‘Will the real talent please take their place on the catwalk’- GFW 2012 part one

Over the past few days, the Bonafide Supernova team have been really busy attending Graduate Fashion Week 2012. Held at Earls Court London, this year’s show according to Hilary Alexander- Fashion Journalist for The Telegraph Newspaper was; “The biggest show since it started 21 years ago”. Talking about Hilary Alexander, she was also in the press lounge, where we were located during the four days of GFW.

The biggest international graduate fashion event- well in my eyes it definitely has to be. I’ve never been so overwhelmed at the scale of events at GFW, it’s an impressive event. Having only been once before year’s back, as an attendee you don’t get to see the sweat and hard-work which goes into planning and managing such an event.
We were very lucky to gain press passes this year. Huge thank you to the Fashion GPS Radar team, because trust me it wasn’t easy acquiring industry registration to Graduate Fashion Week and judging by how well treated you are as press/VIP/Photographers; we realise why they control the number of industry passes.

On the Sunday, my colleague Zara went along with photographer Christina May (http://www.christinamay.co.uk/), both ladies representing the Bonafide brand; they attended each show on the first day of the graduate fashion week extravaganza!

Sunday 10th June

13:00 East London Catwalk Show
13:45 An Audience with….Best of British
14:30 Central Lancashire Catwalk Show
15:15 An Audience with…..MA Vs Employment
16:00 Edinburgh Catwalk Show
16:45 Ask & Tell with Colin McDowell
17:30 Northumbria Catwalk Show
19:00 Salford Catwalk Show

Unfortunately, we missed the second day of shows but we were lucky enough to get a low down on the day’s events by watching the video footage in the press lounge on the Tuesday 12th June.
On the Tuesday, I arrived at Earls Court. When you’re not from London travelling around can be a little bit annoying but I’m so used to London that it doesn’t feel like an issue to me. On the Tuesday, I attended on my own; ready for action, I couldn’t wait to see the various Universities exhibit their collections and I was especially looking forward to seeing the catwalk shows.

Once I received my press pass, I quickly went to find the press lounge to have a look at where I’d be spending my 2 days. As soon as I walked in, I was pleasantly surprised. The space was large and airy, there were laptops in the middle of the room all powered up and ready for the press teams to use. There was also an area for photographers to charge their equipment and transfer photos online as soon as shows are completed. The best thing about the press lounge was the hospitality- personally I think it was first class. They served refreshments (hot & cold drinks plus wine & beers), sandwiches, biscuits, crisps and a variety of snacks/nibbles throughout the whole day. Having come all the way from Birmingham, I was so pleased because it meant I didn’t need to travel outside of Earls Court to find somewhere to eat.

This was the schedule of events on the day:

12:00 International Show: Amsterdam, Esmod Berlin, Istituto Marangoni Milan & Paris
13:00 Bath Spa & Salisbury Catwalk Show
13:45 An Audience with….Creating a Brand
14:30 UCA Epsom
15:15 An Audience with….Getting ahead on the British high street
16:00 Birmingham City University Catwalk Show
16:45 Ask & Tell with Colin McDowell
17:30 Manchester Catwalk Show
20:00 Kingston Catwalk Show

The first thing I did after making myself comfortable in the press lounge was to get my press ticket for the first catwalk show which was Bath Spa & Salisbury at 1pm.
I was especially looking forward to seeing the Birmingham City University show (being a graduate from the Uni, I was rooting for them). Also, I’d heard that Kingston would be a great show as well. On the other hand, I was pleasingly astounded at the UCA Epsom show (James Walker- I salute you; I cherished your designs), I really liked that show

And I loved Chloe Jones collection for Bath Spa University (Chloe went on to win the two major prizes at the event: Best Women’s Wear Designer & the George Gold Award prize plus £20,000 cash prize).

That day was a really good day in regards to the calibre of talent showcased throughout the day.

By the end of the night, I was so tired. I’d seen 6 catwalk shows all lasting around an hour each; each time having to quickly get back to the press lounge to pick up tickets for the next event so that I could gain the best press seats. Luckily for me, the press, VIP’s & photographers had access to the best seating; so I was able to sit front row 5 out of the 6 times on the Tuesday: which meant I could see all the best bits.

Be back to read my next post of Graduate Fashion Week 2012, plus my list of my favorite designers 🙂

By Samantha Thodhlana
@Samanthayep @Bonasupernova