Graduate Fashion Week: Gemma's front-row diary
Gemma Cartwright celebrates as Graduate Fashion Week comes to a close...
It's the final day of Graduate Fashion Week, and things are winding up as the individual University shows give way to the big gala presentations this afternoon / evening. Team CQ are currently back at Shiny Towers making sense of scribbled notes, garbled video and hastily snapped photos, but we'll be back in Battersea tonight for some schmoozing and star-spotting at the champagne reception and gala awards show. Will we get our five minutes with Gold Award Judges Posh, Alber and Glenda? We can but hope!
After three days of more or less back-to-back shows, it's actually quite nice to be back at my desk and able to think. Though getting that coveted front row view is fantastic, after seeing so many garments in such a short space of time, things did begin to become a bit of a blur (in this case a neon orange one).
In some ways the speed at which you have to judge the clothes makes spotting a stand-out collection easier, but I was also grateful for the universities who'd put together fantastic show brochures full of reminders to make my life easier. Kim and I split the shows down the middle so I've still yet to see everything, but my personal faves included Manchester Met's Jane Rutter and Jessica Clarke, Northbrook's Alex Sorelli, De Montfort's Laura Grieve and Nottingham Trent's Rebecca Royce. It'll come as no surprise to regular CQ readers that I was instantly drawn to girly dresses, bright textiles, retro swimwear and pretty knits. For reviews and pictures, see our coverage at GFWLive.com.
Monday and Tuesday were definitely bigger and busier than Sunday, and it was wonderful to see big names in fashion turning up to support new talent and scout out possible future employees. Ben De Lisi, Stuart Vevers and Carrie Mundane were all spotted front row, whilst in the press room we rubbed shoulders with everyone from the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander to the effortlessly stylish crew from Disorder magazine (who also put together GFW Daily, the free on-site newspaper).
We were also lucky enough (thanks to Laura and Isabelle's help covering shows) to get a chance to speak to some of the talented students, take a look at the portfolios of those not showing their work on the catwalk and head backstage to meet the brilliant hair and makeup teams. Having access to all the behind the scenes action has been great, and I can't thank our friends at Graduate Fashion Week, River Island and Stephanie Churchill PR enough for putting on such an amazing event and giving us such free reign of the tents. The champagne should definitely be flowing tonight, everyone deserves it!
Team CQ are responsible for GFWLive.com, the official site for Graduate Fashion Week students. Following the event, the site will continue to be updated with news, photographs and post-GFW action. Make sure to keep visiting and supporting such a fantastic fashion event.