The ECA Graduate Designers to watch out for

Graduate Fashion Week may be drawing to close but there’s already a few designers who’ve managed to catch my eye. Edinburgh College of Art’s final graduates have always been firm favourites and this year was no exception with a mix of baroque rubber, scandi chic and punk rock knitwear.  Here are my top 5 ECA graduate designers to watch out for.

Rosey Norman

Knitwear designer Rosey Norman’s designs evoke the sense of over-ripened fruit – rich, deep and flirting with an inherent darkness.  Her collection includes light chiffon prints, tight knits to create quilting,reworked disserviced parachutes and the most perfectly polished merlot PVC.  It’s overly rich and effortlessly glamorous and there is definitely a bell sleeved knit that I have not stopped day dreaming about.

Maddy Stringer

It would be so easy to begin and end with the unmistakable scarlet showpiece by Maddy Stringer. The elaborate rubber coat looks like wax that has been carved in making it simply impossible to look away.  The billowing silhouette envelopes like a cocoon for only the very boldest of fashion butterflies. The rest of the collection pays tribute to a Valentine’s nightmare of colour clashing of pink and red that is positively ecstatic in it’s garishness and it is glorious.  Think metallic wide legged trousers, an overall bold use of colour and generous hand of embellishment. The devil truly is in the details with Stringer and it’s easy to get lost in them.

Moku Moku

Moku Moku aka Fiona Mitchell pays tribute to mountains as the key touchpoint for her graduate collection.  It’s all soft billowing shapes in muted tones and feels contemporary, stylish and understated in its beauty. Topographical shapes were a starting point for Mitchell in the design process and have since been refined in to a collection that is clean, fresh and sophisticated.

Holly Macleod

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. That is indeed a acid bright jacket covered in melting bunny heads. Holly Macleod’s use of colour and print is not so much a flirtation with the surreal than a full blown epic romance. It’s a psychedelic acid trip of fairy tales and poison that’s unmistakably bold.  Those who sit up and pay attention to the designs will clock her curled up pig prints, bunny’s that look like they’ve been swirled in a paint pan on a skirt and other little flourishes of both delight and mischief.

Michelle Mcauley

Michelle Mcauley full encompasses a disheveled punk graduate collection centered in both paying homage to her craft and what exactly can be done with it.  With the rope coat and frayed pink masks it’s hard not to read the political with possible nods to pussy riot and fetish featured throughout and contrasted with floor length skirts and classic cuts.  It all feels a little bit Red Riding Hood getting ready to riot and it’s beautifully made and triumphant in execution.

The ECA Graduate show always showcases a whole host of incredible talent and this year was no exception and I’m unbelievably excited to see how their careers develop going forward.


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