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A true fan of students’ fantasy fashion


A true fan of students’ fantasy fashion

Budding fashion journalist Talya Riggs joined the press pack reviewing the Kingston University Fashion Show this year.When I was seven I discovered that I really wanted to be a fashion designer. I’ve always been quite creative at school, and at home too, but I wasn’t sure what sort of job I wanted to do using my interest in art and colours. Now though, fashion is my passion. I design and make clothes and accessories for my friends and family, so I was ecstatic when my mum told me she was going to take me to my first ever catwalk show during Graduate Fashion Week. It’s definitely one I will always remember.

I didn’t quite know exactly what to expect from the Kingston University Fashion Show, although I’d seen a few cheesy American TV programmes that had given me a bit of an idea of what might happen. When the loud rock music came on, I jumped in my seat and I was dying to see what the first few themes of the collections would be. I was staring intently as the models began to strut down the catwalk. The first collection that caught my eye was from Yile Huang. Her colours and shapes were really bold and different and, although the colours weren’t ones that you would think to put together, they worked really well. (I don’t know many people who could make grey, of all colours, look good.)

The coloured, plastic discs in Harriet Disley’s collection were really eye-catching and must have taken her ages to sew into skirts and dresses. I think that was probably my favourite collection.

I also loved Jade Slowe’s clothes – talk about pretty in pink. You would think that having fairytale drawings and pastel rose colours on all the outfits, would make them look too babyish and girly, but her designs were beautiful and sophisticated. I can imagine them being worn by up-and-coming actresses and singers at the next big Hollywood awards ceremony.

Bridie Macleod’s outfits really stood out as being cheeky and original and would be flattering for slightly fuller figures because the layers of fabric would distract from lumps and bumps.

Another favourite for me was the gypsy-look knitwear that Katherine Gibbs produced. I’ve always liked that style, and her accessories finished the look perfectly. People often forget that accessories are the glue that holds outfits together, so I was really impressed by how much thought she had put in to every detail of her collection. Talking of accessories, Elizabeth Stott’s brightly-coloured Busby hats were very striking but I think they might be a bit impractical for every day wear.

I wasn’t quite as keen on the menswear collections because it is more difficult to design accessories to pull those outfits together. I did think that Philippa Jenkins’ hooded hat and bag design really stood out though for being unusual but still practical and stylish.

All in all, the Kingston University show was really exciting to watch. It’s given me lots of ideas about how to make outfits original but wearable and I’m itching to get started on my next design. I really think that some of these students are going to be future big names in the fashion world. I’m hoping that one of my favourites will work for Tammy Girl as my friends and I all think their party dresses are really trendy and make us look fabulous (which, after all, is what fashion is supposed to do).

Talya Riggs
Aged 10
Grand Avenue Primary School, Surbiton

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