Nurturing Future Talent: The Graduate Fashion Week 2019

Host, Caryn Franklin kicked off the Graduate Fashion Week 2019 by introducing top 25 collections. “The finish is spectacular, the details are amazing” said Caryn, and they certainly were.

Opening the show was Edinburgh College of Art’s Alexandra Fan with her impressive workwear collection, made from biodegradable latex. Throughout the Best Of GFW catwalk there was an array of incredible collections. Radka Blazickova’s recycled plastic collection reminded us of the plastic crisis, whereas others like Sophie Robinson’s collection explored knitwear.

Then it was time for the exhibition awards. We first heard from Jamie Windust, the 2018 winner of the Fashion Communications award. His publication, ‘Fruitcake’ opened a market for the non binary and LGBTQ+ communities. Since the win, Jamie has been featured in Dazed, GQ and is now working with Gucci. “GFW continues to show, not just the UK but internationally, just what graduate talent can do” said Jamie.

The winners of GFW19’s Exhibition Award Show:

New Fashion Media Award: Ciara Neale, Birmingham City University

“I am happy to have the opportunity to show my creativity to the world, and I’m especially proud of the fact that I can be part of this new generation of talents. I am absolutely thrilled for the award and I cannot wait for every opportunity that will come next.”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 Winner New Fashion Media Award: Ciara Neale, Birmingham City University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 Winner New Fashion Media Award: Ciara Neale, Birmingham City University

Sports & Leisurewear Award sponsored by Tessuti: Katherine-Jayne Watts, University of Portsmouth

“I want my work to inspire the industry to do better, I hope to influence the fashion world to do better and I think I can contribute to a better, greener future. I think the fashion world is capable of innovation and within such an industry I would love to be able to continue developing my ideas.”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 Winner of Sports & Leisurewear Award sponsored by Tessuti: Katherine-Jayne Watts, University of Portsmouth

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 Winner of Sports & Leisurewear Award sponsored by Tessuti: Katherine-Jayne Watts, University of Portsmouth

Fashion Design Portfolio Award: Jasmine Bennett, Northumbria University

“It feels amazing to have won! I wasn’t expecting it at all. I’m so excited to be moving to Stockholm to start my job at H&M in August working in childrenswear design!“

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Design Portfolio Award: Jasmine Bennett, Northumbria University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Design Portfolio Award: Jasmine Bennett, Northumbria University

 

Fashion Communications Portfolio Award: Lucy Neville, University of Central Lancashire

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Communications Portfolio Award: Lucy Neville, University of Central Lancashire

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Communications Portfolio Award: Lucy Neville, University of Central Lancashire

Fashion Photography Award: Feiyi Huang, University of Brighton

“Feiyi blew me away with her portfolio — it was utterly amazing. She knew technique, she knew lighting, she styled it herself. Each picture had a story and the presentation was magnificent. It was unanimous!”

Joe Alvarez, Fashion Photography Award judge

Graduate Fashon Week 2019 winner of Fashion Photography Award: Feiyi Huang, University of Brighton, with Fashion Photography judge Joe Alvarez

Graduate Fashon Week 2019 winner of Fashion Photography Award: Feiyi Huang, University of Brighton, with Fashion Photography judge Joe Alvarez

Childrenswear Award Sponsored by Mothercare: Bethany Dodd, Northumbria University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Childrenswear Award Sponsored by Mothercare: Bethany Dodd, Northumbria University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Childrenswear Award Sponsored by Mothercare: Bethany Dodd, Northumbria University

David Band Textiles Award: Alexandra Fan, Edinburgh College of Art

Fashion Publication sponsored by Drapers: Ryan Hyde, Norwich University of the Arts

“It means so much to win this award — I didn’t expect it! My project came a long way in a short amount of time. It means so much to know that people like my work and I’m excited to start looking for new opportunities!”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Publication sponsored by Drapers: Ryan Hyde, Norwich University of the Arts

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Publication sponsored by Drapers: Ryan Hyde, Norwich University of the Arts

Considered Design Award powered by Farfetch: Jainelly Portocarrero Torres, Ravensbourne

“Jainelly’s entry was a combination of both a sustainable brand and a service and it had a great combined fashion and business model. I’ve been so excited by the fact that sustainability has woven it’s way into so much of the student’s work in all shapes and forms, it’s very encouraging to see!”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Considered Design Award powered by Farfetch: Jainelly Portocarrero Torres, Ravensbourne

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Considered Design Award powered by Farfetch: Jainelly Portocarrero Torres, Ravensbourne

Fashion Marketing Award: Bella Bond, University of Leeds

“I’m shocked and over the moon. I feel like all my hard work throughout the year has paid off and it’s amazing to be here and see everyone elses work. I’m really grateful!

