Wednesday, 6 June 2012

AIU Graduate Fashion Show

Set in the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, American Intercontinental University (AIU) hosted its 2012 Graduate Fashion show and marketing exhibition.

Fifteen final year Fashion Design students showcased their collections of 6-8 outfits.
Backstage hairstylists from the Marylebone hairdressing salon Electric Hair created a feminine but androgynous look – volume on the top with hair flat at the sides and back.  A futuristic take on the 50s bouffant beehive style.

Makeup artists who trained at the Session School also created a twist on the 50s style.
The eyes were the main focus with the dramatic black ‘cat eye’ liner. The twist came with white eyeliner used close to the bottom lashes followed with another black line. Metallic and bold pastel shades were also used courtesy of the mineral cosmetic brand Bellapierre.

The show was hosted by TV stylist Nick Ede. First on the catwalk was Nazish Kalani’s collection titled Elixir of Refinement. Kalani’s aim was to portray a polished demure look. Using a palette of white, ivory and cream for  hope and the light seen at the end of the black tunnel, she returns to  gentle and humbler roots. The overall look was neat and simple, but a closer inspection revealed many textural layers with fabrics of crisp cotton and the denser felt being used (which in some pieces Kalani actually made). The folds in the long skirts were voluminous with fine pleat detailing on tops. Fringing trimmed the hem of a coat whilst a basket weave design gave texture to a black sculptural jacket.  

A few more of the design students were:

Basma El Ajou whose collection was titled Allure du Maroc. Inspired by the beauty of Marrakech, Basma created simple designs adding drama with a colour palette of petrol blue and orange to interpret the lush gardens, spices, terracotta tiles and radiance of Marrakech.  Rich fabrics of wool with cashmere and silk jersey were used. The key looks were the dramatic sweeping floor length cloaks with hoods adding a sense of mystery and the low crotch style harem style trousers.

Padraic Cowley with a collection titled Brown Paper. Starting with the British country tweed look, this collection became an eclectic mix of the gentry and the worker styles.  Short tweed coat, jodhpur style trousers worn with full blouse and a long coat of Aran wool with leather patched elbows mingled with a peasant like frayed shawl and elongated Aran jumper with waistcoat complete with the skeletal frame of a rowing boat. Earthy fabrics included organic flannels, cord, tweed, leather and wool.

Johnny Wang, collection titled Chaos: 3286. Partly inspired by David Attenborough’s Frozen Planet, Wang shows the earth ice bound in the year 3286. His collection is a patchwork of the high tech and the low primitive, a combination an explorer on an epic expedition would need to survive. Fabrics are rubber, plastic and synthetic fur. The fur ranges from stark white, candy to black, but always with a sheen as though reflecting the light from the blinding snow. Sleeves are exaggeratedly long and hoods deep and structured.

Celebrities watching the show included Zandra Rhodes who handed out prizes to the award winning AIU student designers at the end of the show and DJ Jodie Harsh.

Images provided by AIU London

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky

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