Officially an RCA graduate

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On the 27th June 2014 I graduated from the Royal College of Art. The day was really quite spectacular and I wanted to share a few pictures from the day here (alongside the story behind the dress I wore!)

 

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Graduation for me started on Wednesday with my symposium. The Symposium offered a chance for me to speak briefly about the topic of my dissertation alongside my fellow coursemates. You can hear me speak about Frederick Starke in this podcast (I speak from around 19 min 40 seconds in). For the occasion I wore (of course) A Frederick Starke Fredrica dress. Unfortunately I didn’t get anyone to snap a picture of the back of the dress ,but it was open to the waist- so really rather daring!

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Post symposium with my boyfriend Martin

The symposium, held at the V&A was a great opportunity to celebrate our achievements and it was nice if somewhat strange for some of my family to hear me speak!

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Friday though was my graduation and so completely unlike my BA graduation I can’t even begin to explain. The robes worn were really quite hilarious. No one seemed quite sure what way round the sash/ hood should go and there were numerous variations red hood out/ white hood out, full hood out (in an elf like style) or a smaller pointed hood. RCA graduates are incredibly lucky as we get to have our graduation at the Royal Albert Hall…sat inside the hall awaiting graduation, put simply, sent shivers down my spine. The ceremony itself was really quite fun, people got up and cheered throughout and there was a very relaxed yet celebratory atmosphere. Our honorary doctors were very exciting too- Albert Elbaz, Grayson Perry and Paola Antonelli.

 

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Inside the Royal Albert Hall

After the ceremony we had the chance to show friends and family round the RCA show space and pick up our certificate. I am still slightly in awe of my huge A3 size certificate…my BA one now pales in comparison!

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Standard me and my Mum posing…

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Attractive face here from my Dad

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With my Dad and Nanna

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With my Mama and Grandma

 

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Don’t ask me why… but this is my favourite picture of the whole day. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing : /

But importantly, as this is me, what was the story behind the dress I chose to wear? For my ceremony I wore a late 1950s Frank Usher dress. I felt I HAD to wear a Model House Group or Fashion House Group garments and as Frank Usher was one of the key Fashion House Group firms (run by Max and Anne Bruh) it seemed like the perfect choice. Furthermore, my Grandfather actually worked for the firm. So it seemed fitting to wear the dress. I teamed my dress with a 1950s diamante bracelet (borrowed/ stolen from my mum) and a pair of black satin L.K. Bennett courts with diamante buckles.

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In typical Liz style though, symposium and graduation in the space of 3 days were not enough for me…and as soon as my graduation finished I hopped straight on a train and hot footed it to Glastonbury festival.

To read more about my dissertation topic “London before it swung: British ready-to-wear under the Model House Group and Fashion House Group” please click here.

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