Six Coventry University students shortlisted for top fashion award

Student news

Thursday 24 May 2012

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Six of the 27 finalists in this year’s Midlands Designer of the Year competition are final year fashion students at Coventry University.

Created in 2008, the Midlands Fashion Designer Awards offers new and emerging fashion talent the opportunity to compete for the title “Emerging Designer of the Year” and to show their work to a panel of fashion professionals.

The winning designer will be announced in October and will not only receive recognition for their creative talent on the catwalk, but also a further, as yet unknown, prize awaits them courtesy of Retail Birmingham.

The six final year students shortlisted are:

  • Alice Moore, whose collection is based on the weather of the future and mixes up garment styles of the contrasting seasons;
  • Diana Oancea, who has used a combination of bohemian and western styles for her project - intended for women who explore the world;
  • Fiona Linaker, who has produced a collection that uses bold fabrics, graphic prints and fringing textiles -  taking its inspiration from African ceremonial costumes;
  • Kristina Gonzalez Ackerman, who used the highly original topic of rusty and broken JCB parts as the starting point for her designs – inspiring her to work with knitwear and other techniques which resemble knit;
  • Wing Lai has produced garments that were inspired by both the ancient and modern culture of Egypt, with strong and angular shapes contrasting with curved and continuous lines synonymous with the female body;
  • Aisling Eakin, has created a collection inspired by Morocco, in particular the patterns and colours associated with it, and designed prints of her own.

The Coventry University finalists are a real international affair and include students from Romania and Hong Kong, as well as from across the UK.

Ann Muirhead, Head of Fashion, said:

It is fabulous news that six of the finalists are students here at Coventry University.  This is a fantastic opportunity for them to show off their collections and a great way to gain exposure to industry professionals.

All of our graduating students have worked really hard this year and the overall standard of work produced is very high, with some of the students already having jobs lined up for when they graduate.


All the shortlisted collections incorporate the use of state of art technologies available at the Coventry School of Art and Design, such as laser cutting, sonic welding, digital and sublimation printing, to produce their final collections.

Some of the work will also be on display as part of the Coventry University Graduate Fashion Show on Thursday 7th June in the Hub, Jordan Well, Coventry and is open to the public.

The Midlands Fashion Designer Awards event will be held at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens on Friday 19th October 2012.

For further information please contact Sarah-Jane Dean, Communications Assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7688 8245 or email