As Graduate Fashion Week 2017 comes to a close, the winners of this year’s Gala Awards are announced, celebrating the Talent of Tomorrow with stars such as Halina North, Maddie Williams, Daniel Rynne and Irene D'Antonio.
With the awards taking place at the home of Graduate Fashion Week, The Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, London, judges included Sarah Harris of Vogue, Sadie Frost and Holly Fulton. Now in its 26th year, Graduate Fashion Week brings the latest innovative and exciting emerging talent to the world’s attention, showcasing the designers of tomorrow in a four-day event. Supported by 13 Global Ambassadors and four Lifetime Patrons including: Christopher Bailey MBE, Victoria Beckham OBE, Vivienne Westwood OBE RBI and Nick Knight OBE.
The prestigious Christopher Bailey Gold Award, named after the first winner of the award in 1992, Christopher Bailey, was awarded to Halina North of Edinburgh College of Art for her womenswear collection due to her strong catwalk input and originality, excellent craftsmanship and creativity. Judges for the award included Anna Clarke of Tu at Sainsbury's, Sadie Frost of Frostfrench, Holly Fulton of Holly Fulton, Matthew Harding of Palmer Harding, Sarah Harris of Vogue, Ryan Lo of Ryan Lo, Carlos Nazario of Fantastic Man, Levi Palmer of Palmer Harding and Fabio Piras of CSM MA.
The Debenhams Menswear Award was presented to Daniel Rynne of Arts University Bournemouth for his thorough concept and research, attention to detail and real understanding of menswear. Judges included designer John Rocha, International model Paul Sculfor, Marcus Agerman Ross of Jocks & Nerds Magazine and Julian Fuller and Suzanne Harlow of Debenhams.
M&S Womenswear Award was presented to Irene D'Antonio of Edinburgh College of Art for her combination of technique, sophisticated execution, and self-expressive designs. Judges included fashion journalist Claudia Croft, Kitty McGee of Stylist magazine and Jo Jenkins and Queralt Ferrer of M&S.
The Visionary Knitwear Award was presented to Ruth Williams of Edinburgh College of Art as Ruth took knitwear beyond the confines of expectations, and her imagery was exciting, seductive, and modern. Judges included Sarah Dallas RCA, Katie Jones, Louise Trotter of Joseph and Iain R. Webb.
The Catwalk Textiles Award went to Maddie Williams of Edinburgh College of Art for her well-
crafted collection and technical skill. Judges were particularly impressed with the way she deconstructed existing textiles and reworked them in to new fabric. Judges included Polly Leonard, Selvedge, Katie Roberts Wood, Jackson Tucker Lynch from Harris Tweed Authority, and Nigel Luck.
The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award in partnership with Swarovski has gone to Halina North of Edinburgh College of Art, as it combined catwalk impact, creativity, and craftsmanship. It combined an intriguing link between historical references and fabric futures in terms of sustainability as it is made of biodegradable paper.
The George Catwalk to Store Award went to Laura Capello of Bath Spa University, for her beautiful attention to detail and original thinking. Strong tailoring was finished with exquisite beading and embellishment. Judges included Juliet Heard of Hello Fashion Monthly and Helen Low from George.
The Bonmarché Fashion For All Award went to Caroline Bowden of University of Central Lancashire for developing a concept through to delivery for a multi-channel environment. Her idea was both innovative and unique whilst still being commercial. Judges included Caroline Baxter, Woman Magazine, TV presenter Mark Heyes, Celebrity Stylist, Helen Connolly, Adrian Marter and Geraldine Higgins all from Bonmarché.
The Mothercare Childrenswear Award went to Catherine Watts of University of Salford for her original and imaginative designs celebrating the whimsical nostalgia of the travelling world. Judges included Carolyn Asome, Myleene Klass, Suzanne Bailey and Jenny Titchmarsh of Mothercare.
The Clarks Footwear Award was awarded to Megan Davies of University of South Wales for her multi-level sustainability elements and her wearable and current design. Judges for the award included Rosie McKissock and Helen Richards-Rees of Clarks, and Hannah Rochell of the Evening Standard and En Brogue.
The TU at Sainsbury’s Womenswear Scholarship went to Laura Gillings of Bath Spa University for her great creativity, relevancy, and innovation, she won the judges over with her great confidence and passion. Judges included Henry Holland, Rebecca Hitchings, Hannah Mallet and Lucy Moore all of Tu at Sainsburys.
The Tu at Sainsbury’s Menswear Scholarship was awarded to Amy Vonderwel of Nottingham Trent University for her passionate design, driven personality and understanding of retail. Her portfolio also showed versatility. Judges included Oliver Spencer, James Brown, John Carolan and Aimi Williams Smith, all of Tu at Sainsburys.