Ezinma Mbonu from UCA wearing a hand-embroidered Mexican dress

Over at Graduate Fashion Week, my research was firmly focused on the academics. With ace photographer Lucy Fitter in tow, the aim was not to find out what we should all be wearing next season but to discover what the lecturers could teach us. What I noticed in the style stakes was that while the students were making more of a flamboyant statement (as you do), the grown-ups were quietly going about business. Silhouettes were kept simple – in a mixture of neutrals and primary colours  – with prints, checks and surface decoration to pep things up. And every woman I spoke to was in sensible flat sandals or trainers.

Theresa Parker from UCA wearing Finery trousers that ‘fit properly.’
Head of Fashion Design Donna Ives shows us the grown-up way to wear gingham
Print designer Jo Knowles Lee in a lovely lemon top from COS

And Grace (below) is a 57-year-old mature student just about to graduate from the University of East London. Go Grace.

It’s my last day at university today, well my last day as a very-part-time lecturer – hopefully they’ll have me back on a freelance basis. Anyhow. Here I am showing off our award-winning student Miruna Manole who won the Graduate Fashion Week New Business Award:

And here’s some grown-up /GFW-inspired stuff:

10 thoughts on “What the grown-ups were wearing at Graduate Fashion Week

  1. Great images, they all look very comfortable with their own style – and love your recommendation of the Warehouse gingham dress, washable, pure cotton, great work dress for those in creative roles, over fine cotton shirt or 3/4 sleeve t-shirt. I would suggest to even out the hem as it’s quirky enough.

  2. Ezinma looks fabulous. Immediately you look at her you think ‘I’d love to have a cup of coffee and chat to you.’ & Go Grace, indeed!

  3. Enjoyed this post as usual. Good to see photos of real women wears real outfits. Good luck with the transition to a more freelance role. I’m fond of gingham. I’ve worn it ever since it was my primary school summer uniform at Manchester High through 80s monochrome big check version to current models. I bought several shirts/tops from Zara a year or so ago. All cotton good quality which I tweaked a bit. This is a perennial which always looks good. New acquisition a pair of flowered on black background with black suede trim Nike trainers. Bought from a youth oriented boutique but perfect with all this season clothing.

  4. Great post, as usual !
    Real women with great style looking fabulous
    And comfortable…my kinda style !
    All the best…looking forward to the next book

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