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In review: BA (Hons) Fashion Degree Show 2017

Written by Emma Harrowing, Brand and Editorial Manager at Jarrold’s.

From trendy political slogans, to skirts for men, to intricate embellishments, to bright colour, the BA (Hons) Fashion class of 2017 from the Norwich University of the Arts exceeded expectations beyond belief.

Having been a dedicated follower of the fashion cohort at Norwich University of the Arts, since the course’s inception in 2011, there has been a real diversity in collections across the years.

Who could forget the outstanding craftsmanship and pattern cutting of the first graduates? Nic Marcs and Chloe Fuller were two highlights. Their work was showcased at the annual gala fashion show held at OPEN in Norwich, the last catwalk show here before the University made it to the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week in London. Then there was Victoria Miller’s success at Graduate Fashion Week 2015, as her red and white colour block collection was selected for the much-coveted gala show, the finale of Graduate Fashion Week.

Craftsmanship and excellence in pattern cutting have always been key to the work coming out of NUA Fashion – and this year is no exception, apart from the fact that these skills have been joined by another – creativity.

From the moment you enter the exhibition space in the entrance of the Guntons Building you are propelled to a world of colour, texture and imagination.

Louisa Chiu work on mannequin in Guntons Building
Work by Louisa Chiu

Highlights include Louisa Chiu’s tribal designs that mix colour – black, orange and white, with pattern and texture – fur and knitted fabrics, with a deconstructed finish.

Sophie Fitzjohn’s pillar box red tailored coat with flower motif detail (an embellishment that continues right through her collection if you watch the video of the NUA set at Graduate Fashion Week on the digital screen) – it is also worth noting that Sophie’s pink shift dress in her collection has been chosen by Hobbs to feature in their Hobbs By Appointment collection.

Meg Tovey’s politically motivated slogan emblazoned jumper with oversized arms that hang 90s style over the hands, teamed with bright yellow paper bag waisted trousers, showed how this year more than ever designs were not only more creative, but also had a thought to the wearer – be warned, if you visit the show you will be tempted to buy!

The long 90s arms seen in Meg’s collection was one of the very few trends that linked the collections this year, such was the individuality of the collections, providing an exciting and unique show for 2017.

Other work of notable interest is Laura Plumstead’s neat bright teal shift dress, embellished with a beautiful butterfly laser cut plastic cover-up that cascaded asymmetrically down the dress.

Jack Wildish work at the 2017 NUA Degree Shows in Guntons Building
– Work by Jack Wildish

Jack Wildish’s piece (pictured above), brought back memories of a 90s David Beckham in a sarong – but with much more style, think more David Bowie than Beckham – in a look that is right en pointe with how the male fashion industry is pushing the boundaries of men’s design.

NUA Fashion Degree Shows work showcasing Daisy Clark, Mary Sinclair Gibson and Laura Plumstead
– Work by Daisy Clark, Mary Sinclair Gibson and Laura Plumstead

Mary Sinclair Gibson demonstrated great technical skill with her cocoon cut-out shoulder dress, that drapes beautifully.

Work by Sophia Lemondine-Martin at the NUA Degree Show, showing the top layer of textures
Work by Sophie Lemondine-Martin

And Sophia Lemondine-Martin’s intricate outfit, demonstrated how black should be worn, with layers of different textures, intricate details and so much drama, that you can never say that black is boring again!

There were many other designs that were right en pointe, such was the creativity (and craftsmanship and cut) of the class of 2017. It’s worth taking the journey into a world of colour, aspiration and downright awesomeness for yourself.

Emma Harrowing, of Jarrolds Norwich standing in NUA Guntons Building


“From the moment you enter the exhibition space in the entrance of the Guntons building, you are propelled to a world of colour, texture and imagination.”

Emma Harrowing
Brand and Editorial Manager, Jarrold’s

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Norwich University of the Arts Degree Show 2017 logo

Degree Shows 2017

27 June – 5 July

The Degree Shows are an annual event which provide an opportunity for the public to see the work of 600 new graduates. Works on display will include paintings and illustrations, fashion garments and textile patterns, architectural drawings and models, sculptures, photographs, short films and animations, portfolios of graphic design work and video game demos. Work will be on sale throughout the exhibition with multiples, prints and editions available to buy in the shop, ‘Unexpected Item in the Bagging Area’.

Find out more about Degree Shows →

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