Coventry students have designs on top fashion accolade

Student news

Friday 02 December 2011

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Five out of the 10 finalists for a prestigious fashion award at Birmingham NEC’s 2011 Clothes Show Live event (2-7 Dec) are students from Coventry University. This makes it the fifth consecutive year that at least one undergraduate from the University’s Fashion BA (Hons) degree course has reached the final.

The five students - 2nd year Katie Collins (20) and 3rd year Rachel Garrison (26) from Coventry; 3rd year Amber Davies (21) from Leamington Spa; 3rd year Aimee Law (20) from Essex and 2nd year Andreea Fertigan (20) from Romania - have each earned the chance to win the 2011 Clothes Show Live ‘Young Designer of the Year’ award, which aims to seek out the best fledgling talent on the fashion scene and help launch their career in this highly competitive industry.

Budding designers from across the UK were invited to unleash their imagination to produce the most creative and innovative design possible while demonstrating their knowledge of the latest fashion trends, to produce a glamorous, bang on trend dress their A-list style icon would be happy to get ‘papped’ in at a red carpet event such as the BAFTAs or Brit Awards.

Katie Collins decided to dress style icon socialite Daphne Guinness; Amber Davies chose the Duchess of Cambridge (aka Kate Middleton); Andreea Fertigan created a gown for pop star Florence Welch; Rachel Garrison chose to style burlesque artist Dita Von Teese; while Aimee Law dressed Latin diva Jennifer Lopez.

Coventry University’s state-of-the-art fashion department has been helping its five student finalists ensure their designs are translated from the sketchbook to the studio in time.

Final year fashion student Rachel Garrison said:

I’m so excited at being chosen as a 2011 finalist and can’t wait to see my dress being modelled on the catwalk, it’s a huge honour. The inspiration for my design came from burlesque artist Dita Von Teese, and I’ve included influences from her costumes as well as her natural style. I’m very interested in costume, which is why I was drawn to Dita. When I finish university I’d love to work for television or a big theatre company.

I’m delighted with what I’ve achieved during my time at Coventry University. I’ve been involved in a number of projects, and my next challenge is helping fashion designer Gavin Douglas produce his next collection here in our studios. In the New Year I’ll also be helping Zandra Rhodes make a dress for Coventry’s Godiva Awakes project, one of 12 public art commissions across the country to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

Coventry University’s Head of Fashion, Ann Muirhead, said:

We’re very proud of the students who have made it through to the final stages of this illustrious competition. It’s a magnificent achievement in such a competitive industry, and a testament to all their hard work. Coventry University has some of the most advanced technology and machinery used within the fashion industry including digital printing, laser cutting and sonic welding equipment, and it’s great to see it being put to use so effectively by the students on our courses.

The winner will be announced at 11.30am on Tuesday 6 December during the live show, where they will have their outfit modelled on the main catwalk in front of the world’s press.

Along with the Young Designer of the Year trophy, the lucky winner will get a week’s work experience with a top fashion designer, receive £1,000 prize money and have £1,000 donated to their school’s Art/Design Technology Department.

Clothes Show Live 2011 is the world’s biggest fashion and beauty event, featuring all the leading brands, the latest industry trends, a 6,500-seater fashion theatre, and numerous celebrities attending over the six days.