As part of our new blog feature, iHeartCalendar, we’ll be at some of the coolest fashion events, picking the brains of fellow creatives to give you a closer look at what’s going on. For our first entry, earlier this month, we were lucky enough to bag tickets to the Graduate Fashion Week final exhibition, the largest graduate fashion event in the world. Showcasing the work of graduates across the country- the event brings young creatives work to the forefront, and we love nothing more than seeing new talent celebrated!
Graduate Fashion Week is responsible for launching the careers of some incredibly successful designers, some of our favourites being Stella McCartney, Julien Macdonald & Christopher Bailey, who was the winner of the first ever Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award. Held at Earls Court exhibition centre, the huge venue was flooded with fashion enthusiasts keen to take a look at what could possibly be the future of creative design.
There were so many talented designers showcasing their work at the event, from avant-garde dresses, couture swimwear and lingerie, to collections that showed practicality through fashion forward street-wear designs, the extremely high standard of the exhibition made it clear just how competitive the industry is.
Being a creative digital content studio, iHeart was keen to know what the graduate designers thought about the importance of e-commerce, and how their creative designs are represented through photography. We had a chat with a few that caught our eye, to learn more about what inspired them to create their collections.
One of the first people we had the pleasure of meeting was the lovely Charlie O’Byrne, a graduate from Bristol UWE who aptly named his Graduate collection “Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner”.
What inspired this collection?
For me, this collection was inspired by my dad’s market stall. It’s basically about the things you least associate with menswear. I have the three F’s, Food, Floral & Fruit and Veg. And you’ll see those three throughout the whole collection in the print work.
I’ve used classic British imagery, like tartan prints and but also had a lot of fun with it, using imagery like fish and chips and stuff. It’s classic British street-wear, but just something that hasn’t been done before. So really, it’s like I’ve amalgamated it all together in my pieces.
Well, that fried egg shirt has got me working up an appetite that’s for sure… So what about in the long term? Do you want to continue with street-wear?
Haha! I love it- but ultimately for me my goal is to design the England kit! That’s the dream. I’d really like to work for Paul Smith as well, can you imagine!?
So, sportswear design is for you then?
Yeah, but I also like the idea of work wear. I did a work wear capsule collection- That was really close to my heart. I made all the prints from memories of my nan and granddad. All of my work is really personal in that way. For example my granddad was an engineer so I’ve designed this boiler suit, but he also had a beehive, so I did these massive illustrations of bees all over it!
It’s cool what you’ve done with the print work, It’s individual, and we love that. Would you like to have your own line some day? If so would you sell online?
Definitely I’d love to. Selling online for me is so important. Although my work is very British, to have a global audience so your work can reach more people is always a plus! That’s the ultimate goal. To get the tonal quality of all of my prints, especially as so many of them are hand drawn- quality photography is seriously important in order to sell. It’s difficult enough to sell garments when a customer isn’t physically there to feel the garment and it’s texture- so it’s really all down to people like you at iHeart to capture the work in such a way that people viewing it online are able to really get a feel for the collection.
Thanks Charlie. We’re counting on seeing his stuff at the London Collections some day- hopefully he’ll swing us some tickets!
Make sure you check out his tumblr for more of his work, just click here. Oh, and follow him on twitter @charlieobyrne And us too. @i_heart_studios
Make sure to catch the next iHeartCalendar, where we’ll be featuring more from GFW.
Text // Maha Choudhury-Reid