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Graduate Fashion Week!

Karolina Laskowska

If you follow my antics on social media, there's a pretty high chance you will have noticed that Graduate Fashion Week has been going for the past few days... I was incredibly lucky in that I got a place on the catwalk with my university course, Contour Fashion at De Montfort University.  The past few months leading up to this point have been more than a little exhausting - it feels totally bizarre now to take some time out and not spend my every waking hour working... That said, my little rest has been a little forced - since Monday I think my body just gave up on me and I've been spending every day in bed feeling a bit sorry for myself. Thankfully I'm feeling on the mend and will be back to my usual knicker antics soon!

Anyway, Graduate Fashion Week! I presented my graduate corsetry collection on Sunday evening - chances are most of you missed the event in person, but thankfully my wonderful dad was there to capture my designs in all their glory. I'm hoping to get this collection photographed in its own photoshoot in the near future - this is the most work I've ever put into a single project. To say it contains my blood, sweat and tears probably isn't an exaggeration... Thankfully I think that orange print is very good at hiding the blood spots from when I neglected to wear a thimble! I'm possibly being a little inappropriate now, so I'll just post lots of pictures.

Oh, and if you're not familiar with what the collection's about, here's the bit of text that will accompany it at my university exhibition - I'll be posting some of the sketchbook and design work at a later date so you can see my though process a little more easily! If you're feeling impatient then I posted a few development images in my post on The Lingerie Addict earlier this week, along with lots of awesome design work from my coursemates.

The collection is focused on exquisite bespoke corsetry, inspired by Japanese kimono, antique corsetry and the colouration within orchids and French macarons. All of the corsetry utilises genuine vintage kimono silks, upcycling them to give them a directional new lease of life. The corsetry is designed to give unique and dramatic shaping, with a cupped rib silhouette that allows for greater waist reduction, whilst maintaining a comfortable fit. Garment finishings and embellishments utilise couture techniques, allowing for invisible external finishes. Lace appliqué is meticulously hand cut and hand sewn to stunning effect.

Images taken by Peter Laskowski.

 

Outfit 1 - corset dress with orange vintage kimono silk, sheer black panels, couture French black chantilly lace and corded navy Italian lace applique, mink coutil external casings and binding.

Outfit 2 - corset body made with vintage kimono silk and dove grey coutil binding, embellished with couture French chantilly lace appliqué. Worn with French chantilly lace shorts.

Outfit 3: Oversized collared top with French lace appliqué, trimmed with vintage kimono silk. Kimono silk underbust corset with French lace appliqué, mink coutil binding and detachable suspenders. Silk chiffon shorts and French lace tanga briefs. Stockings by Kiss Me Deadly.
Outfit 4: French lace cropped t-shirt with matching demi-bra, vintage kimono silk waspie with layered black and ivory French lace appliqué, french lace tanga brief.  Stockings from Stockings HQ.
Outfit 5: Cupped corset in vintage kimono silk and sheer panelling with black French lace appliqué and matching French lace short. Stockings by Stockings HQ.
Outfit 6: This outfit is my personal favourite. Overbust plunge corset in vintage kimono silk with dove grey coutil external casings and binding. Matching brief in vintage kimono silk with French lace trim. Silk crepeline kimono with oversized sleeves, trimmed in kimono silk and embellished on the sleeves with laboriously hand stitched French lace in soft grey and bright orange... I've lost count of how many people helped me sew this garment, there's no chance I would have finished it by myself! Nevertheless I think it was all worth it, I am SO pleased with its effect on the catwalk:

The past few days have been somewhat surreal - I've been seeing my designs in the press far more than I was anticipating! I've seen my outfits in...

The Evening Standard (online *and* print!)

The Daily Mail (though I have to admit that covering tummies wasn't really my intention when I designed this collection)

Underlines

Fashion Bust

Lingerie Insight (here and here!)

Vogue!

 

 

 

I also found this wonderful illustration on the official Graduate Fashion Week website by Vivien Chan - isn't it gorgeous?

 

Phew! That's quite a lot to be pleased about! I can't believe my degree's at an end, it's mind boggling how lucky I've been, from getting a place on it to reaching the point I'm at now :) Just need to get back on fighting form and help make our final exhibition at the university super awesome! And then of course I'll be back to non-stop sewing of knickers :)

 

Karolina xx


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