Pin It
Courtney Simon Northumbria Hanna Moon Emma Wyman
Courtney Simon, Northumbria UniversityPhotography Hanna Moon, fashion Emma Wyman, art direction Jamie Andrew Reid

Nine Brit fashion grads you need to look out for

Referencing old school hip hop, football hooligans and Louis XVI, these graduates from across the country are ones to watch

It’s almost June, which means that in fashion schools up and down the country, student designers are manically putting the finishing touches to their final collections. A lucky few are also gearing up to make their personal and professional debuts into the industry with runway shows at Graduate Fashion Week – the four-day event showcasing talent from the best art and design schools around the UK.

Shining a spotlight on the most promising designers from Edinburgh to Bath (and having previously given a platform to the likes of Christopher Bailey and Stella McCartney), the week proves that there’s a lot more emerging British fashion to see than that coming from big name London unis. Shot here by Hanna Moon, art directed by art director Jamie Andrew Reid and styled by Dazed senior fashion editor Emma Wyman, the names chosen represent a diverse mix of cultures and influences, reflecting the next generation – get familiar with them below.


Anna Madalena Currie is finishing up her degree at Edinburgh School of Art, but originally hails from Guatemala. Her graduate collection taps both Elizabethan detailing and gang culture to fuse opulence and history with streetwear, creating a dynamic fusion of styles.

What was the most valuable thing you learned on your course?

Anna Madalena Currie: Not being afraid to take risks; from trying a menswear collection to changing fabrics no matter when; do what you think is best for your designs, what’s going to push your aesthetic into something innovative?

What do you wish you had been told before you started your degree?

Anna Madalena Currie: Don't worry about who you are as a designer; you have all the time you need to develop and find your niche and aesthetic. You don't need to have a design identity before you start university, this is the time to be mad; your personal tastes change, so don't stick to what you think you know at the time!


“It’s never dull in Hull,” says Ravensbourne student Paria Farzaneh of her hometown. For a collection that takes its cue from the idea of grime culture meeting the Middle East, Farzaneh collaborated with photographer Simon Wheatley, who allowed her to print an image from his Don’t Call Me Urban photobook onto a garment.

What was the most unexpected thing you learned on your course? 

Paria Farzaneh: The most unexpected is finding how much you can actually push yourself – live and breathe it all.

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Paria Farzaneh: I want fashion to be fair. No more pretentious people who make others in a less authoritative position feel like less of a human – especially in unpaid internship situations. Oh, and less stigmatisation of the industry!


Taking her cues from her family’s Grenadian heritage, the South Yorkshire-raised Courtney Simon’s graduate collection explores both history and popular culture, referencing the apartheid and hip hop. Her biggest inspiration? “My dad! His heritage, his background, his pride.”

What advice would you give someone considering studying fashion? 

Courtney Simon: I’d advise them run! No, but seriously – to just think long and hard first. It isn't a walk in the park but it's a whole lot of fun and you'll achieve crazy things you never thought you'd be able to.

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Courtney Simon: That it will be bright! I'd love to see more designers like Ashish and Jeremy Scott who can have fun, make people smile and feel good about themselves. I just hope it keeps evolving and creating amazing new designers with amazing new concepts to inspire and empower.


For her graduate collection entitled Universal Soldier, self-described working-class girl from The Wirral and Kingston student Emma Brie looked at the relationship between activism and art, aiming to create a call to arms and capture “the freedom and the chaos of the emotions of the average boy”.

What do you wish you had been told before you started your degree?

Emma Brie: You will change your mind constantly.

What advice would you give someone considering studying fashion?

Emma Brie: Keep an open mind, there’s no set way of doing anything, and drink green tea.


Nottingham Trent’s Olivia Barclay began her collection with the bedroom, exploring it as a deeply personal space and the possibilities of what happens when “we go to sleep and the ordinary flips into a weird and fantastic dream world”. The reference can be seen in this coat – inspired by slept-in bedsheets.

What was the most unexpected thing you learned on your course?

Olivia Barclay: All the words to 80s classics on Smooth FM that plays all day every day in our studio.

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Olivia Barclay: I hope that the fashion world will have found some really interesting and exciting answers to the question of sustainability.


Ravensbourne’s Hannah Page chose the infamous rivalry between mods and rockers to explore in her graduate collection, entitled Invoice Me for the Microphone. Inspired by music culture (thanks to growing up in a very musical household near Peterborough), the collection references both old school music subcultures and the rising bands today proving that rock ‘n’ roll lives on.

What advice would you give someone considering studying fashion?

Hannah Page: Find out what it is that really inspires you, be open to criticism and work really, really hard.

What are your plans now?

Hannah Page: To start work straight away and gain some experience as a menswear designer. Then hopefully work towards my own brand that collaborates with up and coming bands and musicians. 


Exploring ideas of disparity and elevation and between the rich and poor, Birmingham City University’s Courtney Plumb created a dark and voluminous collection inspired by living in New York – where the two worlds live side by side.

What do you wish you had been told before you started your degree?

Courtney Plumb: I was always told how much work would be involved but I don't think you ever truly realise how much dedication it takes until you're faced with an entire collection to fund and produce. It might feel like you're going backwards but keep going!

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Courtney Plumb: I imagine most fashion will become genderless but I hope we revert back to the elegance of the true Dior era within womenswear.


Louis Trainor-Selwyn’s interest in fashion started young – he dressed up as John Galliano for a primary school careers day. Now studying at Manchester School of Art, his final collection has its roots in Louis XVI and dandyism, translating muses like the infamous Beau Brummell into a modern context. 

What do you wish you had been told before you started your degree?

Louis Trainor-Selwyn: I’d have liked someone to tell me that being yourself is the most original and important thing. The most fashion forward thing is to be yourself and to trust your own instincts. That and the need to document everything.

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Louis Trainor-Selwyn: It’s hard to know what we or I will want from fashion in ten years time, and what it will be. It must be current and relevant to the time it exists in. That said, we know fashion follows cycles, and references the past, and the great icons of pop culture and fashion will hopefully always be referenced and put on a pedestal. Reimagined and reinvented in creative ways that push boundaries as well as referencing the past. I would like to think that my work and my collection embraces this ideology.


Birmingham-born Abby Johnson describes her collection as “a celebration of the uncelebrated and the diversity of my hometown”. With its embellishments and bold coloured stripes, it references both Indian crafts and football hooliganism, a nod to the varied cultures of the city.

What advice would you give someone considering studying fashion?

Abby Johnson: It’s important to have fun with what you do as it is impossible to put the level of work you need to into your degree if you don’t love it.

What are your hopes for the future of fashion?

Abby Johnson: I hope that fashion will continue to reject the rules that it has set itself.

Graduate Fashion Week is from 5-8th June. Head here for more information, and book tickets now for the shows taking place at the Truman Brewery.

Photography Hanna Moon; fashion: Emma Wyman; art direction Jamie Andrew Reid; hair Teiji Utsumi; make-up Athena Paginton; models Peyton Blaine at IMG and Filip at Select