People will stare, make it worth their while.

Students from LJMU send a strong message to the government at Graduate Fashion Week 2019

June 5, 2019

“Dear government, we’re sick of the mess you’re creating, so we’re taking matters into our own hands, Kind Regards, Gen Z”

A group of models on the runway for the Liverpool John Moores University Graduate Fashion Week 2019 runway show wearing clothes covered in political statements and slogans such as “sick of this shit”

Students of Liverpool John Moores University once again challenge the world, the politicians, the media and everything in between.  Unwilling to accept the chaos, disorder and wrong doings of the generations before.  Baby boomers, generation X and Y have a lot to answer for, students of Liverpool John Moores University want to make the change and begin that process of alignment in the world and start to right some of the wrongs.  A big challenge, but it has to start somewhere.  Strong words from these talented students and the statement we were greeted to as we took our seats at their hotly anticipated 2019 graduate fashion show.

Sustainability, equality, diversity, sexuality and body positivity are just some of the topics that students have tackled, all under the umbrella of the theme INTRUDE vs INCLUDE; question everything.

You know already that I’m a champion for emerging talent in fashion and I firmly believe that supporting Graduate Fashion Week is super important.  It’s the lifeblood to global Fashion Month in fact.  Since diversity and sustainability champion Andrew Ibi joined the fashion department in February 2018, Liverpool John Moores University fashion graduates have become a collective force to be reckoned with.  Students seem more “woke” and collections seem more politically aligned and definitely more purposeful than in previous years – it’s a welcome change and they’re a university I’ve come to look forward to viewing each season.

”I care more about the world than I do aesthetics, it is too important. Our students are the next generation that can develop ideas, solutions to how we can still create and be creative, without causing further damage to the planet.”  Andrew Ibi, Department Lead.

The show unveiled pink feminine dresses for men, models dressed as packets of flower seeds in protest of the impact of cut flower industry by Stacey Downey.   Textiles that challenge, not only traditional construction, but fabric composition and aesthetics by Laura Collins, a collection celebrating body positivity and acceptance by Jess Evans, alter egos and social media challenges by Daniel Balde and a number of other sustainable collections, conceptual ideas and protests.

“We spend our lives digitising our physical selves, morphing and programming into virtual avatars, an ALTER-EGO, asking new academic questions of the world.  Is it REAL?  Is it PHONEY?   Does anybody actually care?  We are still CONSUMED, trying to sustain or abstain from the UNSUSTAINABLE, but still our daily aesthetic regime grows in stature.  We agree FUR is treacherous but cannot agree on LEATHER.  We are engaged, we are mobilised, we are energised.”

A group of models on the runway for the Liverpool John Moores University Graduate Fashion Week 2019 runway show wearing brightly coloured clothes 1980’s style

The stand out designer from this years crop of  talent and undoubtedly my favourite, was Enola Rose.  The young designer’s Grace Jones inspired, disco-tastic four lead look collection won hearts and minds – mine included, with it’s nod to funkier times.  I was ecstatic to find out afterwards that Rose is planning to retail these garments immediately on a made to measure basis via her existing Etsy store.  I mean let’s be honest, that black catsuit might as well have been designed with me in mind right?



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