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Judges South Centre 2021

Ellie Dickens - Owner at Mags Kids  

Textiles has always been an important part of my life. From an early age I was encouraged by my mother and grandma to be confident with a sewing machine and experiment with different textures, fabrics, and techniques. This usually resulted in an abundance of handmade pin cushions and cushion covers much to their delight! I founded my company Mags in January 2021 after a somewhat disruptive (!) year and change of plans career wise. Mags is a sustainable children's wear brand based in Tunbridge Wells. After studying textiles and working in retail through school and university years, I was keen to channel my passion and understanding of what was missing from the market into creating a brand of my own. Our company values were clear from the beginning; to create pieces which are contemporary, versatile and most importantly, sustainable. These values alongside ensuring all of the products are practical and perfect for little adventurers has created a company ethos I am proud of. With a growing awareness for the importance of sustainable fashion and more opportunities to implement sustainable practices, I am excited to see how Mags grows and the avenues we take.www.magskids.co.uk

Judges South Centre 2020

Marina South. Creative Director and Founder of Then & Now Studio and We are Formless.

Marina South was born in Spain and raised in rural west Wales. After studying fashion and textiles at Pembrokeshire college she moved to London at 18 years old to study Fashion at Kingston University, where she graduated with a First-Class degree in 2006. Her first job was assisting Bella Freud before designing with leading industry figures including Susanne Deeken and Hector Castro. Having worked across design, development and styling at mid-end and luxury brands Marina became Head of Design at London womenswear label Baukjen in 2014. During this time Marina managed all aspects of creating the brands collections as well as working with Art Directors and Marketing teams to communicate the collections to customers. Within this role she began researching into low impact solutions to ensure each range was ethical and eco conscious. Visiting her factories regularly, mainly in Portugal, Marina built up strong relationships with everyone in the supply chain. In 2017 Marina decided she wanted to take her passion and knowledge in conscious design and share it with as many brands as possible. She began a creative consultancy platform at the end of 2017 which offers guidance for individuals and brands who actively want to make a positive change within their business. She offers 360 consultancy covering all aspects of creative businesses, from design, production through to art directing, styling and digital platforms, understanding the importance of communication and transparency to a brands community. Her clients include; Mother of Pearl, Werdelin and Suel as well as working with start-up brands to help bring their vision to life. Within this platform Marina has launched online workshops that offer a holistic approach to creativity. These programmes are immersive experiences curated to re-connect with nature and awaken the creative senses. Marina believes that if we can all individually form a bond with mother earth we will inevitably want to protect her, she believes that sustainability is about much more than organic materials. Believing we should be focusing less on finding solutions that enable us to carry on living the same way, that we ultimately need to change the way we live and in turn create. For her less is always more. Alongside this Marina is currently writing her first book, The Art in Creative Process, her aim is to engage people back to the research and development of creative output instead of rushing to the end product. She believes when you engage in design this way, care goes into it and by default you create from a place that holds value and remains relevant and integrity. She currently runs her consultancy platform from her East London home studio whilst still ensuring she visits her supply chains regularly. This year Marina also co-created creative community platform We Are Formless, a space to curate social and environmental campaigns that are progressive and inclusive. We Are Formless is centred in philanthropic action, offering wellness events, mentoring sessions and products that educate, inspire and give back to the global community


Judges Midlands & North Centre 2020


Suzanne Lawson. Lead Judge. Secondary PGCE Course Leader at Worcester University and a STEM Ambassador. 
Suzanne taught Design & technology: Food and Textiles at Key Stages 3,4,& 5 in a range of West Midlands schools before moving to Birmingham City University to lead the PGCE Secondary Design and Technology Teacher Training Course. She is now the Secondary PGCE Course Leader at Worcester University and a STEM Ambassador. Suzanne has trained over 100 Design and technology teachers who inspire and motivate the next generation of designers. She has a variety of research interests  including focusing on pupil perceptions of Design & Technology and Food Technology. She has worked for The Design and Technology Association and Specialist Schools and Academies Trust on programmes such as Licence to Cook, Food in Schools Primary Training and as an external moderator for the GCSE Textiles Rescue Programme. Suzanne has been Lead Judge for Midlands and North for the last 6 years. 
Phillip Ford
Phillip has exhibited at the Bath Costume Society Exhibition, the Clothes Show Live and at the Graduate Fashion Week in London. He has run his own business designing and creating special occasion wear. In industry he has worked as a visual mechandiser for the high street brand River Island: working in stores in the South West, South Wales and the Midlands. He moved in to the world of beauty working as a fragrance specialist and make up artist for brands including Clinique, Chanel and Guerlain. During his time in the beauty industry he worked on many fashion shows producing make up looks, including working with ITV's Mark Heyes at Bristol Fashion Week. With a Masters in Education, he is now a Lead Practitioner with Design Technology. He has supported the Young Fashion Designer UK competition for the last 5 years.

