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Hannah Duckworth

LFW SS13 Interviews: Graduate Showcase Part 1

Fresh from the week long circus of Graduate Fashion Week in June, Freemasons Hall played host to a handful of specially selected designer grads for a precious three hours this morning. London is the proud purveyor of nurturing fresh new talent and this year’s offerings proved to raise the bar even higher. Once I was over the initial buzz of discovering the quotient of Geordie represent in the room, I bee-lined my three favourites to find out how it feels to showcase at real-life London Fashion Week.

Chloe Jones

Chloe triumphed not once but twice at summer’s Graduate Fashion Week, scoring herself a placement with George at Asda and a jammy £20k, well deserved ofc. Her grey gossamer gowns – oversized sports hoodies, prettified with embellished accents, flowed into billowing sweeps of silk – saw her come out top. We sauntered over to the Bath Spa grad to find out how the designer dream is coming along.

Planet Notion: Welcome to London Fashion Week! What have you been up to since your big winner’s night?
Chloe Jones: Part of the award was going to do a placement with George (at Asda) so I’ve been doing that since August. It has been an amazing experience, I’ve learnt a lot with them, it has been really good. I am about to come to the end of that now so this is perfect timing.

PN: How does this compare to Graduate Fashion Week?
CJ: I don’t think it does compare, it just keeps getting better. I think Graduate Fashion Week is surreal and amazing and actually to be invited to take part in this, it’s just incredible.

PN: What has been the response to your collection?
CJ: I’ve had really good feedback. I think when you work on it, you’re so cut off and you really put your heart and soul into it and then to actually release it to everyone and get such good feedback it’s incredible. Everyone seems to like it.

PN: How important do you think it is that new designers, like yourself, have a platform such as this?
CJ: I think it’s really important. I think it’s a privilege. I’ve never heard of this before, I mean, obviously Emerging Designers and Vauxhall Fashion Scout are amazing with what they do for new designers but to actually do a Graduate Showcase, it’s amazing. I am so lucky to be able to take part in something like this which is such a good platform.

Adam Jamieson

I couldn’t help to pipe up about this fellow northerner’s Christmassy collection of epic frayed and folded gold creations. Boasting Hilary Alexander as a fan (“She tweeted me today which has absolutely made my day”), the Westminster alumnus was chuffed to be in the presence of the LFW fash-pack. After obligatory “Eee Newcastle”s we talked fashion, whey aye.

Planet Notion: Just wow, can you talk me through your collection?
Adam Jamieson: My collection was inspired by Christmas and gift wrapping – the excess all rammed through a paper shredder – creating different textures and effects. I wanted to keep it really fun and exciting, not take it seriously at all.

PN: We like your style. How do you think Graduate Fashion Week compares to today?
AJ: It’s just amazing to be able to show your work again as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout. It’s completely different, it’s on mannequins, it’s a beautiful setting. It feels like it’s new again and it’s a chance to show people your work who might not have seen it before.

PN: How important do you think it is for young designers to have a platform such as this?
AJ: It is so important and it’s an absolute pleasure to do it as well. I think it’s great that it’s not just Graduate Fashion Week that showcases, it’s events like this which actually take you on as a serious designer, rather than a graduate. You’re not just a student any more, you’re like a real life person and people are coming to see your work as a designer rather than a student.

Hannah Duckworth

I first earmarked Hannah Duckworth on visiting GFW with her colossal cone hats and scuba-diving esque shapes garnering a lorra oohs and ahhs. With that behind her, I was keen to discover what life after graduation holds for fellow northerner number two.

Planet Notion: Woo London Fashion Week,.. how does it feel to be here?
Hannah Duckworth: It feels fantastic. It’s a brilliant opportunity to be here with the people who can really put you in the right direction, the contacts you can meet.

PN: How do you think it compares to Graduate Fashion Week?
HD: It’s a lot shorter, we only have three hours whereas Graduate Fashion Week was drawn out over a long time. This is a real short space of time to pack as many people in as you can, meet as many people as possible, it’s brilliant. The vibe is a lot more electric than Graduate Fashion Week, I prefer it.

PN: How has your collection been received? Have you had a good response?
HD: Really good, the vibe’s lovely, everyone is lovely and the champagne is flowing. I have really enjoyed it.

PN: How important do you think it is for young designers to have a platform such as this?
HD: It’s so important. I feel very very grateful to have this opportunity. The people who come here, ordinarily you would never have the chance to meet them. Their time is so precious that I feel very lucky to have had the chance to speak with them.

PN: What’s next? Living the designer dream?
HD: I have taken the summer off to recharge my batteries but I think next I am taking steps to research into starting my own label. I mean, not in the immediate future but definitely as something to come. I would love to get myself somewhere that I’d love to intern or work in the industry and then start up my own thing definitely. It’ll be a good few years but I’d love to have my own label.. that’s the dream.

Words – Helen Turnbull
Photos – Vauxhall Fashion Scout

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