University of Westminster’s 2024 B.A. Graduate Show Celebrated Individuality

LONDONUnder the fluorescent lights of the University of Westminster’s industrial Ambika P3 space, the school’s 2024 BA fashion design graduates presented their collections. With alumni including S.S.Daley, Ashley Williams, Paolo Carzana and Priya Ahluwalia, this year’s class looked to goat corpses, teenage fashion mistakes, and familial memories to craft collections that packed a punch.

According to Olivia Stewart, it’s good to have bad taste. Reminiscing on her adolescent fashion faux pas for inspiration, the designer explained: “The whole collection is me trying to love clothes again.”

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“Looking back, everything I designed was forced and didn’t feel authentic. Ultimately, the reason why I love clothes is because they’re fun. I wanted to go back to that,” Stewart added.

So she did. Traversing through the depths of her closet, the designer pulled six pieces — a camouflage parka from Primark, an Ugg boot, a sequin body-con dress that every teen has tried on, to name a few — and reimagined them as pieces she’d wear today.

Starring in the collection were custom laser-cut sequins. Each hand-folded by the designer, track pants and an evening dress, both in gray jersey, were coated in them, as was an Ikea bag blue midi skirt. Rounding off the collection was an Ugg-inspired shrug, polka-dotted capris, and a wolf-printed fleece bandeau top.

A look from Lydia Pipili's final collection.
A look from Lydia Pipili’s final collection.

Lydia Pipili paid homage to womanhood through a distinctly Tim Burton-esque lens.

“It’s a tribute to the women in my family, but the main inspiration is my grandmother on my mom’s side,” Pipili said, adding, “I wanted to make a collection about the women in my family to show them my gratitude.”

Flipping through her research book, the designer explained how she referenced images of her great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother and reinterpreted their clothes.

Gingham patterns found in photographs were recreated by the designer and printed on a dress, and further abstracted as a poofed, pinned and tucked dress with accompanying boots. The sculptural nature of her work — another look featured a dress encircled by a boned and bound cage — nodded to a sense of protection, a shield against the world.

A look from Tak Fung's final collection.
A look from Tak Fung’s final collection.

Perennially inspired by architecture, Tak Fung looked to his native Hong Kong alongside his father and grandfather, who are both bus drivers, for reference.

“I was referencing some images of my parents and combining them with those I took at nighttime in Hong Kong,” Fung said.

Inspired by the sharp lines of buildings, classic silhouettes were reworked with unusual cuts and prints. Blazers and shirting featured distorted sleeves: one jacket was re-cut to pull the arms behind the body; a button-down featured four sleeves in total, and a gray jersey top was laser cut to echo the carvings of metal security shutters.

Hallmarks of streetwear were fused with luxurious fabrics, such as knits made from brushed mohair donated by Loro Piana and a velvet soft reversible lambskin jacket, the hides offcuts from local butcher shops.

A look from Stavri Grigori's final collection.
A look from Stavri Grigori’s final collection.

If goat corpses met Victorian corsetry, it might look something like Stavri Grigori’s collection.

Drawing on her Greek heritage, the designer looked to an annual rite as a starting point. “There’s a traditional folk festival that happens in Greece during carnival season where the men of the village dress like goats and wreak havoc on the village,” she said.

“They go to where the goats are kept and roam around the field. If they find a carcass, they leave it until it’s completely [desiccated] and use it for their costume,” Grigori continued.

That translated to goat hair, found in antique shops and in local butcher shops, dripping from structured silk moiré gowns in pastel mints and lavenders. Fur also wrapped around a delicate hooded top and a tough buckled jacket, both paired with delicate lingerie-inspired bottoms.

A look from Lydiah Holder's final collection.
A look from Lydiah Holder’s final collection.

Other highlights included Lydiah Holder and Tom Rowe’s collections. Honoring her late grandmother and the Windrush generation, Holder used velvets, faux suedes and wools in shades of teal, plum and camel to create an offering that modernized ’70s menswear styles.

A look from Tom Rowe's final collection.
A look from Tom Rowe’s final collection.

Rowe’s seaside-inspired fare featured reworked shirting and rope cord detailing in airy blues and soft creams. Twisted motifs, seen in an intarsia knit, reworked jeans, and a pair of cropped trousers, nodded to references including piers, fairground rides, and changing clothes by the beachside.

Launch Gallery: See The Looks From The University of Westminster's 2024 B.A. Graduate Show

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