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Generations of Westminster Alumni show at London Fashion Week

An array of Westminster fashion design alumni including Ashley Williams, Christopher Bailey, Markus Lupfer, David Ferreira, Jack Byne, Amanda Svart, Emma Charles and Roberta Einer who all studied at the University of Westminster’s School of Media, Arts and Design, showcased their new collections at London Fashion Week.

While Westminster alumnus Stuart Vevers, Creative Director of Coach, presented a showstopping collection at the close of New York Fashion Week, it was recent fashion graduate Ashley Williams who started the first day of London Fashion Week showing her new S/S 2017 collection.

Ashley Williams, who graduated from the BA Fashion Design course in 2012, took inspiration from the pin-up of her youth River Phoenix, with her S/S 2017 designs tapping into the unfathomable space between reality and fantasy which exist in the teenage imagination. Her creations featured 1980s puffball dresses, mini-skirts, graphic two-piece suits and dungarees.

Since her graduation, her designs have gained a host of followers including Rihanna, Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof, Georgia May Jagger and Alice Dellal.

Later in the day, Jack Byne, who graduate back in June 2016 showed his graduate collection as part of the ‘Tomorrows Talent’ section of the ON/OFF presentation at LFW. Alongside Amanda Svart who graduated from Westminster in 2014.

Saturday saw Markus Lupfer show his S/S 2017 collection which was inspired by outdoor elements, tapping into both nature and streetwear. Floral patterns, sheer materials, pleated skirts and bomber jackets featured prominently in Lupfer’s designs giving off a light and refreshing feel. Speaking about the inspiration behind his designs Lupfer cited: “A desire for nature, a meadow full of surprises, a sense of individuality, ease and a youthful spirit.”

Saturday night saw Donatella Versace showing the Versus collection at the University of Westminster’s P3 gallery space at the Marylebone campus, with a Frow featuring Gigi Hadid Zayn Malik, Jourdan Dunn, and Winnie Harlow.

Cut to Sunday afternoon when it was 2015 graduate Robert Einer time to show her latest collection. After only 18 months she has already been named a NEWGEN one-to-watch as well as winning the Saks 5th Avenue Emerging Designer competition and now counts them as one of her stockists.

Based on Miami and its art scene in the Seventies and early Eighties the collection featured pastel hues influenced by the city’s archetypal architecture which became the starting point for the embroidered graphics in the collection. Seventies-inspired stripes are also an essential part of the new range, developed into optical illusions, inspired by artworks of the era.

Monday saw the launch of Emma Charles’ new collection which she showed as part of the LFW Designer Showrooms, in Brewer Street.

Emma, who graduated in 2014 showed a collection with an elegant aesthetic, inspired by vintage menswear tailoring, encompasses a soft femininity with clean lines. A youthful energy is expressed by the use of bright colours, luxurious fabrics, and innovative application techniques.

Late Monday night saw Westminster’s Christopher Bailey show Burberry's first see-now, buy-now collection, based on the book Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The runway featured both men’s and womenswear and was immediately available to buy from stockists worldwide.

Finally, on the last day of London Fashion Week, David Ferreira who graduated in 2015 showed his SS17 catwalk show at Freemason's Hall. Featuring an array of sweet-wrapper metallic fabrics in every hue, the collection also showcased his signature use of corsetry and tailoring to create a collection that was both futuristic and modern.

Andrew Groves, Course Director for BA Fashion Design, said: it was thrilling to see such an array of Westminster design talent on show at LFW. Whether stewards of design such as Christopher Bailey at Burberry or relative newcomers like Jack Byne and Emma Charles, the sheer array and diversity of Westminster talent on show embodied the strength and attitude of fashion education at Westminster.

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