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Marketing Award: Bella Bond, University of Leeds

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Marketing Award: Bella Bond, University of Leeds

Fashion Styling & Creative Direction sponsored by Size?: Aoife Malone, Heriot Watt University

“I’m so exciting, my mum will be over the moon! I’m planning on moving to London or New York next, but I was just speaking with the Size? Team and they’d like to work together in some way so that’s really exciting! My plan eventually is to go into creative direction.”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Styling & Creative Direction sponsored by Size?: Aoife Malone, Heriot Watt University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of Fashion Styling & Creative Direction sponsored by Size?: Aoife Malone, Heriot Watt University

YKK Accessories Award: Dimitri Gabellier, De Montfort University

“My experience at Graduate Fashion Week has been incredible, it was amazing to see everyone else’s designs, and I have been here from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. everyday, but the hard work has paid off!”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of YKK Accessories Award: Dimitri Gabellier, De Montfort University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 winner of YKK Accessories Award: Dimitri Gabellier, De Montfort University

Graduate Fashion Week Gala Catwalk Awards Winners

As Graduate Fashion Week 2019 comes to an end, the winners of this year’s Gala Catwalk Awards were announced, celebrating the ‘Talent of Tomorrow’ with graduate stars such as award winners Brian Mc Lysaght, Alexandra Fan and Hannah Stote. Over 150 judges joined the charity across the four-day event to decide 23 award winners, including: New Lifetime Patron and designer, Dame Zandra Rhodes joined the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award and GFW Ambassador, Christopher Raeburn who joined the Christopher Bailey Collection of The Year Award panel of industry experts.

This year, a Graduate Fashion Week shining star was Brian Mc Lysaght from Edinburgh College of Art, as he walks away with three awards. This year was a huge success for Edinburgh College of Art, as the students were awarded a total of five awards — the Conscious Design Award sponsored by Swarovski, the George Catwalk to Store Award, the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award, the Womenswear Award and the Christopher Bailey Collection of the Year Award.

Christopher Bailey Collection of The Year Award – Brian Mc Lysaght, Edinburgh College of Art

The prestigious Christopher Bailey Collection of The Year Award, named after the first winner of the award in 1991, was awarded to Brian Mc Lysaght from Edinburgh College of Art, for his menswear collection, which was made from sustainable wooden textiles, paired with organic and recycled fabrics. Judges for the award included; Designer and Creative Director Christopher Raeburn, Times Fashion Director Anna Murphy, Editor for LOVE magazine Harriet Verney, Head of Global Creative Recruitment at LVMH Gena Smith, Tamara Ralph, Central Saint Martins MA Fashion Course Director, Fabio Piras, The Gentlewoman Editor-in-Chief Penny Martin, and Michael Russo, Founders & Creative Directors of Ralph & Russo.

Winner Brian Mc Lysaght said, “I’m so grateful and also grateful for everyone in my class. We’re always in dialogue with each other, asking what each other thinks.”

Menswear Collection Award – Greg Brears from Birmingham City University

The Menswear Award was presented to Greg Brears from Birmingham City University for his utilitarian workwear collection. Judges on the prestigious award included; Kamran Rajput, Fashion Editor of Wonderland, Senior Creative Director of H&M, Petter Klusell, Creative Director of Wrangler, Sean Gormley and Barry Jordan, Vice President of Design for Menswear at Ralph Lauren.

Winner Greg Brears said, “It doesn’t seem real, I didn’t think I’d be here in the first place, never mind win an award. I’d like to design workwear, like A Cold Wall, Off White, that kind of stuff, but I’m not too sure.”

Womenswear Award – Alexandra Fan from Edinburgh College of Art

The Womenswear Award was presented to Alexandra Fan from Edinburgh College of Art with her innovative collection. Judges included; Designer Henry Holland, Creative Director and Founder, House of Holland, YOU magazine’s Fashion Director, Shelly Vella, Premda Wunderle, Vice President of Design, Women’s Collection RTW, Ralph Lauren and Tu Head of Design, Anna Clarke.

