Earlier this month, over 2,000 people filled the impressive catwalk space at HEAD Genève to witness the creativity and craftsmanship of its talented students. Since its formation in 2006, HEAD has become a centre of excellence in art and design, boasting world-class facilities at its stunning campus in Geneva’s city centre. Its bachelors and masters degrees cover fine art, cinema, interior architecture, visual communication and, of course, fashion and accessory design.
It’s no surprise then that HEAD’s annual fashion show draws such a crowd. This year, guests came from all over Europe to watch 17 BA and 9 MA graduates present 318 outfits worn by 76 models. The sets were also notable. Designed by BA Graduate Paulo Jorge Diaz and developed by current architecture students, they were inspired by Geneva’s Les Bains des Pâquis.
It’s also no wonder that the judging panel this year included luminaries such as the Creative Directors of Nina Ricci and representatives from brands such as Chanel and Loewe/LVMH. Three prizes were handed out: The Bachelor Bongénie Award, The Master Mercedes-Benz Award and The Prix HEAD x La Redoute.
Thomas Clément claimed the Bachelor prize for his collection Crash, with its powerful concept and consistent approach to fabric. The jury was impressed by “his ability to capture the moment with humour while displaying excellent technical know-how”. Giulia Chehab walked away with the Prix HEAD x La Redoute for her ingenious collection of ‘augmented tote’ bags and will now go on to produce an accessories collection for the brand.
It was Emma Bruschi, however, who most dazzled the jury and bagged the Mercedes-Benz Master Award, through “the sincerity of her approach and ability to arouse emotions” as well as the “ground-breaking way” in which she reconnected with almost forgotten handicrafts. Bruschi’s collection was inspired by the Savoyard almanack which described villagers working with wood, straw and wicker. “In every house, people embroidered, spun, knitted, carded or wrought iron,” she explains. “This domestic know-how was handed down from generation to generation with a love for high-quality workmanship.”
Bruschi interpreted this with wicker accessories, straw jewellery and glass embroidery, but brought a contemporary twist to the use of materials by producing bacterial leather in a barn, through home-made fermentation processes. Her efforts will be rewarded with the opportunity of a stand at the Who’s Next or Première Classe trade shows in Paris.
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