It is a designer’s dream to get the opportunity to show their collection on the runway. The Elizabeth Galloway Graduate Show is such an opportunity. Held in the middle of the final year of study, the Graduate Show debuts the self-expression ranges of the third year students.

The self-expression ranges are developed in line with how designers would tackle presenting a collection, whether it is in New York, Paris or Sydney. First, the designs have to be developed from a concept or story that can be translated into a cohesive, solid collection. The collection should explore the diversity of craft and design. The academy encourages the candidate to explore the clothing industry to its fullest with their self-expression ranges.

Students are encouraged to source the best possible way of developing their ranges and to engage with the clothing industry at large. Although the self-expression range requires a dedicated hands-on approach, designers are able to collaborate with crafters to achieve a professional result. In 2011, designers worked with a diverse range of crafters and design practitioners, such as Cape Cobra (exotic skin handbags), Monviso (knitwear manufacturer), as well as a host of local designers such as Suzaan Haynes, Stefania Morland and KLUKCGDT.

The collections were presented in 3 shows as part of the Elizabeth Galloway Graduate Event. The show was produced in-house, using the best models and production crew that Cape Town has to offer. The audience was made up of the industry, media and supporters, all of whom enjoyed the offering and insight.

The spin-off from the show is publicity and networking opportunities. This was explored to the maximum with designers and audience members chatting and exchanging business cards and contacts. This closed the event, proving to be a useful tool in developing the designer’s portfolio, worth and opening up career opportunities.