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Trailblazing student wins Hilary Alexander award at Graduate Fashion Week

After her work was chosen as one of the top 25 of this year’s Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) collections, UCA student Evelyne Babin was named the winner of the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Swarovski.

Announced at the Gala Awards show last night (6 June), the grand finale of the week, Evelyne’s collection stood out for its vibrant colours, unique silhouettes and innovative accessories. Inspired by East African culture, the work mixes banana-leaf craft, floral cut-outs, and broderie anglaise.

“I am so humbled by the experience of GFW18,” Evelyne, a UCA Epsom student, said after winning the award. “Seeing my collection on the catwalk itself was a dream come true but winning the award was beyond my expectations. I feel blessed and very privileged.”

The judges for the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award, sponsored by Swarovski, look for innovation and creativity in student work, and focus on the cut, texture, silhouette and surface decoration; the student’s exploration of sustainability; how the collection experiments with fabric and material; and its photogenic appeal.

The selected 25 collections from universities across the UK featured in the Best of GFW catwalk show earlier in the day, where they were judged by the panel before Evelyne’s collection was named the winner during the evening awards.

Graduate Fashion Week showcases the work of more than 1,000 of the top Fashion students and graduates from universities around the world. It takes place each June, attracting around 30,000 guests annually. Championing the future of the fashion industry, it provides a platform for students and industry to connect.

Students from 11 courses across UCA Epsom and UCA Rochester showcased their work throughout GFW. They were: BA (Hons) Fashion; BA (Hons) Fashion Management & Marketing; BA (Hons) Fashion Journalism; BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion & Imaging; MA Fashion Business & Management; MA Fashion Marketing & Communications; BA (Hons) Fashion Design; BA (Hons) Fashion Media & Promotion; BA (Hons) Fashion Atelier; BA (Hons) Fashion Textiles: Print; and BA (Hons) Fashion Buying Retail Management.

Evelyne Babin collection