Behind the scenes

YEAR 2024


Emily Short, Stylist at Belper and the University salon, has been busy assisting backstage at Graduate Fashion Week as part of the young L’Oreal Portfolio Session Team. The four-day event saw 23 BA shows and contributions from 40 UK universities, with nearly 30,000 visitors coming through the doors, making it the largest graduate fashion week in the world.


Headed up by Andrea Daley and Lisa Rhead from Barbara Daley, this year’s hair ranged from minimalist ponytails to intricate woven designs embellished with copper leaf and amazing headpieces. No two universities had the same hair, quite a feat when you think that there were 25 shows and 40 colleges involved.

R-GFW-GALA-SHOW-146This was a huge opportunity for Emily to work in a busy backstage environment and she took away a variety of skills and techniques to bring back to the salon.2015-06-01 12.38.28-1

Says Emily “One of the biggest highlights from the event was watching my first look walk down the catwalk, this was the east catwalk at the Liverpool and North Brook show. Myself and the team created a look inspired by Marc Jacobs, where we pulled all the hair forward onto the front on the hairline to create a sleek and smooth feel and then finished it with a lose knot of the front, keeping in the volume and the texture.”

image2“At every catwalk show there were photographers everywhere looking for the newest talent, best creations and also the biggest fails that they can catch on camera, therefore it is vital to be precise when working on the hair. The slightest lack of attention to detail could be caught on camera and ruin the overall look.”

“There are a lot of different elements to consider when working backstage . Not only do you have think about making the hair perfect, but also the hair must suit and compliment the outfits. The outfit could be fantastic, the hair could be spectacular but if they don’t compliment each other then it could become a disaster.

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“As a team we created a strong braided style that worked perfectly with the outfits the University fashion students had created.”

Graduate Fashion Week finished with a gala catwalk show, crowning the recipient of this year’s gold award. Hannah Wallace, from Manchester School of Art, was named the winner for her edgy but wearable ski-influenced collection, scooping £10,000.

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