I got a chance to preview the final collections of five recent graduates from the highly competitive Westminster Fashion school in London. Throughout their educational experience, Westminster students are given the opportunity to work with designers like Alexande McQueen, Burberry, Mulberry, Todd Lynn, Vivienne Westwood—and that’s only naming a few! Only about forty students are accepted per class, which naturally proves the talent of the following five graduates.
Catarina Holm was the original young designer to contact me about featuring the Westminster graduates on wonderMode, which exemplifies her motivation to succeed in fashion. Catarina writes of the binary inspiration behind her collection, “I want to find a balance between movement and restraint, where both work in a symbiotic relationship.” She uses opposing elements in one look while to symbolize a capacity for integration. Presently Catarina is jugging two jobs: She is a part time worker for Lee Klabin and a part time employee for Roksanda Ilincic in London.
Thidarat Khaha had a nomadic childhood as she moved from town to town with her family, which forced her to rely on imagination and creativity for entertainment. Her originality with design stems from this as well, as from her recurring nightmares. Through fashion design, Thidarat expresses these intangible visions into something sharable and concrete. I could immediately identify her go-getter attitude upon learning that she doesn’t “believe in waiting for something to happen.” Certainly, this mentality is what led her to assist with Alexander McQueen’s Fall 2009 collection. You can preview more of Thidarat’s work by visiting her website.
Female empowerment is important to Emma Kingham, which is why she is specifically interested in designing lingerie—Emma wants to create articles that infuse a woman with confidence. In the past, Emma was a design intern for PPQ leading up to London Fashion Week and she acted as a studio assistant for Louise Goldin. Ironically, her linear patterned designs have an ethereal flow to them, as stripes form angles and diagonals on the billowing fabrics.
The basic t-shirt inspired Rachel Warmisham’s collection, which experiments with the subtle alteration of detail to cleverly deviate from its typical design. For example, Rachel experiments with the use of buttons and color to differentiate one piece from another. Rachel described to me her pull to this minimalist concept, “I liked the idea of using a garment like the shirt which is a formally constructed and often smart piece of clothing and contradicting this with sporadic yet considered application of colour.”
A South African native, Camille Peruma’s collection is reminiscent of the Ndebele tribe’s wall paintings, which were used as a way to express their struggle with the apartheid government. She uses her native culture as a metaphor for the designer’s battle to publically express or expose his or her creativity. Through the use of bold lines with bright color, Camille wants to depict the strength of women. Camille also is a former employee for Marc Jacobs.
(Images: Westminster Graduates)