Sneak Peek: Why I'm Excited for the Ulster University Graduate Fashion Show!

Monday, May 08, 2017

There is nothing I love more than celebrating creative fashion design! For some bloggers their passion is High Street fashion, for others it’s all about designer labels, but my passion lies with the creative process and craftsmanship involved in fashion design. From the initial concept right through to the final product, I have always ardently admired the creative flair, talent and dedication needed to be a successful fashion designer. Here in Northern Ireland we have a such a strong creative heritage and I am always so excited to see what our up and coming design students are producing as part of their final projects.

One of the highlights of my fashion calendar is always the Ulster University Graduate Fashion Show and this year the future faces of fashion design will be descending upon the city’s cathedral for their highly-anticipated annual Graduate Fashion Show!

The event, which will take place at St Anne’s Cathedral on Friday 19 May, will showcase the creative and innovative flair of Ulster University’s fashion and textile design students, giving them an invaluable platform to showcase their collections as they take their first steps towards their fashion careers.

I have had the privilege of attending this show now for many years and I am always blown away by the creative talent of the graduating students, who continue year after year to both amaze and inspire me. I love the funky venues and the atmosphere of the show, which is organized by the students themselves. For anyone who is interested in diverse design it truly is a night to remember!

Every year we are treated to an array of design diversity across a multitude of textile disciplines, and this year I am so happy to share a sneak peek at some of my favourite looks from this year’s show!

Knitwear makes a strong statement this year from sexy see through fine gauge knit dresses to appliqué jumpers and knitted tailoring, there is a welcome mix of textures and colours on display adding interest to modern silhouettes!

Design by Abbie Walsh.
Design by Emma Benson.
Design by Glenda Hawkes.
An exploration of texture is always a welcome trend, from faux fur to mesh and sheer paneling, and this year it is popping up in everything from sports luxe to eveningwear! A welcome reinterpretation of styles and shapes, these designs create interest through the interplay of colour, texture and tailoring. I especially loved Anna McNeill’s collection, mixing raw hems with cut outs, mesh detailing and sheer fabrics creating interest through texture.

Design by Anna McNeill.
Design by Ellen Hawthorn.
Design by Annemarie McLoughlin.
This Spring/Summer saw an explosion of ruffles hit the catwalk and this too can be said of the graduate collections, with Jamie Kerr’s breathtaking pink ruffle dress! Everything about this design is lush, with some seriously fabulous bodice detailing, it is the stuff that girly fashion dreams are made off!

While Lusia Murray has taken a very different approach to the trend creating an almost Asian inspired take on ruffles, creating a beautiful balance of both volume and clean minimal lines.

Design by Jamie Kerr.
Design by Lusia Murray.
Last but by no means least we have Anna Thompson and Rhys Harris, who both have interesting takes on pattern. I love the backless detailing in Anna’s look and I for one cannot wait to discover the mystery behind the QR codes of Rhys Harris’ tunic top!

Design by Anna Thompson.
Design by Rhys Harris.
It’s been so inspiring to see some of the upcoming collections from this year’s graduates, and I for one cannot wait to see the rest of the student’s collections. The spectacle of seeing their designs in a show setting will make for a wonderful evening and is the accumulation of many months of hard work and dedication on the part of the students.

Hair will be styled by multi-award winning stylist Andrew Mulvenna hair while Paddy McGurgan’s Make Up Pro team will create the make-up looks. The addition of Northern Ireland’s leading creatives in these fields as sponsors really adds to the world-class level of show that the students will create!

Tickets are on sale now at just £15 per ticket via:

The ticket price includes a fab Gin Fusions cocktail along with Skinny Prosecco.

Many thanks to Cathy Martin at CMPR for providing press release and all relevant imagery.

Hey guys, this post has also been featured on the The F Words blog, you can check it out here!

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