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ba westminster fashion show 2017
Natasha PeacockPhotography Celine Hong

Four designers to watch from Westminster’s 2017 BA show

Get your Tudor sportswear and embroidered ‘Fuck the Tories’ handbag here

It’s that time of year again where the students of today (slash up-and-coming designers of tomorrow) show off the fruits of their labour at the graduate fashion shows. Starting last week was Westminster, with a selection of fifteen BA Fashion graduates showcasing their hard work on the runway. As always with the University shows, there was a host of inspiration – each collection told a radically different story, from political references to material innovation, 60s-style ensembles poking at consumerism, Berlin subcultures, and the streets of China all the way to canteens in Lancashire. 

Here are our ones to watch.


Using a palette of navy, black and beige, Yan Yan Tao’s sailor-like menswear collection was made with natural fabrics, offering a unique, romantic take on the usual masculinity of uniforms. Soundtracked with delicate classical music, the pieces exuded an air of soft nostalgia, with their sombre colours and prints of faded photographs showing busy streets in China.


Featuring pink glittery lunch-lady vests and the message “Fuck the Tories” stitched onto a pastel handbag, Rosie Newton’s tongue-in-cheek graduate collection felt particularly current especially with the snap election looming on the horizon. Wanting to stay true to her Northern, working-class roots, each hyper-feminine ensemble from the collection drew from the familiar – strong women she grew up surrounded by, the plastic aprons worn by A&E NHS nurses, and shiny accessories worn during her own school days. Newton also included photographers Martin Parr and Tom Wood as further influences. Sending her models down the runway to the sound of Rein’s anti-capitalist anthem, Newton’s collection is a refreshingly political reminder that it’s really not that grim up North.


Ben Duncan’s graduate BA collection seemed to tiptoe the line between fashion and performance art. Drawing inspiration from an overwhelming feeling of dread and the notion that we are currently living in the apocalypse, each piece was informed by a singular character in Ben’s narrative. His completely genderless garments mixed and matched the textures of PVC, organza, polyester and satin, as well as many other materials, effectively toying with the expectations that are instantly projected into each fabric and evoking a sense of organised chaos. Some pieces emitted the unnerving and eerie sound of ringing bells, originating from metal embroidery that swayed as each model walked.


Natasha Peacock’s teetered between fashion and function, mashing up historical silhouettes with sportswear and all the essentials for outdoor activities. Brightly coloured cagoules were paired with leggings, which were grounded with thick-soled hiking boots. A combination of traditional and unusual materials, the outfits fused together PVC with nylon, and were accessorised with ropes and utility belts complete with furry pouches. Perhaps a comment on the turbulent times we are currently in, Peacock’s girl is prepared to weather the storm. 

Head to the gallery above for more backstage images from the show and keep an eye on Dazed for more 2017 graduate fashion shows