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Final year fashion students gear up for Graduate Fashion Week showcase in London

1st June 2018

The creative collections of final year fashion students from Northumbria University will be sent down the catwalk in front of the industry’s finest at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) event.

The University’s dedicated runway show will take place on Sunday at 5pm where the work of 23 final year Fashion BA (Hons) students will be placed under the spotlight by industry experts, fashion brands and well-known designers, at the Truman Brewery in Hanbury Street, London.

The Fashion, Fashion Communication and Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons) programmes at Northumbria have seen many graduates going on to enjoy successful careers at brands and agencies across the globe, including Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Nike, with the University’s School of Design having an established reputation at the annual Graduate Fashion Week exhibition.

This year, Northumbria students have been shortlisted for a range of esteemed awards, including the New Business Award, Fashion Marketing Award, and Size? Fashion Photography Award and will await to hear the results from the start of the event on Sunday.

Fashion BA (Hons) student Lois Sleightholme has been shortlisted for the respected YKK Accessories Award after creating a quirky collection featuring berets, backpacks and even a stylish shopping trolley.

The 23-year-old, originally from South Shields, developed her designs from two inspirations – her Grandma, and the work of Irish photojournalist and artist Richard Mosse, titled The Enclave – an infrared military film journeying through eastern Congo's humanitarian disaster. Military and colourful details feature within the collection, mixed with aspects from her beloved Grandma’s style. The result includes intricate sunray pleats on skirts, with jazzy sequin details in camouflage shapes.

Speaking ahead of the show, she says: “I’m really excited to see it come together. I’ve visited GFW before but never with my own collection - it’s now my time. It’s a great opportunity and even better that I’ve been shortlisted for an award.  I have my fingers crossed and I’m looking forward to seeing what opportunities the event brings.”

Fellow Fashion BA (Hons) student Emelia Erland, from Wells in Somerset, is a lover of textiles and developed a narrative collection intended to show the changing attitudes towards sustainable and environmental design in today's society, with garments ranging from traditional suits to loose chunky kimono shapes. The fabrics have been carefully sourced, with two of the main fabrics being 100% wool due to its natural ability to biodegrade, and the third created from recycled yarns.

Due to Emelia’s garments being influenced by environmental sustainability, she has been shortlisted for the treasured Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainability & Ethical Award (sponsored by Levi), and says she couldn’t be happier to be recognised.  

The 23-year-old adds: “I’m looking forward to showing my work to the judges and I can’t wait to see all of the garments together. I really love the research side of designing, and I’d love to work in that area of the industry after I graduate. I’d like to carry on looking into the next generation of bio textiles and sustainable design.”

As well as the Fashion BA (Hons) course, students from Northumbria’s Fashion Design and Marketing, and Fashion Communication courses will be showcasing their final year work on the University’s dedicated exhibition stand.

Fashion Communication student Sarah Young has been shortlisted for GFW’s New Business Award, for her brand extension concept for ethical clothing subscription company Wear the Walk London, in which she has made the business more accessible and affordable for a younger market.

The 22-year-old, from Northern Ireland, says: “I’m still a bit shocked that I have been shortlisted for the award but I’m so chuffed because I’ve put so much work into it. Only 12 people were shortlisted from thousands of students across all the universities. It’s great to know that they saw my work and thought it was worthy of the award. I’m looking forward to GFW and will wait to see what opportunities come my way.”

York-born Fashion Design and Marketing student, Daisy Ratcliff, was inspired by her six sisters for her new brand idea Daisy Chain, which is based around a person’s first bra. Daisy held focus groups in schools, girl guide groups and drama schools across Newcastle, to learn more about the thinking process young girls go through when buying their first pieces of lingerie.

The 23-year-old, who has been shortlisted for both the Fashion Marketing Award and the Boux Avenue Lingerie Award, adds: “I want my brand to be about creating a community and making it a less scary experience. Rather than sizes, my garments have names such as ‘Beautiful’, making it easier to understand. I’m so pleased that it has been recognised for two awards at GFW – it means a lot as it’s something personal to me.”


GFW Shortlistings for the Exhibition Awards 2018:

Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainability & Ethical Awards sponsored by Levi

Shortlisted: Emelia Erland (Fashion) & Katie Gourley (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Fashion Marketing Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Ratcliff (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Tessuti Sports & Leisurewear Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Podmor-Childe (Fashion Design & Marketing)

YKK Accessories Award

Shortlisted:  Lois Sleightholme (Fashion)

New Business Award

Shortlisted: Sarah Young (Fashion Communication)

New Fashion Media Award

Shortlisted:  Elle Robinson (Fashion Communication)

Size? Fashion Photography Award

Shortlisted: Megan Jepson (Fashion Communication)

Boux Avenue Swimwear Award

Shortlisted: Lucy Nolan (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Boux Avenue Lingerie Award

Shortlisted: Daisy Ratcliff (Fashion Design & Marketing) and Amelia Wilson (Fashion Design & Marketing)

Superdry Outerwear Award

Shortlisted: Hannah Williamson (Fashion) & Hannah Scoins (Fashion)

For further information on Fashion at Northumbria, please visit the Graduate Fashion Week page of our website.

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