ECA fashion graduates get arty at degree show

Melissa Thwaites in her ECA degree show design. Picture: Julie Bull
Melissa Thwaites in her ECA degree show design. Picture: Julie Bull
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THIS year’s fashion graduates from Edinburgh College of Art hold a special place in my heart. I first met them when I was heavily pregnant and they were timid second years. Two years on and I feel like they are all my children just about to fly the nest.

They are incredibly gifted individuals who have inspired me every time I’ve been in their company. We have styled key pieces from their graduate collections with high street items and their own clothes.

Jennifer Alexander, Don’t Shoot the Advertiser! Autumn/Winter 2014/15

Jennifer was a child of the 90s and this collection is a love letter to the colourful children’s TV shows that subliminally sculpted her subconscious. It’s not all sunshine and light, there is a grungy undercurrent surging through the neon knitwear. 

Andrew Alastair McLaren, Glitch Autumn/Winter 2014/15

Andrew has taken the art of layering to a new and wearable level for men. Silk shirts twist through cut-out waist coats injecting colour to a very steely toned palette. Andrew has excelled in structure, winning competitions with Johnston of Elgin and Michael Kors.

Lauren Smith, Anthology Spring/Summer 2014

Lauren’s use of print in fabric really caught my eye. There’s a strength and fragility in her pieces that is girlie without being too cute. Her showpiece is a wonderful oversized rigid leather coat.

Morwenna Darwell, Blue Rhapsody Spring/Summer 2014

Morwenna used silicone and tactile plastics not only as a way of keeping her spiralling material costs down but as an opportunity to think outside the box and come up with something wearable. I absolutely love the shapes, patterns and textures.

Melissa Thwaites, In a Moment Autumn/Winter 2014/15

Melissa has managed to jar fabrics, colour palettes and textures. Her butter-soft orange leather coat with coral lace shoulders and sleeves marries two contrasting mediums effortlessly. I could see it going with one hundred different things in any woman’s wardrobe.

Laura-Jayne Nevin, Islay Autumn/Winter 2014/15

Laura is the real deal. Someone who gets all components of fashion: from business right down to design. Inspired by childhood memories of summers in Islay, wool and heather form the backbone of her work. This show piece is an extension of what you can achieve when you let your imagination and hard work collide – the sky’s the limit.