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Best of British design talent at NTU

A fashion design student at Nottingham Trent University will create an iconic menswear garment for Marks & Spencer after winning a national competition.

A fashion design student at Nottingham Trent University will create an iconic menswear garment for Marks & Spencer after winning a national competition.Chanel Folkes, 22, will work with M&S to create the piece for the company's Best of British collection which previewed yesterday to fashion media at the retailer's seasonal press preview in London.

Using her winning entry as the starting point to her design for the signature piece, she will get to work at the M&S Studio in Fashion Street, Shoreditch, during three months in the summer where the garment samples will be created.

A limited run of her design will be sold online and in Marble Arch in 2015.

The competition Chanel won was run in partnership with the British Fashion Council Colleges Council, which represents 32 member colleges and universities throughout the UK.

Chanel said: "My inspiration came from the idea of fragmentation. I was most interested in the eyes' perception of fragmentation, of fragmented design and how an image can look distorted and shifted - looking at how imperfections can be clever mistakes, leading to unusual results. From partially painted furniture and architecture, to smeared paintings; translating it into fresh, clean cut modern designs. I am also inspired by menswear so, my designs have a masculine appeal with their sharp boxy silhouettes and tailored pieces."

As well as creating her own piece, Chanel will also undertake a three-month internship at M&S, gaining invaluable experience of work in the fashion business.

Tony O'Connor, Head of Design, Marks & Spencer Menswear said: "Our involvement in this initiative stemmed from our desire to foster and support upcoming design talent. When judging the competition, Chanel's design, focus and creativity really stood out; she showed an incredible enthusiasm for fashion, a strong commercial awareness and had a really good understanding of our brand and the needs of our menswear customer. Over summer she will have the chance to see her work go from sketch to finished garment stage and then on sale in store next year."

Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council, said: "It's encouraging to see young design talent being given the opportunity to shine on such a vast platform. Marks & Spencer is renowned for its efforts to invest in best practice at every stage of its production and this project will give the students the opportunity to see that process first hand."

Chanel said she would like to pursue a career with design or product development within fashion, hoping to develop her own womenswear fashion brand and branching out into menswear as well and added her course at Nottingham Trent University had helped her to know what she wanted to do when she graduates.

"Nottingham Trent University has helped me with discovering my own design identity, pushed me to adapt to certain market levels when designing and how to design realistically for the industry," she said. "It has also helped me to be self-critical in my work in order to make it the best that it can be; and helped me to know what I want to do when I finish my course."

Gilly Staples, principal lecturer, Fashion Design, said: "I'm really pleased for Chanel. Her success reflects the importance our courses place on combining creativity with commerciality. This ensures our students are very employable, which is recognised by industry."

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Best of British design talent at NTU

Published on 15 May 2014
  • Category: Business; Press office; School of Art & Design

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