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Fashion design students shine on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week

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University of East London fashion design students take the catwalk by storm

University of East London (UEL) fashion design students took the catwalk by storm at Graduate Fashion Week on 2 June as they unveiled an exciting and innovative array of original designs.

The prestigious national event, at the Truman Brewery in Hanbury Street, London, showcased the versatile talents of 16 students in their final year at the University, highlighting their contribution to the talent of tomorrow.

UEL was among 38 of the UK's leading fashion universities taking part in the event, which is organised by the Graduate Fashion Foundation, a charitable organisation. GFW acts as a springboard for new talent for the fashion industry.

Namal Lanka, UEL’s co-programme leader in fashion marketing, said, “This year in particular we have showcased an amazing line-up of talent from UEL. We have called our collection ‘The East London Tribe’ to define a modern tribe showcasing the University’s incredible talent.

"The show sparkled with a huge variety of work with intricate and novel designs. Many of the beautiful designs were specially created to be both fashionable and to follow a different mix of themes, including diversity, history, cultural identity and the environment. The new look in fashion was being showcased with students weaving in themes such as environmentally friendly textiles and producing upcycled materials.

“The students have come up with some incredible ideas while ensuring there is sustainability, zero waste and the use of natural and bio products in many of their creations,” Mr Lanka said.

Mr Lanka praised the variety of materials that students have embraced, including tea bags, recycled plastic bottles, designs  from cork and linen and clever re-use of existing  textiles and clothing.

He said, “Students have explored ideas and produced imaginative and unusual garments which are at the same time beautiful and wearable and can be at the very high end of fashion. They are stylish but in some cases are also telling a story or relating a theme such as global warming, the history of the slave trade or the need to conserve water."

Beatrice Newman, programme leader in fashion design, added, “It was a brilliant show, with all of the students taking part displaying a wealth of diverse talent. The University of East London has again surpassed all expectations and produced some amazing garments and pieces that are both inventive and unusual, while at the same time beautiful and wearable.

“The event has been a great success and all those taking part felt that it had been a great opportunity to boost their profiles and enhance their careers.”

One of the students who showed a collection, Anh Nguyen, said he was very pleased with how his show had gone. He showcased four garments for men.

He said, “I have never done a cat walk show before, and this has gone really well. I am planning to do sustainable work, focusing on upcycling to create new designs by re-using existing garments and I am looking for a job and also hope to continue with these designs.”

Anh, 3, was always interested in fashion, but a full-time focus came later in life.  He moved to the UK from Vietnam seven years ago and began studying for a chemistry degree before switching to fashion design.

He said, “I wanted to do something artistic and felt that I needed to do something that I liked.”