Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow
26 May 2011
Reviewed by: Shelley Queen
New York, the city that never sleeps. With countless songs written about the Big Apple, big Hollywood films shot there and thousands of pages of literature talking about the place, no wonder so many travel to see what it is about New York that influences so many people. It was this city that was the central theme to the fashion show put on by students at Glasgow Caledonian University.
As you walked into the university building you were greeted by jazz band Pulse and glasses of champagne – so far, so New York. Famous NYC street names directed you to DJ Vinny Currie, who supplied a modern and urban soundtrack to the evening, and small showcase of some of the student's work. The catwalk was a great blend between industrial and urban with glamour and sophistication - metal pipes mixed with white fabric and the catwalk even had road markings on it, further adding to
Opening the show was a graphic display by Glasgow School of Art's Gibran Farrah which was projected above the catwalk, merging still images of iconic photographs of New York – the yellow taxi's, the skyline, the street view and of course the American flag. The show started with the second year's work and showcased the collections of second to fourth year students, which spanned a huge range of themes from Cirque du Soliel to Film Noir. The difference in collections also pays homage to the huge mix of cultures and people that live in New York, from the Upper East Side and Wall Street socialites to the Brooklyn artists and Broadway queens, the designs incorporated each part of New York as a city. The Film Noir theme in particular used classic designs and added modern touches. The collection included not only the timeless little black dress, but also made a nod to this year's biggest movie inspired fashion trend, the ballerina, which made it's way onto this years catwalks following the phenomenal success of Oscar winning film Black Swan.
A difficult feature of any fashion show is to be able to match the hair and make up with the varied garments – this challenge is made even more tough when you have such a large variation in themes, however the hair and make-up team behind this show did a great job in making sure that the beauty aspect of the show didn't clash or take focus away from the garments, but weren't boring or bland either. It is a hard balance to strike but they did it well. Another feature that was noticeable about the collections was the amount of interesting details on the back of the outfits. It meant that the show wasn't just about the front of the garments, that each angle was taken into account, and the audience could really understand how much planning and consideration had gone into each element of every single design.
Out of all the collections the Sandstorm theme of the third years was probably my favourite. The pieces were a great mix between architectural, futuristic style and classic designs. In particular I loved the little details on the tailored looks, the gorgeous detailing on belts for example, which just added a different touch to the classic pieces. In particular a beige trench coat with maroon piping caught my eye – if I could I would have bought it right there and then! What I also loved about the show is that it didn't look thrown together so to speak - so much thought had obviously gone into both the garments and how they were to be shown on the catwalk. It was the continuation of themes, with one piece in particular sticking with me in which the model was wearing a cape with flowers who then revealed at the end of the catwalk a gorgeous nude coloured body con dress with, you guessed it, subtle flowers on the lower half. The fact that the model also had a flower in her hair brought the whole ensemble together, if it weren't for the cape and the hairpiece, it might have been harder to spot the subtle flowers on the dress, and it's that attention to detail that really won me over.
The show ended with the display of the Dressed to Kilt collection, which was a competition run with Glenisla kilts to create a new kilt that men would wear everyday. Two of the designs by students ended up being shown alongside Glenisla designs at the star-studded Dressed to Kilt event in New York, as part of Tartan Week 2011. The collection opened with a display by showing each piece in brief and established the “country chic” theme before the models came down the catwalk. Each kilt was worn with a t-shirt which helped make them seem more day-to-day wear and casual rather than the usual occasion wear. Each kilt looked professionally tailored and each had their own unique styling – some were more minimalistic whereas others had bold patterns that a more daring and confident man might wear. Two female kilts were included in the collection, which were also beautifully designed, and the detail on the back, once again, just added that little bit extra to the design. When it came to the finale and the showcase of the two winning kilts you could see why they were chosen to be showcased at Dressed to Kilt, they were stylish, modern kilts that really could be worn by men as everyday wear.
Overall it was a hugely professional show put on by dedicated staff and students. The audience had a fantastic evening which was a credit to everyone involved.
Journalism student from Glasgow.
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glasgow Caledonian University Cowcaddens Road Glasgow G4 0BA Scotland, UK
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