The grad shows: Westminster 2016


Constance-Blackaller_005 The BA(Hons) Fashion Design class of 2016 from The University of Westminster kicked off graduate fashion show season with an eclectic runway show, mixing historical inspiration and ideas from the street and the Far East with pioneering menswear and clever cutting. Previous alumni include Christopher Bailey, Chief Creative Office of Burberry; Jutta Kraus, Creative Director of Bernhard WIllhelm; and Stuart Vevers, Creative Director of Coach so the bar was high. Here are my favourites:


About Constance Blackaller: 'Constance Blackaller [opened the show] in memorable fashion with an offering of “deconstructed draping”. An abundance of colour characterised the graduate collection ... Silhouettes were intricate, incorporating myriad twists and turns and origami-folding techniques to create voluminous looks reminiscent of Japan and the country’s traditional dress.' (Dazed Digital)

Design by Yasemin Cakli. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Yasemin Cakli: 'A fresh take on modern sportswear.' (

Design: Eleanor Bemand. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

Design: Eleanor Bemand. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Eleanor Bemand: 'Complex, sweeping structures inspired by historical references burst out from under structured masculine jackets.' (me)


About Pip Paz-Howlett: 'Acid house and rave culture were the starting point for Howlett’s graduate collection, a disorienting blend of psychedelic swirls and porno prints. Latex was a key textile, appearing throughout the collection in the form of skin-tight catsuits, oversized jackets and cut-away tops. Ripped, dishevelled pieces revealed hints of flesh and hinted at the hedonism of Howlett’s imagined underworld; elsewhere, pops of eye-catching colour and the show’s frenetic soundtrack sought to revive the manic energy of one of Britain’s most beloved scenes.' (Dazed Digital)

Design: Eleanor Bemand. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

Design: Katie McGuigan. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Katie McGuigan: 'Luminous jewel-like colours, intricate print and pattern, laser cutting, and quite beautiful layering.' (me)

Design: Lydia Smith. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Lydia Smith: 'Trousers sewn with leaves; coats, jackets and tunics printed with foliage - and this sweet cottage over orange vest, brown shorts and white shirt: what's not to love?'

Design: Isabel Brooke. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Isabel Brooke: 'Psychedelic swirls paired with trapezoid indigo denim capes.' (me)

Design: Emma Hart. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Emma Hart: 'Inspired by Robert Gober’s sculptural renderings of domestic objects, Emma Hart’s abstract embroideries add an interesting dimension to a collection of pastel-hued rubber. Collaging techniques are evident in the deconstructed gowns; ruched shoulders, shredded seams and metallic hoop details are also present in Hart’s individual brand of beautiful chaos.' (Dazed Digital)

Design: Christopher Pak. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Christopher Pak: 'American artist James Castle and his hand-made collages were cited by Christopher Pak as the key inspiration behind his graduate collection. These references manifest literally in the oversized, decorative stitching that marks Pak’s aesthetic. The results were striking – a patchwork collection of asymmetric dresses, draped leathers and dramatic outerwear inspired by the couture shapes of decades passed.'  (Dazed Digital)

Design: Annie Malcolm. Picture: Simon Armstrong.

About Annie Malcolm: 'Classic menswear silhouettes were rendered in bright reds and yellows, alongside military neutrals, and then enlivened with 3D geometric shapes tacked onto shoulders, trousers and hems.' (me)

Show credits: Make-up by Carly Utting, Debbit Finnigan, Rebecca Butterworth, Dominic Skinner and the M.A.C Pro Team. Special thanks to Terry Barber, Director of Makeup Artistry M.A.C. Hair by Frankie Pullen and the Daniel Galvin Team for L’Oreal Professionnel.