The theme for London’s Instituto Marangoni graduate show this year took inspiration from the concept of light as a symbol of new beginnings. Titled ‘Under The Light’, it was a reflection of the graduates end to education and beginning their futures in design. The use of light and minimal set-up in the venue, Bankside Vaults, enhanced the collections details, colours and silhouettes – giving a perfect debut for the audience of fashion professionals to look at 10 of the best collections and talent of 2018. During the show, Istituto Marangoni announced Karina Ayu Ghimas as the Best Inter-school Womenswear of the Year, chosen among all European Schools.
Many of the designers were drawn to their own cultures, inspired by the different parts of the world and sending messages about political and environmental issues. Chinese born designer, Amie Ellis looked at the pollution issues in Beijing, making a statement about sustainability and environment issues with her garments.
Sportswear was a key aesthetic for the rest of the designers that references their hometowns in their collections. Brazilian vintage sportswear was merged with classic British tailoring by Vittoria Bergallo, representing her teenage years living in London and her family routes in Brazil. The colours and textures in Norwegian Nature was a key inspiration for Ilona Harris, printing onto the inspirational shapes and silhouettes of skiwear from the 1930-40s.
Solely referencing the structure and movement within sportswear was shown in Siena Hutchinson’s designs. She took inspiration from sound waves, fusing that with her sports aesthetic, creating bright and bold prints onto layered fabrics and piping and vinyl striped details.
Some of the Womenswear designers drew inspiration from female empowerment and issues that women are faced with in the modern world. Eleonora Cellino gained inspiration from indigenous Amazigh women and their strive for freedom from oppression and equal rights, against Islamist and Arab elites in Morocco. This was reflected in the layering of thin fabrics, representing the juxtaposition of being hidden and visible.
Power Dressing was the theme for Nynne Kunde’s collection consisting of soft and loose silhouettes and voluminous, oversized cuts. Her use of nylons, silks and leather with digitalized prints were a modern play on traditional statement dressing that was seen in the 1940s.
Mixed emotions and feelings were references in the rest of the collections, all with their own personal take and stories to tell through their fashion creations.
Ellen Ophelia told a story of a broken girl looking for hope whilst commenting on the restricted and freeing feeling of depression. Her deconstructed aesthetic using light fabrics juxtapose emotions of being strong and fragile – whilst embroidering quotes from Shakespeare that delivered messages of how we should speak our mind and talk about our problems more.
Kritika Singh created her collection, “Distorted Perceptions”, by taking inspiration from the reflections of distorted mirrors. Using beautiful deep colours and the techniques of pleating and draping formed exaggerated elegance to the silhouettes. Mixing this with deconstructed elements formed a clash in design, playing with the traditional canons of perfected beauty.
Viola Menchini’s avant-garde feminine collection used the world of dating apps and the effect of working long hours to gain success as inspiration, portraying the feeling of loneliness and romance in her designs. She looked to photographer, Juno Calypso’s work, which expresses loneliness and self-obsession as well as the sculptural work of Karla Black, for the colour inspiration. Using red, pink, white and black – she designed a mixture of lace trimmings, floral prints, and an arrow-shaped patch linking to the tinder ‘swipe right’ movement.
Instituto Marangoni is one of London’s top Fashion and Design Schools, renowned for bringing together the best talent from around the world, and the graduates of 2018 were a true reflection of this.
Natalie Blain | WRITER