On Friday 31st May, in the run-up to Graduate Fashion Week 2019, Middlesex University presented 18 selected BA Fashion Design and Fashion Textiles collections to the industry and media at Somerset House. Fifteen students were featured in a runway show and a further three in a static exhibition, while portfolios by all graduating students were on display.
The showcased students were shortlisted by a prestigious industry panel of judges including designer Bethany Williams and artist Julie Verhoeven, Kim Howells, fashion director at culture and style magazine HUNGER, Stuart Williamson, fashion editor at gentleman's style journal Fantastic Man, and Luella Lane, head of design at Anthropologie.
The catwalk show included striking collections featuring deconstructed coats and suits, jackets with day-glo piping, and ensembles inspired by circus harlequins, American football, fetish and op-art. "The collections push the traditional rules of shape and colour in fashion to its limit" reported HUNGER. "In these graduates' hands... the future of fashion is going to be boundary-breaking".
Middlesex University has a long-standing commitment to nurturing the future of British fashion, going back to courses taught at Hornsey School of Art in the 1960s. Middlesex fashion alumni include Stevie Stewart and David Holah of influential 1980s label BodyMap, Brian Kirkby and current Royal College of Art Head of Fashion Zowie Broach, both of studio Boudicca, and more recently designers Ashish, Cristopher Raeburn and Martine Rose.
Head of the Design Department, Professor Gareth Williams, said: "At Middlesex, we believe all design practices should be outward facing, inclusive, imaginative and dynamic: we train designers who can address real world situations face on but who are eager to challenge the status quo. We do not have a Middlesex ‘house style’: instead, we value self-expression, independent minds and genuinely innovative ideas.
"Our talented and skilful teaching and technical team go to great lengths to introduce students to the realities of professional life in the fashion industry, in order to best equip them for their careers in fashion".
Director of Programmes, Scott Ramsay Kyle said: “Fashion Design and Fashion Textiles at Middlesex University represent a space in which to play and express ideas, to discuss, tear up and start again; to take creative risks and experiment, to produce work which is unlike any other.
"Working with their hands to conceive and engineer innovative, provocative and beautiful things is what our students do – and they do it with style, effortlessness and integrity". He extended a huge thank you to the Creative Careers and Skills Programme at Somerset House Trust for their support of this year's graduates.