The catwalks of Europe have long beckoned to young fashion designers around the world with dreams of seeing their creations paraded in front of A-list crowds and industry representatives.
Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) in London gives fashion students and graduates from universities around the world a taste of what the future might hold.
The four-day event aims to bridge the gap between graduation and employment and is responsible for launching the careers of some of the UK’s most successful designers including Stella McCartney and Christopher Bailey MBE, who was the winner of the first ever Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award.
This year, School of Fashion and Textiles graduate Rachel Louey (2017) experienced the thrill of seeing her work featured, and said it was a valuable experience to be part of.
“Graduate Fashion Week was not only a fantastic opportunity to show my work on a global platform outside of Australia, but also a chance to meet other graduates from around the world,” she said.
“The diversity of shows, and seeing how they were approaching and expressing their ideas and designs was inspiring and stimulating.”
GFW attracts around 30,000 guests to London each June and features catwalk shows and exhibitions from 40 UK participating universities alongside live talks and workshops featuring leading names from the fashion industry.
Fifty-one fashion institutions from around the world also took part in this year's Swarovski International Fashion Award, including universities from the United States, Japan, Israel, Italy and France, and RMIT.
The inaugural GFW International Exhibition, Diversity in Fashion Education, also featured RMIT’s School of Fashion & Textiles alongside eight other universities.
According to Associate Dean - Industry Engagement, Kiri Delly, it was a chance to showcase the University’s renowned School of Fashion and Textiles, meet educators from other institutions and consider potential project collaborations.
“It allowed the international cohort to demonstrate the range of courses on offer around the globe and share insights into our programs, students and initiatives,” she said.
“It’s gratifying to realise how well regarded the School’s profile and position is globally, and I was proud to acknowledge our place as a key educator.”
“Having a presence at an event like this gives us the chance to step back and reflect on all the hard work taking place within the School of Fashion and Textiles – our Learning and Teaching projects, our connections with industry, our current focus and future directions.”
Story: Karen Phelan