Gavin spilled the beans on plans afoot to launch a Graduate Fashion Week over on his blog. Whether this is a good or bad thing is kind of dependent on how its run, who its run for and what people really plan to get out of it. Sadly for the students I think the reaction from most to viewing student work en masse is akin to being invited to amateur dramatics: its the kind of thing you only go to if you’ve got a (close) relative involved in and you weren’t quick enough with a good excuse for your absence. I’ve sat through a couple of graduate events and its a bit of a painful experience to be honest. That’s not to diss the students, there is undoubtedly some great young talent, and far be it from me to hinder their experience of putting together a collection and staging it. The problem is though most people would like the students work to go through some kind of editorial filter, so they don’t have to sit through hours and hours of student work in the hope of uncovering the occasional diamond in the rough.
I think maybe of more value for the few students that do have the talent to showcase publicly are events like Elle’s New Talent awards, the Vukani awards or the young talent showcases at the various fashion weeks. Maybe what we need is something along the lines of London Fashion Week’s Fashion Fringe competition (chaired by Donatella Versace this year) where finalists are mentored during and after the event rather than left to fend for themselves.
If you’re interested in this it’s worth a visit to the website of Graduate Fashion Week in the UK.