As two of just 17 finalists from across the country, Fashion students Charlotte Goodayle (UCA Rochester) and Mary Maggs (UCA Epsom) have fought off competition from over 100 submissions this year, in response to the 2016 Fashion Awareness Direct competition brief to demonstrate a ‘sense of place’.
Charlotte says that her collection was inspired by the River Thames. “I decided to create a collection based on things that wash up from the river, as I walk by it every day,” explained Charlotte. “It incorporates an eclectic mix of things, from knitted rope to graffiti, all with a rebellious or punk undertone.”
Charlotte’s submission was a series of portfolio images and a film displaying a range of fabric techniques to emulate a ‘washed-up’ look, and she used sands, felting and paint to create texture in her designs.
“Being able to show a collection under my own name at London Fashion Week is a real honour and something I’ve always dreamed of,” said Charlotte, who aspires to set up her own womenswear design label one day. “I’m absolutely over the moon and looking forward to making the garments.”
Finding out about the competition from her tutors, Charlotte is taking part in as many competitions as she can whilst she studies to gain experience. “My fashion degree has been invaluable to this competition,” said Charlotte. “The teaching is incomparable and I’ve learnt so much. The course is extremely fast paced but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I just love what I do! After I graduate I think it’s crucial to gain as much experience as possible, and the dream is to work for designers Margiela or Christopher Kane.”
Epsom student Mary found her inspiration from a recent exhibition at The Whitechapel Gallery entited The Kindred of the Kibbo Kift, which focused on the group movement in the 1920s. “The Kibbo Kift was like an alternative to scouts, but unlike the majority of similar groups at the time, the Kift allowed women, men and children of all ages. They had ambitions for world peace with a large appreciation of nature and handicraft, and partook in activities such as hiking, camping, wood carving and leather work.”
Focusing largely on archery, one of the Kibbo Kift’s activities, Mary design’s feature leather sleeves with hand-braided and stitched techniques. Her collection also explores metallic foiling and boxy oversized silhouettes to reference the tabards that members of the Kibbo Kift wore.
“My course has helped me so much for the competition, not only learning the technical skills such as flat drawings, sewing construction and pattern cutting but it’s also broadened my knowledge of the fashion design process and allowed me to develop my own style of working,” said Mary. “The guidance and support from my tutors and technicians has been invaluable.”
Described by Vogue.com as an 'undeniable springboard' for young designers, the FAD competition has chosen students from our Fashion Design course as finalists for the past five years. Charlotte and Mary will now create two pieces for their collections which will be showcased on the catwalk at London Fashion Week in February.
The winner of the FAD competition will receive £1,000 and the two runners up will secure £500 each. Charlotte and Mary will find out after London Fashion Week if they're the overall winner for the FAD competition – we wish them both luck.
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