GFW 2010: The Winners

An informational quickie of a post for you…

The highly coveted lust-object of any budding designer’s dreams; the River Island Gold Award – a not-so-shabby £20,000 – went to Rebecca Thomson of Manchester Metropolitan University for her stunningly ethereal, structurally engaging collection featuring lace and frills, ruffles and flounces and sheers…

View the winning collection in full at

Best Menswear was won by Thomas Crisp from Ravensbourne (the second year running that a Ravensbourne graduate has scooped this award – last year’s winner was Mehmet Ali) for a collection that managed to be edgy, urban and sophisticated with its focus on 18th Century Parisian tailoring and chic layering…

Photography by Paul Harness.

Best Womenswear went to Rhea Fields of Northbrook College Sussex for her androgynous tailored collection in fleshy pink and black leatherette and latex…

Photography by Simon Armstrong.

The Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Prize was picked up by Anna Lee of De Montfort University for her striking Chinese Dragon themed collection…

Photography by Simon Armstrong.

The BHM Knitwear Visionary Award was scooped by Northumbria University’s Ledina Zhang for her extroverted oversized sport-kitsch knits…

Photography courtesy of mysugarland

And – finally – the Amsterdam Fashion Institute’s Roya Hesam received the International award. Head over to Runway Passport for an interview with the designer (and for more pictures…the sheer jumpsuit is absolutely incredible!)

Photography by Simon Armstrong

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GFW 2010: The ECA Team

Emma Brown

Edinburgh College of Art (ECA)  has, over the past few years been cementing its position as somewhat of a GFW darling with its creative and exciting runway collections standing at the forefront, not only of fashion design, but also of construction. Counting the Prince of luxe Graeme Black and sartorial crush du jour Holly Fulton among its Alumni, this was one show for which my expectations (hopes!?) had been raised just short of literal brain-on-the-wall, jaw-on-the-carpet mind-blowing raptures of the kind one usually associates with Bible Belt Televangelists.

Eliza Borkowska

Praise be the Lord!  From the gorgeously gothic velvet and chiffon maxis with abstracted skeletal prints shown by Emma Brown, to Eliza Borkowska’s sharp minimalism and geometric shapes in crisp clean neutrals, Emma Rockett’s playful take on classic English tailoring in candy cane stripes juxtaposed with acid bright tights in hot pink, and lets not forget Sally Hansen’s insanely wearable, tea-party-chic in ditzy florals…

Emma Rockett

I was definitely not disappointed. Spoilt for choice? Yes. Usually I have no real problem with the wheat / chaff process but ECA has had me dithering as I have never dithered before (bravo!)

Sally Hansen

Hand-wringing aside, for me the top of the class had to be Charlotte Heylar with her 3-D graphic prints. Stunning, show-stopping, hypnotic, Charlotte’s collection of slinky silk maxis and jackets, liberally soused in some kind of tecky-textile wizardry takes “fashion-forward” well beyond the pale and leaves tradition mouldering in the garage like an old black and white TV. Yes, 3-D glasses are a requirement to see these pieces at their eye-popping, mind-bending best, but even without, this is still an indisputably wearable (and covetable) collection. The next Ms. Fulton? Let’s just say this is definitely a  space you’ll want to watch…

Charlotte Heylar

Images by Simon Armstrong with thanks to ARTS THREAD: head on over for reviews of all the GFW 2010 shows, and a huge great heap of other exciting design-related bits, bobs, news and commentary.

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GFW 2010! Bunmi Olaye

Alas! Much to my ever-present shame, I am unable to attend one of my favourite fashion events of the season! (Drat, drat and double drat!) It’s been a case of work stops play with a good solid roundhouse kick to the face and the perpetually waggling finger of authority…

So, for those who didn’t know already, GFW 2010 kicked off yesterday with the Graduate catwalk collections from the University of East London, and with over 1000 students all vying for sartorial acclaim, glory and the River Island £20,000 Gold Award, the competition is (as always) fierce, or maybe – FIERCE. But, as in all things there are frontrunners, and UEL’s frontrunner has got to be – in fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here, ISBunmi Olaye.

With work experience under the late Alexander McQueen, her own label – Bunmi Koko and a celebrity clientèle list longer than your arm, including Mischa Barton, current muse Mel B and Alesha Dixon, the future is already looking blinding for Nigerian designer Bunmi, and with just a quick glance at her collections it’s easy to see why…

Matriarchy, Bunmi’s GFW collection, draws inspiration from a patriarchal Nigerian cult practised by members of the Efik tribe and fuses that with the seemingly antithetical aesthetic principles of Victorian womenswear with its focus on cinched waists, voluminous sleeves and high collars.

Matriarchy, in Bunmi’s own words, is about “[…]power, royalty, status and ultimate femininity […] a collection that is luxurious and feminine, with a wild and untamable spirit influenced by the masquerade.”

Matriarchy is also set for exhibition at the upcoming Africa Fashion Week in Johannesburg from 30th June-3rd July.

Geisha’s Reform, the latest RTW collection from Bunmi Koko with its sumptuously crafted homage to shape and structure in traditional Japanese clothing and Western Art Deco architecture, is quite simply awe-inspiring…

Head over to xolqrcexo for more on this absolutely astounding up-and-coming designer…or check out the Bunmi Koko website &/or the Bunmi Koko Facebook Page.

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