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GFW19: Meet Hannah Morley the designer bringing Studio 54 to Shoreditch

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Graduate Fashion Week has been showing us the very best up and coming designers since it's the very first show in 1991 when the former creative director of Burberry, Christopher Bailey scooped the top prize. Over two decades on and GFW is still full of innovation and fresh takes on classic ideas. We're here all week at The Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, ready to bring you the inside scoop from the designers whose collections catch our eyes. 

Hannah Morley is a final year BA Hons fashion design student at UCLAN. Last year she was the winner of the GFW x Fat Face competition and this year she was back. Her collection debuted at the UCLAN show, which was opened by musical guest King Charles. The minute we first clapped eyes on Hannah's fuschia and glittery disco-themed collection, we knew she was one of the standouts. Here we catch up with Hannah to find out the story behind her collection, and her plans for the future.

Image courtesy of Hannah Morley


For Hannah, her main inspiration echoes back to the discotheques of yesteryear. Remember the days of Bianca Jagger turning up to Studio 54 on horseback? Or Cher dressed in floor-length feathers and sequins for the Met Gala back in '74? Imagine that with a modern twist and you've hit the nail on the head with Hannah's collection.

"My collection explores the glamorous and hedonistic era of the late 70s disco scene but in a re-imagined way. I was inspired by the ultimate hot spot Studio 54 and its regulars. The collection is a nod to the attention-grabbing, anything goes outlook on life."

Strutting down the catwalk to the sounds of Gino Soccio, a star from the disco movement of the 70's everything from the way the models moved to the brushed out curls in their middle-parted hair - every part of the show felt like an authentic trip back in time to the decade of disco.

GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Although disco is a large part of her collection, Hannah didn't want to create the same glittery red and silver garments we've seen time and time again from Zara to YSL. Her choice of colours and fabrics ensured a fresh take on such a classic time period.

"I selected my fabrics and colours very carefully as I didn’t want it to be stereotypical of a disco-inspired collection as it has been done many times before. I chose power brights cobalt, orange and fuchsia to really stand out and contrast against each other. Glittery fabrics run throughout the collection in different weights to create different levels of structure and fit."

Image courtesy of Hannah Morley

There was clearly a huge amount of work that went into creating such a collection, so what was it like for Hannah to see her collection in action on the catwalk at GFW in front of a huge crowd of people? "It was so surreal and emotional seeing my collection on the catwalk at GFW, after working on it since September and seeing it come to life from research to development to the finished pieces over the course of a year to then be walking down a catwalk in front of so many people is crazy! I’ve received so much good feedback from it as well which is amazing."

Hannah Morley // Image courtesy of Hannah Morley


As a fashion design student, we wanted to know whether fashion has always been a love of Hannah's or whether it's something she fell into. Although she's always loved fashion and clothes, being a designer wasn't always her lifelong ambition; "I’ve always been interested in fashion since I was about six, I remember drawing little designs out with my felt tips and thinking they were amazing! I didn’t really know that I wanted to do it as a career though until I was 16."

For a collection as stand-out as Hannah's it's clear that the future is bright for the young designer. But since GFW is almost over and her graduation looms, what does the future hold for Hannah? And it's clear that she's got a plan; "My plans now are to hopefully find a job as an assistant or junior designer somewhere and work my way up from there."

Whatever Hannah goes on to do, it's clear that the future is bright (and very glittery) for Hannah Morley - so watch this space.

GIF credit: Ruby Naldrett via GIPHY

Follow Hannah Morley on Instagram - @hannahmorleydesign_

For more GFW exclusives and behind the scenes stories keep an eye on our fashion homepage.

For live GFW updates follow our Instagram account - @TheNationalStudent.

Lead image courtesy of Hannah Morley




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