It has been rechristened the Reset Show, but in many ways the project’s directive remains untouched: in three weeks, bright-eyed, brand new design students created a single garment entirely out of white fabric. On Thursday, 166 designers presented their work to the world — including their peers, who packed the university’s hallways for a peek at the newest class’ rite of passage.
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Rather than using any material, garments were made using a recyclable fabric. Post-show, the looks will be reprocessed by eco-conscious manufacturers and turned back into fabric to be reused by next year’s design students.
“The fashion industry and textile industry is responsible for so many greenhouse gases and carbon emissions,” explained the school’s BA Fashion course leader Sarah Gresty. “Every year we have up to 180 students in first year, all creating stuff that would potentially go to landfill. So we’ve been trying to work out how we could reduce our impact.”
In the spirit of circular motion, this year’s theme, titled “Ready, Set,” drew parallels to motocross sports and was conceived and executed by first-year fashion communication and promotion students.
To the soundtrack of a cheering crowd, it was off to the races with frills, structures, tassels and trains.
Selina Dreijer, who studies knitwear, presented an intricate, sculptural gown with nods to Victorian silhouettes, letters tucked within the folds of the bustle’s cage.
For Dreijer, whose piece pulls apart generational trauma, it began with researching her grandfather, whom she was never able to meet: “My grandfather was taken to prison when the Communist Revolution in China happened,” she said.
“All of his stuff got taken away by the Chinese government — the only thing that was left of him were the letters he wrote to my grandmother,” allowing her to better understand her family history, she added.
Inspired by Stonehenge, Adélaïde Barrault, a womenswear student, used a thick, paper-like material made from upcycled cotton waste to create a monolithic structure, which encased her model.
“I wanted to explore how, through clothing, we are intuitively influenced by the visual to establish a hierarchy. I wanted to show how you can convey an authoritative stance,” Barrault said.
Beading and embroidery were at the forefront of Florentine-born Eleonora Mazzoni Razzoli’s garment. A fashion design communication student, her collection was a love letter to her hometown.
Equal parts marriage and mourning, the dress — made from pieces of felted wool stretched in water, sewn together, then painted with acrylic — as well as its cape featuring bits of Florentine lace, hat and bag were inspired by the city’s 1966 flooding, an event that also occurred this year.
“In Italian, we say you marry the city you were born into. I’m obsessed with my city. It’s not even a love, it’s just a connection,” the designer explained.
Neil Zhao, who studies print, created an ode to outrageous layering, the model bundled up in no less than four blazers and numerous button-down shirts. To complete the look, each ear sported four stacked Airpod earbuds.
Zhao looked to the larger fashion industry’s harmful environmental impact for his piece: “The space fashion takes up today is a reflection of the absurdity of our time. I explored layering in a meaningless way, where the same garments are layered on top of each other.”
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