Textile Design and Decorative Arts students make waves at New Designers Week 1

MA Textile Design Innovation student Yingqian Wang was crowned runner-up of New Designer of the Year, with BA (Hons) Textile Design students Tamara Emanuel and Lucy Knights also scooping awards

NTU Textile Design at New Designers
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NTU Textile Design at New Designers

Three students on our Textile Design courses caught the eyes of industry at New Designers Week 1, and scooped some of the event’s top prizes. Over 50 students from our Textiles and BA (Hons) Decorative Arts courses had the opportunity to be part of New Designers Week 1 this June, which took place at London’s Business Design Centre in Islington. As the UK’s most eminent exhibition of graduating design talent, it is the go-to platform for industry professionals to seek out emerging talent, and to offer them routes into industry.

Yingqian Wang, MA Textile Design Innovation
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Yingqian Wang, MA Textile Design Innovation

MA Textile Design Innovation student Yingqian Wang was named runner-up of the event’s biggest award: New Designer of the Year. The award seeks to recognise a designer who is innovative, inspiring and forward thinking; a reflection of the Business Design Centre’s core values.

The judges were impressed by Yingqian’s “clarity and developed narrative, merging East and West and looking at the medium of chinoiserie from an eastern perspective.” The felt her work was “extremely professional and very commercial, whilst feeling both innovative and creative.” Yingqian was awarded a £500 cash prize at the vibrant award ceremony on Wednesday 27 June, hosted by renowned fashion designer Orla Kiely.

Yingqian told us: "I’m really happy and excited about this award. It still feels so unreal and the last week was like a dream to me. I also felt that my work finally paid off, my ideas and my design have been approved by others, which has pleased me most. And I felt grateful to everyone who supported me in finishing my work and offered me this great opportunity to showcase my work at New Designers."

Tamara Emanuel, BA (Hons) Textile Design
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Tamara Emanuel, BA (Hons) Textile Design

BA (Hons) Textile Design student Tamara Emanuel was named winner of the New Designers Romo Award For Innovation In Design And Colour. This award, sponsored by UK brand Romo, aims to identify a student who displays an exceptional talent for creativity and design innovation, whilst demonstrating a sophisticated sense of colour and skilful drawing techniques.

The judges were captivated by Tamara’s ‘Traces’ collection, which they felt demonstrated an “expressive painting and fluidity in style, combined with an innovative layering of textures and considered use of colour.”

Tamara received £500 to support the development of her work after graduation, in addition to a paid 6-month internship in Romo’s design studios. Tamara told us: “I was completely shocked, but over the moon to have won this award. I’ve actually never felt anything like it, it was amazing! I’m so grateful that the Romo team noticed my work and liked my style. I cannot wait to start my placement there and work with them.”

Tina Downes, Principal Lecturer for Textile Design, commented: "The Romo New Designer’s award is a well-deserved dream come true for Tamara! With a passion for high quality interiors, an eye for colour and a painterly design handwriting, she is a great fit for the Romo internship. It is very rewarding to see her dedication and attention to detail pay off."

Lucy Knights, BA (Hons) Textile Design
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Lucy Knights, BA (Hons) Textile Design

Another BA (Hons) Textile Design student, Lucy Knights, won the Worshipful Company of Weavers associate award. The prize awards £1,000 to the most outstanding designer using woven fabric at New Designers, showing real expertise and knowledge of the production process.

On receiving the accolade, Lucy told us: “When I found out that I had won I was overwhelmed and shocked. Through NTU’s great links, I was able to successfully apply for a scholarship with Worshipful Company of Weavers to fund my final year work. To then be chosen at New Designers by them as the best in show is just fantastic. As part of my prize, I’ve been offered a three month placement at Wallace Sewell’s mill in Lancashire. I’ll get to work with the production team, gaining invaluable experience.”

Dr Amanda Briggs-Goode, Head of Department for Fashion, Textiles and Knitwear Design, was incredibly pleased by the students’ achievements, commenting: “Winning national awards at events like New Designers is an exceptional achievement when students’ work and professionalism have to stand out amongst such incredible talent from across the UK and beyond. It is therefore even more pleasing when our students win three of the awards on offer. It is testament to our brilliant academic and technical teams, and our heritage in teaching fashion and textiles.”

Anna Manfield receiving her award at New Designers
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Anna Manfield receiving her award at New Designers

Elsewhere, a 2017 alumna from our BA (Hons) Decorative Arts course, Anna Manfield, scooped the London Design Fair associate prize. This award seeks the most innovative application of materials to produce designs that are unique and market-ready. The award will see Anna exhibiting her brand of artisan toys at London Design Fair later this year, attended by an excess of 28,000 people from press, industry and the public.

In addition to our three major prizewinners, many of our students received commendations from brands including John Lewis, Joules and Sainsburys, signalling the high calibre of work produced by students in the School of Art & Design.

Textile Design and Decorative Arts students make waves at New Designers Week 1

Published on 2 July 2018
  • Category: School of Art & Design

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