In Northern Ireland we’re never too shy to make a statement, so this year’s Ulster University Graduate Fashion Show was no different when they teamed up with the Artichoke Trust to promote, commemorate and bring to life the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote.
Set in St Annes Cathedral, over two hours we met 20 local graduate designers all ready to break some rules themselves. From knitwear to childrenswear to ‘Could I really wear that?’ each fashion flight was forward-thinking and eye grabbing.
Two particular designers caused the audience to rise from their pews in praise – Bronagh Crothars with what can only be described as ‘insect chic’ – a series of oil-spill pieces and oversized claws on already oversized jumpers, and Laura Dixon – whose highwaist yellow chaps were more couture than they were Christina Aguilera ‘Dirty’. Speaking to her after the show, Laura said ‘It was a phenomenal experience to showcase and debut my collection ‘Utilia’ in the St Anne’s cathedral last night. The atmosphere was one of a kind and not a night to forget! The creativity and designs from the Ulster University keeps growing and pushing boundaries each and every year.’
Matthew Tanner, whose line was inspired by 18th century witchcraft certainly had the audience captivated – a trapeze leather top and ready to wear white knit midi dress amongst others awarded him the Emerging New Talent title.
With Kanye West’s ‘Fade’, Florence & The Machines ‘Say My Name’ and a little bit of Bob Marleys ‘Don’t Worry’, in parts this fashion show felt more like a summer garden party. And so it should be – a celebration of a year of their work, and that if they keep this up – these students certainly won’t have to worry about a thing.
Congratulations Class of 2018
Author: Anna Louise Crockard