The Glasgow School of Art: 70 Years of Fashion

I attended the 70th annual Glasgow School of Art Student fashion show last week, and a fabulous anniversary it was. Welcomed by a display of press cuttings, posters, and photographs from the past 70 years of fashion at GSA. You were able to delve into the archives and get a taste for how the show has evolved over the years.

Looking around the exhibition brought back to mind the emotional response that so many people had to the fire back in 2014. Seeing the collections from previous decades, as well as features in local press really brought home how long standing the influence and reputation of the school are. It is not only an integral part of the city of Glasgow, but also holds iconic status worldwide.

The fashion show has always been a very student led event, having begun as an extra curricular back in the 40’s. Impressive is a word that springs to mind for this years students. Designing their collections, constructing garments, and putting together such a seamless show is no mean feat. The stage dressing and lighting throughout the show were on a par with that seen on 180 The Strand during London Fashion Week.

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Models wearing Megan Spence designs at Glasgow School of Art Fashion Show March 2017 Picture: Colin Mearns

Fitting with the 70 years of fashion theme, some of the collections had drawn influence from the past as well. Bold coloured prints fresh from the 80’s, Sgt. Pepper inspired 60’s brights, and some muted 70’s repeats. Other collections featured stunning embroidery and embellishment, huge pom-poms and pleats, asymmetric tailoring and shibori style fabrics, all to dazzling effect.

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GSA Allumni Jill Gibson models a creation by MJ McKasiarz in the Glasgow School of Art Fashion Show March 2017 Picture: Colin Mearns

The models in the show were of different races and ages, with no heed paid to gender specification for some of the collections. This kind of inclusive attitude is one the art school is known for championing. It’s this frame of mind that makes the creative scene in Glasgow what it is.

Watch this space, I expect great things will come from these young designers.

Written by Textile Designer, Caitlin Claire Miller.