Brick Lane helps fashion’s new stars to shine

Yasmin Bawa @ hers Hackney WIck, Lon workshop May 2012
Yasmin Bawa, top, and one of her designs, above

THE ABUNDANCE of photographers lurking around Shoreditch and Hoxton to capture street fashion demonstrates Hackney’s trendsetting power. So where better for a seven-week showcase of optimistic British art and design talent than the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane?

Free Range says it is “the UK’s largest graduate art and design exhibition” and that it attracts more than 100,000 visitors to see new work from 50-plus UK arts courses. In its 12th year, it is a collaborative project, although it was developed, and is still supported, by the OTB to bring together diverse types of creative people.

Under creative director Tamsin O’Hanlon, Free Range encourages collaborations and links between students of fashion, design, photography, art and interiors.

The universities and students involved can also create talks, workshops and other mini events to highlight their shows. Free Range will continue to use its website as a platform for displaying the work of participating and former exhibitors.

Loving Dalston travelled to a draughty warehouse on the eastern edge of Hackney to see one hopeful, Yasmin Bawa. An Edinburgher, she worked hard last year to complete a collection in time for Free Range and not long after graduating started her eponymous menswear label.

* Free Range, Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL (020 7770 6150). Open to the public from Fri 8 June to Mon 11 June 2012, 10am-7pm, except Mon (closes 4pm). Free

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