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‘Your Social Media is a Liar’ – how I got my final fashion collection catwalk ready

Third year BA (Hons) Fashion student Saffron Booker takes us through her journey to the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) catwalk.


About my collection

My collection is about raising awareness for how misuse of social media can seriously affect your mental health. I was shocked to learn that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 45 in the UK and sites like Instagram can be seriously harmful to us because of how the lines between reality and fantasy can become blurred. My graduate collection exists to communicate that what we see isn’t always real and that imperfection is normal.

Preparing for selection day

Support from NUA staff was critical to my collection and personal development. Working with the technicians has helped me refine the skills that I learned throughout my degree.

Before my final year a senior lecturer went above and beyond by finding me an internship at an independent menswear brand. During this experience I learned new skills and ways of thinking that I brought with me into this collection.

Before selection I ensured that I had a collection near completion, an illustrated line up, mood board and samples to present to the judges. I was nervous but I focused on staying calm as I knew that would be the best way to present my work. The judges responded very well to my collection and only asked for styling changes.

I couldn’t believe I had been selected for the catwalk; I had been working towards GFW for a long time and to have it happen was surreal. I still can’t believe it!


“Support from NUA staff was critical to my collection and personal development, working with the technicians has helped me refine the skills that I learnt throughout my degree”

Catwalk day

During the time from selection day to the beginning of GFW I perfected the finishes and embellishments on my garments. I wanted every detail to be perfect for the runway because even if not directly seen, it’s the small details that really elevate garments.

On the day of the show I was excited, and a little nervous to see my clothes on the runway. I assisted by model dressing backstage, I wanted to ensure that my collection looked perfect.

My collection was the show finale. I felt calm until I saw my models come back from the collection before mine and I suddenly realised that it was happening, right then and there, my clothes were about to go out. From backstage I got to watch my models go up and down via a monitor. It was euphoric, a moment of pure joy as I watched my work on the catwalk.


Reflecting on my experience

My final year experience has been extremely demanding but rewarding. There has been blood, sweat and tears but also a wealth of support from fellow students and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them. Even when completely exhausted we were always there for each other, we had a sense of community and camaraderie that I will miss greatly.

To those going into their final year: don’t be afraid to stand up for your ideas if you believe in it, you are the designer and it’s your collection. Go crazy and try every idea that you can think of, you won’t use all of it but it’s important to have fun whilst designing and to never stop learning.