Jacaranda Brain Joins Transatlantic Fashion Week Crossing

Jacaranda brain knit nut
Jacaranda Brain’s Nudibranch collection. © Simon Armstrong, NTU

Ahead of this year’s Transatlantic Fashion Week on board the iconic ocean liner Queen Mary 2 this summer, luxury cruise line Cunard has announced Graduate Fashion Foundation as its newest partner. Six talented graduates, who showcased their designs at Graduate Fashion Week 2018, have been selected to join the Transatlantic Fashion Week Crossing, which this year is headlined by milliner to the royals, Stephen Jones OBE.

Guests will attend an exclusive runway show featuring collections from some of the world’s most famous fashion colleges graduates, including Jacaranda Brain, from Nottingham Trent University. Jacaranda studied Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles graduating in 2018. She won the Visionary Knitwear Award at last year’s Graduate Fashion Week for her collection Nudibranch.

Jacaranda Brain presented her breathtakingly sculptural knits, in bright white with vibrant dips of colour, that both exposed and visually distorted the female form using padded pocketed fabric and engineered shaped and textured stitches. The result was a dramatic and slightly unnerving parade of powerful women. Jacaranda was sponsored by innovative design-led Chinese yarn mill, UPW during her final year. In December she won Radical Designer of the Year 2018.

Graduate Fashion Foundation

Graduate Fashion Foundation is a leading international charitable organisation and an essential part of the fashion industry, providing a springboard for new talent. Over the past 28 years, more than 100,000 newly graduated and undergraduate students have been supported and guided by the charity which bridges the gap between graduation and employment.

The Foundation has been responsible for launching the careers of some of the most successful designers of our time including Christopher Bailey MBE, who was the winner of the first ever Gold Award and now a Lifetime Patron of the charity; Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Julien MacDonald OBE to name a few.

Jacaranda Brain ntu knit
Jacaranda Brain’s Nudibranch collection. © Simon Armstrong, NTU

In order to be selected for Cunard’s Transatlantic Fashion Week voyage, the students from GFW 2018 submitted their collections and the inspiration behind them to the Graduate Fashion Foundation and revered fashion historian and author Colin McDowell MBE, who returns to the Transatlantic Fashion Week for another year as a guest speaker. The judges based their decision on expertise, individuality and appeal and chose six budding designers to represent Graduate Fashion Foundation.

Other featured collections

  • Aurélie Fontan (Edinburgh College of Art), created the “techno-craft” concept, where feminine, inspirational and eco-friendly luxury womenswear is produced from the latest technology and unconventional couture techniques.
  • Enki Allan (Kingston University) completed her BA degree at in 2018 where she specialised in menswear. It was Enki’s strong focus and drive for sustainability, which lead her to produce her collection Wistman.
  • Louise Clark (Manchester School of Art) is a British womenswear designer currently based in London. She has experience of working in luxury and high street fashion.
  • Maddy Stringer (Edinburgh College of Art) is a recent womenswear design graduate. Her specialism lies in textile and material development, exploring tactility and 3D surfaces for fashion. She is now based in London, working at Stella McCartney HQ.
  • Marta Kazmierczak (Edinburgh College of Art) moved to Edinburgh in 2014 to study fashion design. She graduated in 2018 and showcased her AW 2018 collection at Graduate Fashion Week, where it was selected as one of the Best 25 Collections and won the David Band Textiles Award.

Encouraging next generation

In addition to Stephen Jones OBE, other designers and fashion influencers to be featured during Transatlantic Fashion Week 2019 include shoe designer and entrepreneur Stuart Weitzman, Britain’s Next Top Model judge Hilary Alexander OBE, author of Shopping, Seduction and Mr Selfridge Lindy Woodhead and fashion consultant Gail Sackloff OBE. The unique crossing invites guests to enjoy seven days of fashion-focused events, including runway shows, talks, Q&A’s and exclusive unveilings.

“We are excited and privileged to welcome graduates from Graduate Fashion Foundation on this year’s Transatlantic Fashion Week,” said Lee Powell, VP Brand and Product, Cunard. “Only on Cunard do both loyal Cunarders and new guests have the opportunity to mingle with some of fashion’s most iconic designers and emerging talent. It is so important to encourage the next generation and what a fabulous environment to launch what is sure to be some very bright futures in the world of fashion.”


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