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GFW19: What came next for Giles Deacon?


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Graduate Fashion Week has been the catalyst for the careers of some of fashion's biggest stars. Since he graduated university back in 1992, Giles Deacon has had a career which has made stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwendoline Christie and Katie Grand some of his closest friends and fans.

To celebrate GFW 2019 we're talking a look back at the careers of some of its most famous alumni, and finding out exactly what happened after their graduate shows.

Image credit: GilesDeacon, via Wikimedia Commons

1992: A new wave of designers at Central St Martins

Yet another successful alum from Central St Martins, Giles Deacon studied fashion design alongside Lee Alexander McQueen and Luella Bartley. Shockingly he didn't actually set out to be fashion designer, instead he actually had his heart set on being a marine biologist - but unfortunately (or should that be fortunately?) he failed his chemistry A-level, forcing him to rethink his career plans. Following his graduation at the start of the 90s, he started his own label with his friend Fi Doran - the label creatively named Doran Deacon.

2001: Illness sends his career into jeopardy 

In the early 00s, Deacon spent his time working for various different designers around the world. In 2000, he was the head of design at Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta but was dismissed from the role after the company was bought by Gucci. This didn't affect his career as he moved straight over to Gucci, where he assisted Tom Ford. In 2001, he was at the top of his game when illness meant he was forced to leave the role.

2004: Back with a bang

By 2004, Deacon was back and this time running his own brand. His first collection was modelled by supermodels including Karen Elson, Lily Cole, Linda Evangelista and Eva Herzigova. His shows were frequented by his famous pals, including fashion editor Katie Grand, who remains one of his closest friends to this day.

2006: Designer of the year

In 2006, just two years after the launch of his debut eponymous collection, Deacon was named designer of the year and also won the Andam Award, sky-rocketing him into stardom.

Despite his success he's always been outspoken, making it clear that he is a down to earth designer and isn't here to be a 'dictator' or 'away with the fairies'. Recalling a time he once interviewed the late Karl Lagerfeld he said: "I mean he's an amazingly talented designer, but as a person to talk to... you're not chatting, you're listening to a well-practised, weird performance. And he was really foul to Lily Cole, who was modelling for the shoot, and I thought a man his age pressurising a 17-year-old girl was terribly unattractive."

2007: A New Look

Deacon was one of the earlier designers to collaborate with a high street brand, his store of choice being New Look. Fronted by Drew Barrymore and model of the moment Agyness Deyn, Gold by Giles Deacon was incredibly popular and went on to offer footwear, accessories, swimwear and even makeup.

Deacon told The Evening Standard: "The reason I wanted to work with New Look was that they wanted to stick with one designer and do lots of collections a year. So I can reach people who don't know who I am but they know the line, and that's what I wanted. I love the idea of democracy of design. Even if you have a lot of money, you may not want to spend a lot of it on clothes.'

2013: A Westeros muse

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In 2013, when Deacon was revealed to be in a relationship with Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, we all knew it was a match made in heaven. At over 6 foot tall, Christie is the perfect muse and the ideal model for Deacon's designs, which she is often seen wearing.

When he designed a charity tee for War Child, he got the stars of GOT to promote it - and, well, any item of clothing modelled by Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is going to be a big hit.

2017: A wedding fit for a princess (well, her sister)

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When The Duchess of Cambridge's sister, Pippa Middleton, married James Matthews, Deacon was the gown designer of choice. Known for being a more avant-garde and 'out there' designer, it was interesting to see Deacon try his turn at a more classic look - and boy, did it pay off.

Throughout his almost three-decade-long career Deacon has gone from strength to strength, and has very much remained a staple on the British fashion circuit. As of 2018, he is now the head designer of Aspinal of London - whilst still continuing to run his Giles Deacon Couture line. 

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Lead image credit: GilesDeacon, via Wikimedia Commons

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