Judges South Centre 2019

Anne Fontenoy

When I was a young child I was taught at home how to make handmade clothes, create hand embroidery and draw, and I was encouraged to pursue these subjects at school in Finchley.  During my teens I could not find patterns for the clothes I wanted to wear so I started to make my own.  I trained in the 1970s in various art and fashion studios in London, where all the work was done by hand, except for some typed text for publications which was then pasted up by hand.  In my early twenties I started my own practice because people were asking me to make up my hand sewn dress designs for them.  I specialise in working with silk, lace and other fine fabrics for wedding dresses, evening gowns and ladies day wear, as well as creating original designs for hand embroidery, painted silk, and artwork including hand cut stencils and oil pastels.  I still hand sew the clothes and make all my dress patterns by hand from plain pattern paper.  Although I have created a digital art collection I can't make dress patterns using a computer.  In the 2000's I obtained an Open Degree from Open University made up of a mix of subjects, most of which are really useful for my work:  French, Latin, Greek, Accounts, Ethics and Heritage.

Alicia Johns 

Since winning the A Level category of Young Fashion Designer SE in 2013, Alicia pursued a degree in Costume for Performance at London College of Fashion.  Through this experience she gained in-depth knowledge of historical dress which was incorporated into her costume designed and garment construction techniques.  Upon graduating Alicia worked as a costume maker as well as part of the wardrobe department for dance productions at The Peacock theatre and Sadler’s Wells including Matthew Bourne’s ‘The Red Shoes’.  Keen to explore other avenues Alicia ventured into the tailoring industry, gaining experience in the fitting process and leading a Made-to-Measure department.  From this experience Alicia developed an interest in the business element of a company and has now begun training as a Chartered Account with a firm that has a dedicated department for theatre and film clients. Still fascinated by fashion and design, Alicia enjoys visiting exhibitions, watching old films for their costumes and making garments for herself using her pattern drafting knowledge.


Catherine de Crèvecoeur

A stylist, fashion and image consultant, Catherine has worked closely with new and established UK fashion designers, styling their collections for editorial or commercial photoshoots and look books. She provided creative direction for designers who needed to grow their brand and communicate the right message to their desired audience. As well as being a fashion stylist, Catherine also styled and dressed hundreds of women with different needs and styles in London and across the South East. It was in 2017, when she decided to pursue her dream to make something beautiful to celebrate women, that Catherine saw a gap in the market for statement earrings without the statement weight. She was interested in the use of quality leather and suede fabrics and very soon started to learn how to cut and create interesting shapes with them. Once she was able to master the art of working with leather, she continued towards her goal of designing unique pieces that would brighten up any outfit. Catherine was particularly interested in providing statement earrings that would work from daytime casual to evening attire, for women with different styles, taste and colouring. Since launching her collection just over a year ago, the response has been overwhelming with customers from Kent to New York, France, Germany, Dubai and Singapore, expressing their support and love for her products through social media and word of mouth. When Catherine’s not busy working in her studio at home in Tunbridge Wells, she’s looking after her two young boys.  She has started to bring a small team of people together who help her keep up with daily orders and is looking to expand her range for her upcoming AW19 collection.



Ellie Cooper-Simpson 

Ellie set up her own business, Inspiring Style By Ellie specialising as a Personal Fashion Stylist on graduating from The London College Of Style. As a stylist Ellie carries out colour and body shape analysis, wardrobe edits and personal shopping experiences for men and women. Ellie has worked backstage at London Fashion Week with designers and models as a backstage dresser. As a stylist and mother of twins Ellie hosted a fashion show in aid of The Twins and Multiples Birth Association as a Stella & Dot Stylist in 2018. Ellie has always had a passion for fabrics and fashion specialising in Textiles at GCSE level. Ellie can be found on Instagram @inspiringstylebyellie  


Tracy James

Tracy James is an International Costume Maker, having worked in venues such as Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Starlight Express, Lion King and Madam  Tussauds, also working in Paris and at the Monte Carlo Opera House. Having originally studied a National Diploma in Clothing at Medway College of Design, she was awarded the prize for Best Clothing Student and went on to train at London College of Fashion in Theatrical Costume and Costume Cutting. After working as a Freelance costume maker for many years she now enjoys teaching sewing classes both privately to GCSE and A Level students looking to incorporate design, printing, use of fabrics and textures into exam coursework - and also for KCC Adult Education, teaching classes which focus on pattern cutting, clothing fabrication and sewing skills used for personal projects. It is important that students are constantly keeping up with new techniques and fresh challenges that working with fabrics presents, not just clothing but theatre and fashion projects. Social media can be a key part of this, in joining forums and shared interest groups in which members share questions and knowledge and also keep up to date with exhibitions, making sure sewing is fresh and exciting to new generations.    



Tessa Hart

Tessa Hart has taught textile and fashion design from year 7 to degree level for over twenty five years. She helped to set up the first Fashion and Textile Design degree in Singapore at LASALLE College of the Arts and taught on the BA and the Diploma course there for 6 years.  Tessa has a wide range of fashion experience.  Having completed her degree at Liverpool Art College, she worked  in London’s West End for ten years designing and pattern cutting  for a wide range of high street stores, including Top shop, John Lewis, Dorothy Perkins, C&A, Tammy and Evans. In Singapore, as well as teaching at LASALLE, she also worked as a fashion stylist for Marie Claire, Family and Style magazines. She has designed and made individually commissioned wedding and bridesmaid dresses for over forty weddings. She is very much looking forward to judging the highly creative work on show today. 

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