By Kyri Kallis-Panesar
First year BA (Hons) Fashion Business and Promotion student
Last Saturday I was fortunate enough to be offered the opportunity to attend a catwalk show by BA (Hons) Fashion Design graduates who took to the runway at Birmingham New Street Station. Directed by the internationally acclaimed Birmingham City University alumnus Lee Lapthorne, the catwalk featured twelve collections of high-end fashion produced by BCU students.
With B O L D prints, C U T T I N G – E D G E designs and a fashion week worthy atmosphere, the overall experience was unforgettable from start to finish. What I found especially interesting about the show was the location. Being set in the busiest train station in Birmingham really helped to make the overall atmosphere of the show. The positioning of the runway was also a very clever idea; having it located directly underneath the train time display boards meant that when passers-by wanted to check train times they would also see the show.
Seeing the designers’ collections hit the runway sent chills down my spine. The F L U I D I T Y of each piece worked so well with each movement and even some of the more structured pieces still told a story.
One of my favourite collections, though it was hard to choose, was Jemma Farley’s ‘Decomposition of the Mind’.
What really caught my eye with Jemma’s collections was how each piece had a three digit number, but it turned out that there was a deeper meaning behind this. I was actually fortunate enough to catch Jemma after the show and managed to ask her a few questions regarding the pieces. One of my first questions was the meaning behind the numbers on each piece, to which she replied:
“The numbers were based upon the era of mental health asylums and how a lot of patients would have an identity number on their uniform to identify them and how they were thought of more as a number rather than an individual”.
It was really nice to hear the thought process behind each piece and I also found out that the reason she used denim to create the pieces was because she wanted to use a stiff material to represent how restricted the inmates were.
I also really liked how Jemma expressed her passion for the course and how it really opened up a lot of opportunities for her, such as Graduate Fashion week, which is a great stepping stone for any young designer starting out. She went on to tell me that “seeing your collection coming down the runway is such a proud moment for any designer knowing that all the hard work, dedication and sleepless nights really do pay off.”
I can honestly say it was such an honour to be able to view the show and to see such P A S S I O N and dedication in each piece.