—  Natalie Littlewood contributed to this article

This year’s fashion show by the University of Lincoln, “Coming Into Fashion, had three years of hard graft and masses of creativity behind it, not to mention some beautiful fabrics. The designers, third-year fashion students, competed to win the most prestigious prize ever offered at the fashion show – work experience with renowned designer, Paul Smith.

He, along with many others, sponsored the show, and the Paul Smith award went to Michael Gilfillan, whose collection was titled “None Conformist”.

Students selected their own theme for their collections with help from tutors, which they complimented with their choice of song. Collections included “X-Obscenity”, “Rich Confessions”, and “Mischief and Magic”. See below for a round up of the night’s creations.

— Photos by Chris Ensell

The three fashion shows held throughout the day saw a total of over 2000 guests and 29 collections. Overall, the innovation and creativity of the students was strongly communicated through their work.

There was an extensive range of fabrics used throughout the show, a lot of plain cut sophisticated material, clashing with beautiful floral patterns. There was also a lot of sheer, translucent material used. Despite students beginning working on their collections in September of last year, there was a lot of relevance to the current high street.

The show kicked off with a collection named “Glamorous instinct”, with Florence and the Machine playing. The set included fur cuffed coats, all in a smooth blend of greys, blacks and whites. The jackets were complimented with horizontal black lines, and were teamed with skirts layered sideways alternatively with contrasting material.

The third collection, “Monochrome Chic”, had a consistent use of black and white checked material. It worked its way through dresses with puffed out, wide sleeves, long trench coats, luxurious collars, and knee length skirts. The fourth collection to grace the catwalk was also made from a very autumnal pallet, in addition to a very subtle sparkly material and velvet.

The collection to follow, “Chivalrous Charlatan”, included a baggy jumpsuit, high-wasted nude shorts, and another jumpsuit, which was floral, and ended as shorts. The collection made good use of glitter, wool, chiffon and caramel colours.

“Believe it true” followed on from this, and, true to its name, provided the audience with a beautiful contrast. The first outfit consisted of a baggy, square shaped, metallic silver, futuristic top. This was paired with a floral skirt. The collection included a lot of light, shimmery material in greys and pinks. It also featured a coral mini dress which was covered in patchworks of floral material, a ruffle neck dress, and floral tights.

“Fleur” was next, and incorporated a mint green, asymmetrical top, contrasted with playful pastels and snakeskin-like material trousers. It also featured to dresses with a very innovative cut all down the middle, so the models’ torso and legs were exposed. The dresses very made from a very sheer material that flowed beautifully as the models walked. The collection also included a hooded dress, a glance to the high fashion end of the scale.

The “Street Couture” collection lay emphasis lay on the models’ faces, with fitted hoods. The collection included a more casual feel to the clothes, with a lot of jersey material, and featured greys and pastel purples. The collection also included menswear.

“With love from Japan” offered an understated, yet beautiful look at oriental fashion. It included a lot of subtle frills, floral chiffon, maxi dresses with flared arms attached to the hem of the dresses, a fitted dress with a circular collar, and dresses clinched in at the waists.

The collection named “Trinket Memories” may have got the audience expecting a pretty, minimalist collection, yet this wasn’t the case. It included a dress with a boxed hemline prom dress, and even got a few shocked laughs from the audience. This was followed by an asymmetrical top with one big shoulder and puffball skirt, with a sheer layer of material over the top. The collection worked with soft and hard impact to create a delightfully ambiguous mood.

“Nature’s Movement” captured the current trend of underwear as outerwear, with a lace and bra constituting as a top half. It featured a corset with metal wire caging in the shape of a skirt and a complicated structured circular hem skirt, layered, with feminine white lace body.

“Midnight heroine”, inspired by superheroes, took the theme to an almost wearable level. It included a Batman style top with detailed neck and hood. The collection relied heavily on head and face pieces to add to the dramatisation of the presentation. The collection also included metallic hot pants and a fitted dress with a shorter front and longer back.

The winner’s “None conformist” collection definitely lived up to its name. As all of the collections had to be wearable to some degree, there wasn’t as much shock factor as there is in most fashion shows. However, Michael’s clever way with fabric meant that the none conformity really was translated through his work. The gothic collection included long dresses with material hanging down from the back, neck pieces, and metallic jackets. One dress had an almost reptile like material flowing down one side. There were also several head and neck pieces, and a dress with a bitten into effect bottom. The collection was metallic-heavy, and also had a few on trend masculine/feminine pieces.

The winner, Michael, said that he really didn’t expect to win: “I’ve been applying for work experience, but it’s very hard to get. To have it given to me on a plate is fabulous,” he says, adding that his initial inspiration for the collection came from a visit to Nottingham Castle.

Talking to the models afterwards it seems that, despite the choreography being hard to grasp, the ends justified the means. “It was scary, but it worked out well in the end,” said one model, Emma.

Sarah Cox, a member of the fashion team, described her experience working on the show as “great fun”.

“The models have gotten better and better, I think they were nervous at first but they put on a brave face. I liked the collections that shoed innovative cut and beautiful fabrics, that’s what I looked for and there was plenty,” Cox says, summing up the night.