THE ‘NEW SCHOOL’ : CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH
We have just seen the future of fashion at the Transitions 2.0 denim event at London’s Bargehouse @OxoTowerWharf and cannot believe what has just been witnessed- to the point that one of us playfully suggested to carry their jaw home in a wheel barrow! Okay, so that was clearly an excitably awe-struck assertion by one of our writers at the show, but nevertheless, what an event!
The attention of each room in the venue was held by the uninterrupted talent from @RavensbourneUK, and swathes of innovated denim couture. Unapologetic brick walls- part covered and part freckled in paint, modestly exposed autumnal-coloured steel beams, and tall 1930’s factory windows added to the tone of the private viewing: commercial conceptualisation with no pretences.
THE TAPESTRY THAT BINDS
@RavensbourneUK ’s ode to denim: Transitions 2.0, stands as a non-traditional industry simulation showcase for the up-and-coming fashion designers, new wave fashion accessory designers, and next generation fashion buyers at the celebrated design institute, all in partnership with the denim pioneers at @Wrangler (and parent company @VFCorp). The event breaks conventionalism in fashion and design academia because of principals that hold the project together at the seams:
- Participating teams in the fashion showcase act as mini start-ups consisting of 3 listed fashion operations- fashion design, fashion accessories and fashion buying
- Collections had to be original and conceptual, but have commercial viability
- Create a new dimension or avenue for the themed textile (i.e. denim) in the fashion and design industry
As each team’s designs are presented to and judged by actual specialists from @Wrangler, the participants know how critical the programme is to launching some careers. When speaking with some of the students during the show they voiced how important it is for the university to have projects like Transition 2.0 for them, because it gives them a taste of working in the industry in addition to assessing the development of their peers in both the design and fashion buying sides. As designers and fashion buyers in the industry do not always agree on portfolio’s and styles, or the marketing of certain collections, it is a good training ground for the students to learn essential cross-functional collaborative skills pre-industry.
The students also conveyed the immensity of the opportunity afforded to them through the exhibition, as they engage the professionals they are trying to get direct access to in the fashion industry- in their own customised setting. One second year Fashion and Buying student that the @CetteCulture team spoke to described the event as one that “…encourages the teams and students to bring real practical innovation and focus on the “newness” in fashion, that will drive [our] careers and industry forward.”. Not only did they achieve this in spades, but speaking as an independent party at the show, we believe some of the designs and intellectual property on display could easily be trademarked and sold by the young designers and their teams for a pretty penny.
THE END PRODUCT – BEHIND THE STORE FRONT WINDOW
Much like the material that the fashion students worked with you could tell that they had been put through a laboured process to get to the finished product. The students from both fashion design and fashion buying shed light on the testing 3-month journey that was the backdrop to their approved collections. Some students descriptions of early ideas and initial planning in the project paralleled a canvas of acid washed denim: sporadic, passionate, contrasting and emotive. During the process, some of the collaborators concepts were stressed and put through a rinse wash of questioning by their fashion buying teammates, just as some from the fashion design camp grated and stone washed some propositions from their counterparts in the same vein. However, all involved admitted to having their tinted perspective and ideas cut, re-styled and tapered along the way to make room for true, commercially viable couture pieces. In the end you could sense the elation from the students as they presented their bespoke ensembles. We also admired their professionalism as they networked and mingled with attendees, bloggers, vloggers and @Wrangler insiders. You could still quite literally feel each student’s sense of hunger to become the new disruptor in fashion.
Though the event was a great opportunity for sewing together both current and new schools of fashion by means of denim, it was very exciting to get a sneak peek into what our future icons in fashion and design are trying to achieve with an ordinary, everyday, commonplace textile.
Kudos to: @RavensbourneUK ; @fashionbuying_ravensbourne , @ravensbourne_fad , @ravensbournefashion706 – @OxoTowerWharf , @Wrangler and @VFCorp for putting this all together and pushing the new visionaries forward.
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