for the show. Of course I got a sneaky peek for you all.

               Let's go backstage...

When you see behind the scenes footage on the TV or net, it always looks so manic doesn't it? This was quite the opposite. Walking into the hair & makeup area, I was expecting to see dozens of bodies running around trying to get everything done in time. Instead, a few of the models were sitting down flicking through magazines & having a chat whilst a couple were getting pampered in the corner surrounded by more palettes than the MAC counter in Debenhams! Heaven...

We were kindly greeted by one of the models who sat down & had a chat with us about his experience of the day so far. However, the conversation ended up with him telling us how to achieve the casual shoe lace look (with a complimentary demonstration of course).


A few more sneaky peeks behind the scenes..

After perfecting our shoe lacing skills we spotted these two lovely gentlemen who were kind enough to stop for a quick natter. The guy on the left had quite a sense of humour on him (decided to trick us into believing he was a cleaner before bursing into fits of laughter).

After finally composing ourselves, we got down to the nitty gritty. Gavin Hills (right), an Artistic Stylist for Hensmans, told us all about his roles and responsibilites over the course of the day. He explained, his team were creating dramatic yet chic updo's with voluminous fishtail plaits & contrasting sleek looks with bold feature pieces at the front to compliment the more taylored outfit. They revealed it was an absolute pleasure to be working for this event & continue to hold very close links with the university.

After being nosey, we decided to go check out the exhibition. From a personalised racing car to paintings, shoes, manikins & brand stands, I couldn't decide where to look first! However, taking into consideration my love for shoes I began there. Here are a few snaps I took along the way..



Ahhh, the sweeeet smell of shoes!

So, after a satisfying overload of footwear we decided to explore the other bits and bobs on display..

& a few personal favourites by surface designer, Jaswant Flora..

Loved this bow tie so much I decided to buy it! :)

There was a huge selection of portfolio's to flick through on the way round from Surface Design students, Fashion Design and Footwear students & our very own Fashion Marketers! It was great to see how the designs had been developed & where the students got the inspiration for their fantastic ideas.
I found it extremely interesting to see how the Business School worked with the School of the Arts & how the two came together.


Above- A few of our fabulous Fashion Marketers talking to R-Magazine about their portfolio's.

Below- Charlie Clark (1st year Fashion Marketer) being interviewed.

                   & now for the exciting bit....
                                                   THE CATWALK!

The show began with Schwarzkopf presenting four unique looks. A small selection of third year fashion students were lucky enough to work closey with the company to create outfits to compliment these eye catching hair styles. The students were each given a concept in which they had to design a key look for. This was the perfect opening for the show and highlighted just how important the beauty industry is within the fashion. 

Following this was a performance from four of our dance students. This was a nice way to lead up to the show & gave the students a chance to show the audience what the Performing Arts School is all about.

The first collection we saw was by Victoria Craven & perhaps one of my favourites. I absolutely loved the nude palette & sheer fabrics she used. It truly embraced that romantic, feminine feel and was a perfect selection to kick start the show.

Absolutely loved this one ^^^

These fishtail plaits compliment the outfits perfectly, adding a subtle edge without taking attention away from the stunning designs.

I absolutely love the colours textures Sophie Everson has used for the look on the left. The matalic navy jacket compliments the dress perfectly & the full length zip going down the back adds a really cool touch to the outfit. The one on the right, well that speaks for itself.. meeeow!

Round of applause for not tripping over those tassles! I would've been flat on my face by now...

I love these bright bold colours Kerry Sewell has used for her eye catching jump suit collection. I particularly like the bursts of colour she's added to the black & white designs on the cuffs and hood. & those red & black heels.. oh la la, get me a pair!

& now the stunningly beautiful selection of shift dresses designed by Elizabeth Linney..

This next collection was without a doubt one of my favourites. Maybe because it reminded me of those stern guys that stand outside Buckingham palace..

or even poppies..

Either way, I felt this collection really oozed British culture & well, it made me smile.

& now for the first menswear collection of the show by Thidasi Wagage..

                 ..the contrasting lining definately did it for me!

(Appologies for the blurry pics, got a bit excited)..

Louise Maher presents the best of british with her bold, beautiful colours and quirky designs! Feast your eyes on these bad boys (well, girls but yeah)...

Now for Nichola Murdoch's dreamy collection of mink, teal and burnt sienna.. Very pretty! I really like the interesting silhouette's she's created & the layering on the upper body works wonders!

Take a look at this colourful collection of neons by Sophie Burgoine! I love the block colours and panels of pattern. The models definately rocked these...

These designs by Kirsten Millard are amazing! A hooded transparent poncho style coat? Think I'm in love...

This collection by Danielle Watson definately got the crowd going... how beautiful are these!?

Now for my favourite men's collection of the show... I love the use of leather & fur and the military style jackets are just gorgeous!

Check out Amandip Kaur's exotic collection for all you pleat lovers out thurrr!

I was in heaven when I saw this all black collection by Dilshanie Serasinghe (yes, I love black far too much) b e a utiful..

Nicholas Timmerman presents this fur-tastic collection with bursts of fushia. Femininity with a dark edge...

How cool are these?!

This next collection reminds me of fairgrounds & skittles!

Check these jazzy shirts by Jade Dibbens.. pass us the cocktails!

& last but definately not least, Rosalind Northen's gorgeous collection. I love the black piping detail and block panelling she's used and her creative use of fur - brilliant!


My experience of the day

I really enjoyed being blogger for the day as it meant I could snoop around with my lense & get sneaky peaks behind the scenes as well as talking to some friendly faces on the way around. After speaking to the event organisers, designers, models, stylists & helpers, it was clear to see the huge amount of organising & preparation that had gone into the event. It was fantastic to see it all come together after such hard work and perseverance on everyone's part. As a Fashion Marketer, it was so interesting to see how the business and creative minds worked together and has made me very excited to start second year!

Overall, the day was amazing & truly inspirational. Definately one to remember!

Hope you've enjoyed the day through my eyes

&♥, Amanda.

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