This year has proven to be one of the toughest for fashion graduates. From mass cancellations of shows and photoshoots to fashion conglomerates going on hiring freezes, this is the most hostile fashion industry has been in decades. Nevertheless, the younger generation is the future, and we were made sure of that after discovering some of the class 2020 graduate collections from the best fashion schools worldwide. This year, fresh grads played with the idea of hybrid garments that fused physical and digital fashion and reimagined the very idea of wearability.
@bafcsm graduate and the winner of @lvmh@maisonzero Green Trial prize, @scarlettyang_ , has introduced a completely biodegradable collection which utilized algae extracts and silk cocoon protein. The collection struts the balance between the physical and the virtual, combining the best elements of both worlds in a fine surreal vial. The collection’s headliner, a utopian mermaid-esque dress presents as a wonderful concoction of textures and shapes that twist and bend in ways that are simply impossible to achieve with conventional textiles.
@erica.sopuisho , a knitwear graduate from @rca_fashion cites Hong Kong culture and its identity as the inspiration behind her collection. Her creations incorporate silks and tulle arranged into never-ending layers animated through black elements resembling brushstrokes. Pure emotions are captured in distorted silhouettes and sheer drapes, creating an ethereal vision that serves as a message of support to her home. So’s dresses speak to the graffiti that was painting the streets of Hong Kong in the heart of protests, proving once again that fashion should be political.
Aviya Seligman and Elad Danon of @arezou_________ have both graduated from @parsons_fashion in womenswear, and, with their Vital Trouble 2020 collection, they aim to challenge the limitations of conventional garments through futuristic designs and modular construction. Arezou champions adaptable designs, where function goes hand-in-hand with aesthetics. In its creations, we see that are seemingly restrictive but prove to be mobile due to smart fabric choices and genius construction.
Oh, how refreshing it is to see the return of classic glamour and camp in 2020! @miss_sohee, @bafcsm2020 graduate, has shaken the world of fashion with her bold, structurally complex gowns that resembled John Galliano’s monumental work for Dior Haute Couture in the early 2000s. Pieces from Sohee’s collection immaculately transpire the notion of wearable art with their three-dimensional elements, precise encrustation work and, Park’s signature, puffed tiers. Park’s bold, otherworldly garments are here to save us from the oppression of minimalism and white T-shirts attempting to pass as groundbreaking designs.
We see more and more young designers finding inspirations in marine ecosystems and using such imagery to speculate and encourage us to contemplate the future of not only fashion, but humanity as a whole. @rca_fashion 2020 graduate, @sch.studio ‘s work with biomaterials became informed with behavioral ecology. The project is essentially a dress, created from a meshwork of algae-based bioplastics woven into a slim silhouette as a testament to Aesthetics, Functionality, Sustainability and Durability. The work aims to represent the garment as a living organism that becomes a part of the wearer in a captivating symbiosis.
Engineering, 3D printing and novel materials all made a prominent feature in @j.rayson.c ‘s graduate collection for @rca_fashion . For his project, titled ‘Symbiosis’, Rayson collaborated with a parametric architect Leon Krykhtin to shift tailoring into the digital realm. The work described is a helmet-resembling headpiece that sits on a marble bust that transforms into a model inspired by the one Sigourney Weavers.
@jaketreddenick , graduate of @rca_fashion class of 2020 describes himself as a ‘working-class northerner with a dirty sense of humour’ and ‘outrageously homosexual’. Treddenick’s work, saturated with hot pinks and surprising contrasts of textures, twirls on the intersection of mordant social commentary, visual comedy and, of course, couture. Through the divine concoction of fabrics, screaming colours and provocative silhouettes, Treddenick defies gender constructs, laughs in the face of societal norms and turns the stereotypical portrayal of queerness into a powerful tool of artistic expression.
The work of @parsons_fashiongraduate, @ldududuuu is all about taking subtle niche references and transforming them into high-tech designs using cutting-edge technology. Her graduate collection was presented in the form of a whimsical animation of a pair of robotic legs strutting down the virtual realm. Meng Du’s pieces are inspired by an array of aesthetics and resemble the refined versions from armour-heavy steampunk video games, all while pushing the boundaries of footwear.
In her latest collection, @lcflondon_graduate , @ziwei_qu showcased her vision of contemporary menswear through utilitarian silhouettes and retro-inspired colourways. The pieces give the impression of a crossover between baseball uniforms and superhero costumes from the pages of ‘80s comic books. Retrofuturism as seen through the lens of youth and modernity, Qu’s collection has a potential of instilling the sci-fi references into the closets of modern men through uncompromised tailoring and incredible design choices.