UAL Chancellor, Grayson Perry at Central Saint Martins BA Fashion show, UAL

Turner Prize-winning artist and UAL Chancellor Grayson Perry has challenged students to design his robes for the 2018 #UALGrads graduation ceremonies.

In what has become a unique UAL tradition, the UAL Chancellor will not wear the black robes which are traditionally donned at graduation ceremonies up and down the country by the heads of all universities.

Instead, Grayson will take to 2018’s graduation stage in robes designed by a UAL student.

UAL Chancellor, Grayson Perry deliberates over student designs

Over 100 students registered for the design competition, across all of UAL’s six Colleges, spanning foundation to PhD level.

Five students were short-listed to pitch their designs to Grayson that featured onions and ice creams, pantomime dames – to a giant blancmange.

This year’s shortlisted designs were eccentric, outlandish and weirdly wonderful – showcasing the great talent of its students and their ability to tailor their design to their one-of-a-kind Chancellor.

Shortlisted Camberwell College of Arts student, Chaoqun Dai (MA Visual Arts: Printmaking) said:

“It’s a good chance to have a completely new experience. Fashion isn’t my field-  I’m studying printmaking, so this competition allowed me to try something new.”

Central Saint Martin’s Lily McGonigal (BA Fashion Communication: Fashion History) said,

“Grayson Perry has had a really big influence on my work in the time I’ve been at Central Saint Martins. It will be really interesting to hear him critique my design and see what he thinks.”

After careful deliberations – London College of Fashion BA Fashion Textile: Knit student, Yuxuan Yang was crowned winner.

Winning student, Yuxuan Yang, with UAL Chancellor, Grayson Perry

Yuxuan said:

“I’m really shocked because I didn’t even expect to make it this far, but I’m so happy that I can present my work to such a great person. My tutors at London College of Fashion are a big part of why I can stand here today.”

Grayson will now work with Yuxuan and a supporting cast of tutors, technicians, students and staff to bring the design to life in time for UAL’s 2018 graduation ceremonies at Royal Festival Hall from 17 – 20 July 2018.

The ceremonies will be streamed live on UAL’s website and live-tweeted under the hashtag #UALGrads.