Fashion students scoop three top awards at Graduate Fashion Week 2018

Jacaranda Brain, Georgia Lyne and Essi Peuhkuri won awards at the annual showcase of the best emerging design talent in fashion

Garments from Jacaranda's NUDIBRANCH collection. Photo Simon Armstrong for NTU
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Garments from Jacaranda's NUDIBRANCH collection. Photo Simon Armstrong for NTU

In a phenomenal display of innovation, craftsmanship and ingenuity, three students from the internationally renowned fashion, knitwear and accessory design courses at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) impressed the judges and were named winners of top prizes at Graduate Fashion Week this year.

Now in its 27th year, Graduate Fashion Week is the largest gathering of undergraduate fashion students in the world. It continues to be the unrivalled platform for the promotion of emergent fashion talent, and this year saw a staggering 5,000 graduates take part from 37 UK and 51 international universities.

Our winning students hail from BA (Hons) Fashion Design, BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles, and BA (Hons) Fashion Accessory Design courses, demonstrating the breadth of our students’ talents, in addition to the multi-disciplinary strength of the Fashion, Knitwear and Textiles department here at NTU.

The students showcased their work in front of 150 professional judges, as well as fashion industry experts, the media, celebrities and retail giants at the Old Truman Brewery in London's creative East End on Wednesday 6 June.

Jacaranda receiving her award at the Gala Show. Photo Simon Armstrong
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Jacaranda receiving her award at the Gala Show. Photo Simon Armstrong

Jacaranda Brain, a student on BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles, won the hotly contested Visionary Knitwear Award for her collection NUDIBRANCH, a striking sculptural and textured collection inspired by the colourful sea slug species of the same name. She made each garment by pocketing tubular fabric stuffed with cotton wool. The award recognises not only her mastery of garment construction, but additionally her efforts at moving fashion knitwear design forward in an innovative way.

She told us: “I couldn’t believe it when he said my name. It still hasn’t quite sunk in. I didn’t think I would win. It was really nice; a huge honour.”

She continued: “Everyone on our course has put in crazy hours of work. But this made it mean something. It was a really nice feeling. I always base my designs on peculiar animals. Nudibranchs are beautiful little creatures with weird shapes.”

Ian Mcinnes, Principal Lecturer and Course Leader for Fashion Knitwear Design, was delighted with Jacaranda's achievement. He explained: "The judges commented on Jacaranda's exceptional craftsmanship in producing a powerful visual spectacle which pushed the boundaries of our understanding of knitwear."

Georgia Lyne's winning collection
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Georgia Lyne's winning collection

Georgia Lyne, a BA (Hons) Fashion Design student, won the Tessuti Sports and Leisurewear Award for her vibrant menswear collection. The award seeks to reward creativity and originality in addition to technical excellence in sportswear design. Georgia will get £1000 for herself and £500 for the university.

She was both shocked and proud to be named winner. She said: “It’s a completely surreal experience. Meeting with people from the industry and being interviewed and receiving feedback; it’s an amazing opportunity for designers to receive recognition for their work. I feel so proud to win an award for NTU.”

She added: “It has motivated me to pursue my career in sportswear; it’s what I love to design, from the innovative new fabrics to the design aesthetic. I can’t believe the support shown by my amazing course friends and tutors. They pushed me to achieve my potential by entering me into an award I never thought I’d win!”

Essi Peuhkuri receiving her award at Graduate Fashion Week
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Essi Peuhkuri receiving her award at Graduate Fashion Week

Essi Peuhkuri, an international student on our BA (Hons) Fashion Accessory Design course, scooped the YKK London Accessories Award for her handcrafted black leather accessories. The judges selected her work for its directional and modern approach. She said: “I am still in shock! To hear such good feedback from professionals was overwhelming. I am so grateful.”

Fashion Accessory Design course leader Lee Mattocks was extremely proud of Essi’s achievement. He commented: “The award is an amazing opportunity because Essi will gain valuable experience working with a major sponsor in fashion and accessories. It will undoubtedly lead to new exhibitions of her innovative and beautifully crafted work.”

Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design, was delighted by the students' achievements. She told us: "To win three awards is a phenomenal achievement for our courses at the premiere national and international event which is Graduate Fashion Week.  It is testament to the abilities of our academic and technical teams who support the students to realise their creativity and reach their potential."

She continued: "Fashion and Textile Education has been significant in Nottingham since the beginnings of the art school in 1843 and it is gratifying to know that we are still leading providers of fashion and textile education having just been acknowledged as being 4th in the UK in the Guardian league tables."

The talents of NTU students made impressions beyond the final awards ceremony. Along with Jacaranda, BA (Hons) Fashion Design students Kirstie Johnston and Takato Wako had their collections featured in the Gala Show, which showcases the best 25 collections from all the participating universities. To have three students out of the 25 in the Gala Show truly signals the quality of the NTU students’ collections, and the innovative reputation of the university.

Elsewhere, another Fashion Design student and two students from NTU’s fashion management, marketing and communications courses were shortlisted in a number of exhibition awards. International BA (Hons) Fashion Product Design student Ko Yun Chen was nominated for the Mothercare Childrenswear Award, Jace Tay, an international student on BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and Branding, was shortlisted for the ASOS Future Talent Communications Award, whilst BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and Promotion student Lillie Stoner narrowly missed out on the Fashion Marketing Award.

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Notts TV visit Graduate Fashion Week 2018

Fashion students scoop three top awards at Graduate Fashion Week 2018

Published on 7 June 2018
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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