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westminster grads that go hard, and then harder

Westminster's fashion graduates are bold and witty - both in collections and personality. Students went hard and then even harder this season, with colour, shapes and layering maxing everything out. i-D gets down with some of the next big things!

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Text Bojana Kozarevic

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  • adam marc james, menswear

    What's your collection about? 
    It is based on the life of Henry Cyril Paget, the 5th Marquess of Anglesey. At the end of the 19th century, he inherited the equivalent of half a billion pounds. Over 15 years he squandered every penny on an entirely ridiculous lifestyle. He turned his family chapel into a theatre, perfumed the exhaust fumes of his motor cars and purchased over 300 pairs of handmade silk robes and pyjamas from Charvet. Paget also suffered from insomnia and would wander his estate in the dead of night. The shoes are a hybrid of a slipper (upper) and a wellington boot (sole). All the military references such as the camouflage and the pith helmets were a nod to Henry's period in the army. I liked the play of the sequinned fabric in camp print. I wanted to contrast function with fabulousness, the masculine and the camp. 

    What are YOU about? 
    My work is about flamboyance and excess, contrasted with technicality and performance. This stems from both the drama queen and the geek within me. 

    What's your favourite thing about fashion?
    Frivolity.

    What are your biggest inspirations? 
    People and Stories. Characters such as Henry Paget, Edith Sitwell, Lindsay Kemp and Quentin Crisp, the self-coined 'Stately Homo of England'. I also love contemporary drag performers such as David Hoyle (Divine David) and Jonny Woo. I am currently obsessed with costumes of the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance.

    What's the best advice you've ever been given? 
    To give up if it doesn't excite you. 

    Adam Marc James, Menswear

  • flo hughes, womenswear

    What is your collection about?
    My collection is an explosion of vintage and antique printed fabrics sourced from around the world; frilled, gathered and pleated together to create my own wild world. I called my collection Wilder because it just kept on going, nothing was right or wrong, and it just had to be a bit crazy. Being inspired by different cults and folk festivals, I wanted to create my own patterned, patchworked tribe as a representation of my own little world (or big frilled world). 

    What's your favourite thing about fashion?
    That there is no limit, everyone can have an opinion on it and it will be here forever.

    What are your biggest inspirations?
    My biggest inspirations throughout the collection have mainly been photographers and the colour and clothing within their work. The first being Seydou Keita, who captured Malian society between the 1940's - 60's. Axel Hoedt, who takes photos during the Pre-Lenten festivals in Germany where people often dress up to warn away evil spirits. Jackie Nickerson was also a strong influence because the garments in her photographs were so varied, but looked really beautiful in the way they were put together. Other than this, I am usually inspired by the art and dress of different cultures and traditions especially ones that include heavily fabricated, unusual fabrics and colourful prints. 

    Who is the poster person for your collection?
    Karlina Caune - she has such a strong, powerful look. I love her! 

    What’s the best advice you've ever been given?
    Always keep your feet on the ground.

    flo hughes, womenswear

  • rachel james, menswear

    What's your collection about?
    My collection was called GRANNY FLOWER/MAN POWER and was initially inspired by 70s working class Britain through the photography of Tony Ray Jones. I was drawn to the common references to florals in day to day life: in particular the wallpapers of the homes, the bright bold clashing colour schemes and the moody strong men living in this world.  

    What are YOU about? 
    I design for masculine men using creative pattern cutting and custom designed fabrics to translate my love of 3D shapes and nostalgic ideas into functional, wearable and desirable pieces.     

    What's the most exciting thing about today’s culture and being young? 
    What I like a lot about today’s youth culture in menswear is that guys are becoming more and more interested in bolder fashion from a younger age than they were before and menswear has the potential to be younger and more energetic and exciting than any time before.

    What's the most exciting thing about the future? 
    I think menswear is going to develop at a very fast rate in the next few years and I think there is a gap in menswear between the super crazy and the super traditional and I would love to be a menswear designer who can design bringing the two design concepts closer together. 

    Who is the poster person for your collection?
    Kanye West. He is self-assured and creative and would totally rock wearing my floral cool.

    What's the best advice you've ever been given? 
    Would you regret doing something more than not doing it?  It reminds me to go for something even if it frightens me, and helps me to keep focused and moving forward.

    Westminster Graduate Show

  • amanda svart, womenswear

    What is your collection about?
    The collection is about capturing the beauty in shape and form of traditional Kimonos in a modern way. The fabrication reflects how the wear of time transforms surfaces and textures of delicate and functional matter. To produce this effect I have used laser cutting, flocking and screen-printing to achieve a rustic and worn look. 

    What are YOU about?
    My design style is feminine. I work extensively with my own fabrication and rely on pattern cutting to replicate and elaborate interesting shapes created through experimental draping. I design for confident and progressive women.  

    When did you decide you wanted to study fashion?
    From an early interest, I made the decision in 2008 when I came to London and just found people here very exciting and creative. I took various courses in related subjects and felt that devoting my career to creating clothes would keep me happy through life. 

    What’s the most exciting thing about today’s culture and being young?
    That the world is so interconnected today and that you can tap into and share ideas instantaneously across the globe at the click of a button. 

    Who is the poster person for your collection?
    Isabel Lucas.  

    What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
    Life is short, you have to spend your time doing something you really like. 

    amanda svart, womenswear

  • alex muto, menswear

    What's your collection about? 
    I was inspired by the idea of sport as a religion and how people support and worship their teams and players. The stadium is the church and the players are the gods. The idea was to create a new religion that encompassed sportswear as its uniform. This is what you would wear to the church of Muto. It's Italian-catholic-altar-boy-on-a-sneaky-cigarette-break. It's my army of Vatican chavs in St Peter's Basilica in Rome.

    What are YOU about?
    Not taking myself too seriously. 

    What's your favourite thing about fashion?
    My 'Miss World' answer is "The opportunity it brings to travel the world and the experiences that come with that."  

    What are your biggest inspirations?
    My big Italian family and my amazing Grandmother Lucia. Her elegance and grace inspires me every day. 

    When did you decide you wanted to study fashion?
    I used to model a bit when I was in my late teens and I'd always be itching to be more involved on shoots and in shows. I used to find it very frustrating because I often thought I could do a better job myself, so I figured I'd give it a go! 

    What's the most exciting thing about today’s culture and being young?
    Just Eat and a fast metabolism.   

    What's the best advice you've ever been given?
    My Grandmother always says: Impare un arte e mettila da parte. Which basically means: Learn an art, put it to one side and get on with your life!

    alex muto, menswear