Victoria Geaney is a recent graduate of the University of the Creative Arts, Epsom, who has just shown her designs at Graduate Fashion Week and had work placements with Julien MacDonald and Erdem. Her collection is inspired by the iconic Charlie Chaplin and Federico Fellini's film La Strada, and focuses on humour and laughter, incorporating menswear as womenswear and oversized tailoring. Her work in this collection is innovative and fun, and, in Victoria's own words:
'The collection features oversized mens tailoring garments such as a Hunched sleeve tailored coat (as though the wearer is stuck in the motion of laughing forwards), a trouser-skirt with the skirt made to look like a shifted around pair of trousers with a turned-up cuff, and a deconstructed waistcoat made to look like tails but attached to the bottom is the bottom of a tailored coat: therefore producing a humorous twist on traditional tailoring garments. The gloves provide further comedy, made to look like hands with attached knitted fingernails creating more trompe l'oeil in accessories. There is a lot of humour and fake or trompe l'oeil to the collection, like hunched sleeve knitwear and and elongated trousers made into a jumpsuit.'
I really love the way that Victoria has taken conventional materials such as wool and tweed, giving them a really youthful, vibrant dynamic through her use of colour and detail, for example with the buttons on the waistcoat/coat. I also really like the way that she has experimented with line and silhouette in her tailored pieces, and the concept of the collection really shines through in her work (I just adore the Chaplin-esque red bowler hat). As well as working really well as part of a conceptual collection, there are also some pieces which stand out as being extremely versatile and wearable as part of an everyday wardrobe, such as the trousers, tailored shorts and impeccably cut white shirts. Above all, I really admire the way that Victoria has created a collection which is simultaneously fun and functional and, with a graduate collection as strong as this, I'm sure the future is looking extremely bright for her.
Victoria has also recently been selected as the only British finalist for the What's More Alive Than You! Fashion and Art Competition, for which she has designed a shoe collection based on 'natural forms and the local environment', using digital floral prints on eco-friendly or recycled materials. To find out more visit: www.wmaty.com.
To view more images of Victoria's Graduate Fashion Week show, visit: catwalking.com.