Trendsetters from Kingston University are gearing up to showcase their catwalk collections at one of Londonâ€™s most prestigious buildings next month. The Banqueting House in Whitehall will host the Universityâ€™s annual fashion show for the first time on Wednesday 15 June. Talent spotters from firms such as Paul Smith, MaxMara, Thomas Pink and Gas Jeans will line the front rows at the 17th century house, built during the reign of King James I for high-society plays, grand balls and banquets.
Show highlights will include the mens and womenswear collections which have helped final-year students Mark Taylor, Emma Gudgion and Kristen Tonge clinch top jobs at American clothing giant Abercrombie and Fitch. The show, being sponsored by the Dewhirst Group for the 15th year, will also feature a range of accessories including bags, shoes and jewellery.
Course director Elinor Renfrew, who joined the University last September after leading the degree programme at the Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, said she was
looking forward to her first Kingston fashion show. â€œBanqueting House is a grand venue and the perfect setting for students to make an impact on the worldâ€™s fashion elite,â€ she said. â€œThe students have produced some eye-catching collections which are ideal for the catwalk and Iâ€™ve no doubt all our guests will be generally impressed by the professional quality of the work.â€
Mrs Renfrew said she wanted to produce a stream of highly employable graduates who would distinguish the Kingston course from others in the United Kingdom. â€œThe University has an extremely strong fashion team and, in my eight months at Kingston, Iâ€™ve brought in specialist professionals, who work with some of the industryâ€™s top designers, to enhance the studentsâ€™ creativity,â€ Mrs Renfrew said. â€œI want my students to be at the forefront of fashion and have tried to encourage them to develop their own style while producing garments that will sell in todayâ€™s market.â€
This week Kingston students are showing off samples from their collections at Graduate Fashion Week at Battersea Park Arena in Londonâ€™s Chelsea Bridge Gate.