From fashion inspired by safety equipment to elegant draping to zany colours and prints, the first graduate fashion show from the Norwich University of the Arts sent you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, says fashion editor Emma Harrowing.

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The eagerly-awaited fashion collections from the first final year fashion degree students from the Norwich University of the Arts took to the stage at Open.

Exaggerated tailoring met soft, fluid designs as the soon-to-be graduates created collections that introduced the next generation of British fashion made in Norwich.

For the first time public tickets were made available for the catwalk show opening up the platform for a larger audience. The spectacular show featured the work of 23 students, each showing six outfits per collection.

Highlights included an innovative take on outdoor clothing from Dani Payton which saw a parka with inflatable neckwear inspired by safety equipment and crash test dummies and a ‘vein and flesh’ print dress and trousers, which mixed latex and mohair with traditional couture methods from Student of the Year Siobhan O’Keefe who ended the show. Both young designers will take their collection to London Graduate Fashion Week next month along with a selected number of their contemporaries.

Other work of notable interest was Amy Olivia Parish’s Extreme Beauty collection of exaggerated silhouettes, print and hand smocking, which was first on the catwalk. The collection won The Gallery Haircutters’ Creative Cut award, a new accolade that will be awarded year on year to the graduate with the most cutting edge design.

Fashion Course Leader at NUA Sue Chowles said that the fashion on show is the result of many months of hard work by the students.

“It’s exciting have a larger platform to showcase the students’ work this year,” said Ms Chowles. “Each collection is the result of the students developing their creative and conceptual ideas using innovative pattern cutting methods and couture levels of craftmanship.

“Siobhan won student of the year as she is a real master in terms of cut, she has a critical eye and she delivers creative craftmanship. Amy makes intelligent use of research and her creative cut makes for a strong silhouette. Both have had interest from fashion houses in London and Paris - so watch this space!”

Professor John Last, Vice-Chancellor of NUA, says: “This year’s NUA Fashion Show represents a coming of age for the course and we are very excited to have our first cohort of graduates going out into the professional sphere. The work being produced by the Year Three students is not only industry-standard but will bring fresh new outlooks to British fashion.”

Take a look at some of the designs from the NUA graduates by clicking on the link at the top right of this page.

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