Written by Lewis Cameron
Ten dresses to rule them all and in the darkness we salute them. That was a Lord of the Rings reference for anyone wondering what on Middle Earth I am rattling on about. Why am I making said reference you ask? Well, it has a lot to do with the fact I am about to show you ten dresses to utterly blow your mind and that all of these dresses are out of this world, because when the University of Ulster Grads got their debut collections up and running a few weeks back, their catwalk gowns transcended to new heights. Soaring to a level of existence filled only with fashionable bliss, bespoke euphoria and a whole lotta couture hysteria.
1. Kicking us off we have Roseanna Crawford who delivered circular, spherical, cocoonesque, oval and obscure proportions inspired by the mind’s eye, blurred vision and you guessed it, circular shapes. Sports luxe in design, Roseanna’s biological structures roll out the more fashion-forward red-carpet, displaying an avant garde design worthy of any future MET GALA ensemble.
2 & 3 come from Hannah Vail’s playful and feminine collection, with an extra terrestrial vibe, complete with alienesque textures, laser-cut pleated plastics boasting a translucent, layered finish. All presented in voluminous and futuristic silhouettes to boot.
4. Our fourth dress offers more transparency but in a slightly more provocative manner with a splash of minimalism on the side. Laura Ward’s “Concealed & Revealed” collection uses the body as the main foundation with a focus on promoting female empowerment. Nude is the new black.
5. Five comes from knit designer Hannah Aicken and her theatrical jumper dress, arriving in a colourful display of art panelled patterns. Emphasising 3D knitted structures paired alongside bold colour pops to create a fresh and innovative display that’s so often ignored by the knitwear crafters.
6. Six is for the chicks who love a good frill. Effortlessly capturing romantic, couture shapes of elegance, beauty and grace, Jordan Robinson ushered in the glorious wave of ‘Fantasiah’. Cementing high fashion with a flair for the radiant, referencing catwalk statements and the awe-inspiring glow that comes with.
7. Seven is a little slice of heaven folks. Offered up by costume creator Jeremy Huddleson who was inspired by WWII couture and the radical changes of womenswear during and after the war. The key emphasis landing on shape. The hourglass to be more specific. Tailored, androgynous, powerful and luxurious, the black expertly fitted tulip dress is everything and more.
8. Another knitwear creation brings us to number eight. This time by Cherith Hughes, who was influenced largely by urban structure and architectural elements. Capturing pattern, colour and shape through collages and illustrations, hand-dyed yarns reflect the structures of cityscapes and skylines throughout.
9. Number 9 is not quite a dress and when I say this I mean it isn’t a dress at all. It’s a pair of denim distressed dungarees from Josh McKay, featuring a splash of yellow, a mesh powder blue back panel and the occasional oversized eyelet. A modern piece with a youthful, flavoursome vibe and a London anarchist finish. Plus if you walk with your legs closed you can create the illusion of a dress.
10. Our final dress asks the question, when is a dress not a dress? The answer is of course when said dress is actually a skirt. Crafted as a pleated skirt and worn as a long top, this quirky design from Caroline Cochrane was a delight. Inspired by Grace Jones and David Bowie it mixed the primary colour combos of the 80s and injected a revamp of epic modern woman proportions. And it comes with it’s own dilemma. What do you hash tag? Skirt? Top? SkirtDress? Dress? I’ll just settle for #awesome.
Fashion Editor & Stylist