GRADUATE FASHION WEEK: INTERVIEWS

Candice Wu talks to graduating designers at the GFW event.

 

OLI HANANIA

Bath Spa University graduate, on Instagram at @olihananiadsgn

Who are you, and what did you study?

I’m Olivia, and I’m a fashion student studying at Bath Spa University I’m a graduate at the moment. My collection is inspired by mainly architecture in the Mediterranean, and I wanted to bring something from where I’m from, which is from Uruguay in South America. So, I started looking at the Gaucho, which is like a cowboy. It’s like a kind of traditional wear and also 20s and 60s elegant fashion. And, I also looked at Carlos Páez Vilaró’s work, which is very abstract work, so I kind of combined all of that and created my own print and embroidery to which I can put abstract faces that kind of represent my family because its like an abstract way of them to kind of bring them all in. It’s a very relaxed collection. It’s a Spring/Summer collection, so this was the final outcome of it. It’s very relaxed; kind of like going to the beach but then still like an elegant collection. The suede, as well, in my country is a very big thing, so I also bring that in with the textiles, so that’s why it’s important.

I love the pops of colour, like the royal blue and orange. Was that also inspired by the architecture and artworks?

They all come from the Mediterranean architecture, those oranges, the blues, and also from the paintings, which are very bold colors. So, yeah; they all came together.

What drew you into doing fashion?

 

I was always really interested in fashion since I was young. Yeah, it was always something that I wanted to do, and I came into it and I really enjoyed it. It’s something that I like because you’re expressing yourself but in a different way. It’s more like it’s art that you wear, which I like that because I think that it’s really important how what everyone’s wearing speaks so much about themselves. So, yeah; I just want to show that in my work.

Since you’re graduating soon, this year, what are your plans for the future? How do you feel being done with University?

I don’t believe it! It’s so surreal but I‘m excited for what’s to come. I would like to have my own brand in the future or start-up, but I don’t think I want to do that right now. More in the future. I think you need to learn as much as you can before you can do that. So, yeah. Experience first. I would also really like to go to Spain, if possible, but, for now, just whatever opportunities that I get, I’ll just consider all of them. I’m open for all of the opportunities… all of the opportunities.

 

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Images via Oli Hanania and Candice Wu

 

HALLIE LONSDALE

Graduate from The University of Northampton and owner of Island Temple

Can you tell me a little about yourself?

My name is Hallie Lonsdale, and I study footwear and accessories design at Northampton. I’m a third year, so I finish the course now and will be graduating in July.

So, what is going on today? What is Graduate Fashion Week about, and what does it offer for students presenting their work and those viewing?
So, today is Graduate Fashion Week where people from industries, students, and prospective students will come together. They have catwalk shows from the unis. They have stands where you can go to look at people’s portfolios and work. It’s a really good place for students to decide which uni they’d like to go to. With an open day, you can go and see the classes and the course, but here, you really get a vibe of what kind of uni it is because each stand has a different personality. And, it’s good for people from industries to come because, if they’re spending hours flipping through CVs and portfolios, they can just come and see everyone’s work all in one place.

How do you feel about graduating? Excitement? Fear?

I feel excited. I know a lot of the people have said that they’re scared and nervous, but I’m just excited. I feel ready because I’ve been in education my whole life. I did two years doing fashion, 3 years doing Footwear design, and this is a lot of time to be in education. I’m excited for when I can just go out and put the skills that I’ve learned to use, develop on those, and work, you know, in a big team, or whatever. It’s… yeah, I’m really excited!

 

What are your plans for after graduation? What is the ultimate post-graduation goal?
Well, my ultimate goal is to actually have my own brand, so its something that I’ve already started while I was in University. It’s called Island Temple. You can find it on Instagram (@islandtemple) or at Islandtemple.com. Basically, it’s this brand that I’ve created where 70% of the profits go to charity, so it’s footwear and clothing. I’ve also started another thing as well. I’ve been in contact with Samara’s Aid, which is a charity in Syria, making shoes for them. I’ve got 250 pairs of shoes that I’m making. Half of them, I’ll sell, and the profits from that will pay for the other half, which I’m sending to Syria because there are all of these women walking around, like in bomb sites, with no shoes. All of the ones that we’ve donated have worn out, so I’m making new shoes for them so that they’ve got something to wear. So, following Uni, I want to focus a lot more on design and charity and how I can kind of put that together. Sorry! That’s such a long speech.

No no no! That’s great that you do that. How did you personally get into fashion?
It was something that I was always into, but even when I was really really young, I used to just draw shoes, bags, and clothing. Then, I studied fashion designing in college at Plymouth, and I realized that it was footwear that I actually wanted to do. Because with fashion, it’s a lot of sewing, and you have to think of the whole garment together. Whereas with footwear, because it’s a product, you know, you have nailing, sanding, and sewing. It’s a lot more, and it’s all in one product together. It’s like this beautiful item that you can just hold. Oh, it’s so nice. Yeah. I do; I really do love it.

 

 

Images via Hallie Lonsdale and Candice Wu

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