Winner Alexandra Fan said, “This award means a lot to me, this was such a tough project and awards like this really encourage you to curate everything in the smallest detail. I started working on it in September and have been putting constant effort on it until the last day.”

Catwalk Knitwear Award – Hannah Stote, Bath Spa University

The Catwalk Knitwear Award was presented to Hannah Stote from Bath Spa University for her sustainably-driven knitwear collection, inspired by traditional styles from British fishing villages. Judges included; Nike’s FlyKnit Design Director, Joanne Jorgensen, Fashioner Designer Julien Macdonald OBE, Deanna Ferretti, CEO, and Sonia Veroni, Co-Founder and Director of Modateca Deanna and Creative Director for Label/Mix at Next – Gemma Metheringham.

Winner Hannah Stote said, “It’s so fantastic to be recognised, and I think that sustainable fashion is so important! I have no words and I love to be able to share my work with everybody and show how interesting and exciting knitwear can be!”

The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award – Brian Mc Lysaght, Edinburgh College of Art

The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award presented by Dame Zandra Rhodes and Hilary Alexander OBE was won by Brian Mc Lysaght from Edinburgh College of Art. Judges included; Hilary Alexander OBE, Fashion Designer Richard Quinn, Toni Blaze, Editor-in Chief of Wonderland and Fashion Designer and Living Artist Daniel Lismore.

The George Catwalk to Store Award – Rosie Baird, Edinburgh College of Art

The George Catwalk to Store Award went to Rosie Baird from Edinburgh College of Art. Judges included; Senior Buying Director at George – Mary-Kate Campbell, Alexandra Fullerton, Fashion Director at Glamour and Influencer – Megan Ellaby.

Winner Rosie Baird said, “I’m so overwhelmed, thank you to everyone who listened to what I have to say. My collection was inspired by storytelling in Scotland.”

The Clarks Footwear Award – Keri Thornton, De Montfort University

The Clarks Footwear Award was awarded to Keri Thornton from De Montfort University. Judges for the award included; Footwear Deisgner at Clarks – Keabetswe Masalila, Director of Footwear at WGSN – Claire Foster, and Hannah Rochelle, Creative Director and Founder of En Brouge.

Winner Keri Thornton said, “I just can’t believe it, I’m so excited to be the winner. I’m just looking for graduate opportunities, and really getting to grips with the whole industry from ideas, concepts, meeting new people.”

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 The Clarks Footwear Award - Keri Thornton, De Montfort University

Graduate Fashion Week 2019 The Clarks Footwear Award – Keri Thornton, De Montfort University

 

The Tu Sainsbury’s Scholarships – Josephine Roberts and Michella Knight from Northumbria University and Nottingham Trent University

The Tu Sainsbury’s Scholarships went to Josephine Roberts and Michella Knight from Northumbria University and Nottingham Trent University. Judges included their new mentors throughout the scholarship, Design duo Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones and designer twins Tamara and Natasha from Tata Naka, plus Womenswear Designer at Tu – Toni Salters-Warner and Aimi Williams-Smith, Menswear & Childrenswear Design Manager at Tu.

Winners Josephine Roberts and Michella Knight said, “I can’t believe I’ve won the Tu Scholarship Award, this is absolutely amazing! It’s such an honour, really! I am so grateful and I’m so excited!” “I can’t believe it, I’m overwhelmed! Thank you so much.”

The International Fashion Award – Ivy Lan, Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong

The International Fashion Award sponsored by GAP Inc. was awarded to Ivy Lan from Savannah College of Art and Design Hong Kong. Judges saw the best designs from over 40 international universities across the globe. The panel included; Deborah Joseph, Editor in Chief of Glamour, In the Frow’s Victoria Magrath, Queennie Yang, Editor of, Vogue International Asia and Vice President of Womens & Men Design for GAP, John Caruso.

Winner Ivy Lan said, “I have no words. I’m thinking of finding a job at a tailoring shop because I want to learn more technical practical skills and I can maybe start my own brand and studio.”

Conscious Design Award – Brian Mc Lysaght Edinburgh College of Art

Conscious Design Award sponsored by Swarovski went to Brian Mc Lysaght from Edinburgh College of Art. Judged by Orsola De Castro, Founder of Fashion Revolution, Leslie Holden, Head of Postgraduate Studies at Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Telegraph’s Acting Senior Fashion Editor, Caroline Leaper and Brigitte Stepputtis, Global Head of Couture at Vivienne Westwood.

Read more on the GFW website.

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