Wednesday, 03 June 2015 18:26

CATWALK KING VISITS NORTHUMBRIA UNIVERSITY

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Newcastle’s fashion studio now in its sixth decade.

WORLD famous catwalk photographer Chris Moore met with Northumbria’s graduating fashion students to view their collections ahead of their end of year show to mark 60 years of fashion at the University.

Born in Newcastle, 81-year-old Chris Moore is known throughout the fashion community as the ‘Catwalk King’ or ‘The Reverend’. Throughout his long career he has captured the changing face of the fashion industry, taking him from Dior’s spectacular show at the Palace of Versailles to student creations at Graduate Fashion Week.

Chris was welcomed to Northumbria by staff, students and long-time friend Linda Watson, a highly respected fashion journalist, author and Reader in Fashion at Northumbria who curated an exhibition of his seminal images in 2011.

The award-winning photographer was given an honorary doctorate for outstanding creative talent from Northumbria in 2013 and the following year he received a lifetime achievement award at the British Fashion Awards.

As he prepares to shoot Northumbria’s 60th anniversary graduate collections at Graduate Fashion Week in London once again at the end of the month, he took time out to share his archive of Northumbria catwalk images with the students and talk about his colourful career.

On his visit to Northumbria’s fourth floor fashion atelier, Chris said: “I started my career at 16-years-old as an assistant in a photography studio on Fleet Street. I then moved to Vogue in 1954 and went freelance further down the line.

“I’ve done pictures for American Vogue, the front cover of The Sunday Times and all the other ones, for over twenty years I provided every catwalk image for the International Herald Tribune.” Chris continues shooting in the fashion capitals of the world today in his 80’s.

When asked what makes fashion at Northumbria different to other graduate shows, Chris commented on the loyal following the course has and the strong reputation the graduates have in the industry, he said: “The audience that comes to watch Northumbria’s catwalk shows always seem more enthusiastic than others. Universities use different producers to direct their GFW performance which makes a big difference and Northumbria has worked with producers who really get the crowd going.”

When asked what he thinks of Newcastle these days Chris said: “I recently went to Ouseburn for the first time and it seems like a really interesting place. I’m also looking forward to going to the Catwalk show at the Baltic to see the Northumbria students’ collections as they debut – I’ve never been to the Baltic and I’ve heard a lot about it.”

Chris runs his company, catwalking.com, now the largest virtual global fashion portfolio, from his base in London. When he isn’t in his usual spot at the end of the runway, which photographers keep for him at big shows, or discussing collections with fashion editors, the iconic but humble photographer enjoys portrait and landscape photography as well as gardening at his second home in Northumberland.

Now in its 60th year, fashion at Northumbria is renowned for its innovative courses and strong links in the fashion industry.

Kristen Pickering, programme leader for Fashion at Northumbria added: “We were delighted to have Chris come and talk to the students as they prepare to debut their collections. They have put all their effort into these final collections because a panel of judges will be watching closely at the show, marking the collections and deciding who will show at Graduate Fashion Week in London at the end of the month, where Chris will be to record the day with his camera.”

Northumbria’s fashion course has an impressive portfolio of alumni graduates employed in various roles for renowned brands such as Lanvin, Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Alexander McQueen, Worth Global Style Network, Concepts Paris, Nike and L'Oreal.

Chris offered some final tips for the young ambitious fashion students before their debut shows and their first steps into the world of employment: “Do something interesting, don’t be safe, be daring.”

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