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Evans reveals the design talent of the future

Plus-size fashion retailer Evans has launched its CUT collection featuring designs by a Nottingham Trent University student.

Clothing designs by Ellie Northway
Designs by Ellie Northway

Plus-size fashion retailer Evans has launched its CUT collection featuring designs by a Nottingham Trent University student.

Third year Fashion Design student Ellie Northway was among those from both Nottingham Trent University and Kingston University who were briefed by Evans' Head of Design, Rebecca Vann Reicher, to create a six-piece collection designed with a plus-size customer in mind.

A judging panel of industry experts collectively selected a winner from each university. The panel included Trish Halpin, editor at Marie Claire; Jess Spiring, lifestyle editor at Now Magazine; Laura Puddy, stylist and plus-size columnist and Georgina Horne, Fuller Figure Fuller Bust Blog.

Ellie, 22, from Kingston-upon-Thames, was selected as the winner from Nottingham Trent University with Eve Turley winning for Kingston. Ellie created a collection of vibrant kaleidoscopic prints drawn from portraits of inspirational women throughout history.

She said: "My collection was focused on six women throughout history who have made their mark and have been written about and studied. I looked at women from across cultures and different time periods to get a range of inspiration. I looked at Queen Victoria, Eleanor of Acquitane, Joan of Arc, Boudica, Empress Wu Zeitan and Hatsheput (a Pharaoh who is considered one of the most successful) because they have all been celebrated in some way for being powerful women who have ruled or fought for their countries. From these six women I created different prints that came from elements of them."

I wanted to give girls a chance to mix a lot of colour within their wardrobes.

Ellie Northway

Ellie said she wanted the fearlessness of the women who inspired her garments to be reflected in how someone feels when they wear the garments.

Her pieces include a printed bomber jacket, a low-cut jumpsuit, a casual pair of tapered trousers, a double-layer contrast shift dress, a neoprene top and neoprene-fitted dress. Ellie designed the items so they could be worn with other pieces within the collection if someone was brave enough to wear a lot of print and colour, such as the bomber jacket and jumpsuit together, and the trousers and top.

"I wanted to give girls a chance to mix a lot of colour within their wardrobes," said Ellie.

Rebecca said they received an "unprecedented" level of entries to the competition.

"CUT for Evans is an exciting opportunity for students to learn and develop as designers and challenges what they have been taught," she said. "It pushes them to create something that can be bold, yet beautiful, regardless of size that empowers and delights all at once and ultimately changes attitudes about plus size and its fashion credentials."

Ellie received a £1,000 cash prize and her collection is currently being launched in selected Evans stores across the UK, US and Europe.

She said: "It's incredibly surreal but also incredibly humbling. The fact that Evans have invested a lot of time and interest in my ideas as an aspiring designer is just amazing and I am really so appreciative to have been given this opportunity.

"I still can't quite believe it when a blogger or magazine tweets or posts a picture on Instagram of one of my pieces but it's just so exciting and has really given me confidence in my work and how I'll be approaching my final graduate collection."

  • Notes for editors

    For further information on the winners of CUT for EVANS please contact: PR Manager Tom Doran on +44207 927 1823 or by email.

    Information about Evans

    Evans is the leading fashion retailer and size specialist for size 14-32 women in the UK, with over 219 outlets nationwide, over 80 stores worldwide and online presence at, and

Evans reveals the design talent of the future

Published on 30 October 2014
  • Category: Press office; School of Art & Design

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