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Three UCA student collections named the Best of Graduate Fashion Week 2017

Three UCA student collections were chosen to feature in the Best 25 at the Graduate Fashion Week Gala Awards Show, held in London.

UCA Rochester students Yingi Goma, Lauren McArthur and Claire Tagg saw their designs on the runway at the star-studded gala, which had an audience of industry names and celebrities including Alesha Dixon and Myleene Klass. The annual four-day Graduate Fashion Week event, which celebrates exciting new talent, attracts around 30,000 guests each June and sees more than 1,000 students and graduates from around the world exhibit their work.

Head of the School of Fashion at UCA Thomass Atkinson, said: “I’m incredibly proud of the exceptional work exhibited by UCA students. Graduate Fashion Week is an excellent showcase and platform that supports our students to present their work to a wide audience that is not limited to a catwalk showcase. This event provides much broader opportunities to enhance and promote the breadth and diverse graduate talent that we have within the School of Fashion at UCA across a range of specialist areas in fashion business, management, marketing, media, communication, retail and journalism. It connects our graduates with industry and potential recruitment environments.”

UCA Epsom student Miruna Manole received the New Business Award for her vegan cosmetic range concept, while UCA Rochester student Claire Tagg was named the runner up of the M&S Womenswear Award for her air stewardess-inspired collection. UCA Epsom student Kristy Morris was announced as the second runner up of the Clarks Footwear Award for her innovative heel designs.

Claire Tagg, who is 25 and from Newcastle-under-Lyme, said: “My collection focuses on my journey of my career as an air stewardess. When I was younger everything about the air stewardess fascinated me. I thought they were more glamorous than anything else in the world. However, after years of chasing my dreams, I finally became an air stewardess to realise that the job was not so glamorous at all. I did not turn into a beautiful and respected woman, as I imagined. Instead I had to work extremely hard, I did not look beautiful; I looked exhausted.

“For the collection I have created a series of illustrations to show how I perceived myself as an air stewardess, looking elegant whilst wearing my airline uniform with pride.”

UCA Epsom students Charlotte Simmonds and Samantha Varley were shortlisted for the YKK Accessories Award, while fellow Epsom students Princess Strachan and Khalilah Scott were nominated for the Fashion Marketing Award. Francesca Thompson and Hikmat Mohammad, both from UCA Epsom, were named as finalists for the Drapers Fashion Publication Award and, alongside the winner Miruna Manole, Khalilah Scott and Kristy Morris were also shortlisted for the New Business Award.

Henrietta Adams, from UCA Rochester, was a finalist for the New Fashion Media Award, while fellow UCA Rochester student Khadija Davies was shortlisted for the Boux Avenue Swimwear Award. Rochester student James Ireland was nominated for the Fashion Photography Award, while Epsom student Elizabeth Illing was a finalist for the Vivienne Westwood Sustainability Award. The David Band Textiles Award saw Epsom students Charlotte Simmonds and Jamie Backshall, and Rochester students Claire Tagg and Alice Revell, all nominated.

Graduate Fashion Week took place at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane from Sunday 4 June to Wednesday 7 June.