A selection of the Midlands most talented young fashion designers arrived at The Royal Grammar School Worcester on Saturday for the annual Midlands Regional Final of the Young Fashion Designer UK Competition. A total of nineteen finalists from schools within Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and the West Midlands, as well as two students from Norfolk and Tyne and Wear, travelled to be with us on the day. The finalists showcased a wide range of design and make skills including laser cut fabrics, sublimation prints and complex structural garments made for a dynamic and exciting exhibition.
The event not only gave the chance for students to display their work but also to provided an insightful and varied day of fashion related activities whilst the team of judges from a number of different professions within fashion and retail had the tough job of deciding which students should receive the top prizes.
The students took part in a fashion up-cycling workshop and an introduction to social media for fashion design. They also had the privilege of talking to last years Midlands Final Winner Vanessa Gott following her first year as a fashion undergraduate at Birmingham University. Judge Kat Jackson who graduated from London College of Fashion with a first class honours degree last year talked to the students about her work experience and internships for brands such as Hackett and designers Roland Mouret and Mariana Hardwick. Judge Maria Telford, owner of Eternal Envy Boutique in Stockport, gave the students an insight into aspects of retail and how to gain recognition as a new designer within the retail business. Other judges included 2013 Great British Sewing Bee Finalist Lauren Guthrie who commented "I know from my experience of Great British Sewing Bee that having your work judged can seem daunting but it’s a great way to challenge yourself and improve your confidence and skills.” Brenda Killigrew Director of Inkberrow Design Centre who has provided the first prizes for the Midlands region, was amazed at the range of skill on display and is thrilled to have the chance to work with these talented students. Judge Katie Griffiths, owner of online accessories company Passion2Fashion, donated precious stone bracelets for second prize and she too was blown away by the work of each finalist. Brand director of Fly53 Will Rigg, said what a great occasion it was and how nice it is to be able to work with emerging designers. The V&A museum have supported YFDUK this year by providing tickets and posters for our prize winners. We have also had the privilege of working with FashionSeeker to promote this year’s event.
With such stiff competition the finalists did extremely well and should be proud of how they presented themselves to the professionals. The judges found that only one or two marks separated the students making final judging a close call!First prize winners will go on to spend a week at The Inkberrow Design Centre where they will make a capsule collection for the Fashion, Stitch and Embroidery Show at the NEC in March and London Excel Centre in April 2015. The winners will also have chance to display their work at The Midlands Fashion Awards in October at The Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre directed by Jenny Eason.
Teachers who accompanied their students said how they were glad that such event is available to showcase the hard work that goes into such pieces and these talented individuals gain the credit they deserve.
At RGS Worcester we are incredibly proud to be a part of YFDUK and see the event as a much-needed platform from which to celebrate the achievements of students that have a flair for fashion. We are so grateful to all of the judges, businesses and finalists who have made YFDUK 2014 Midlands Region event such a tremendous occasion. Each year the competition is growing and who knows where these students will be in years to come? Look out for the event in 2015!
First Prize – Rosa Angelica Avilez, Chipping Norton School
Second Prize – Lily Bevan, RGS Worcester
Third Prize – Chloe Talmadge, Reepham High School
First Prize – Edita Kelsey, Tewkesbury School
Second Prize – Lydia Tysoe, Campion School
Third Prize – Katie Jones, RGS Worcester
First Prize – Charlotte Bradshaw,
Second Prize – Eleanor Ravenscroft, RGS Worcester
Third Prize – Keira Brady, RGS Worcester
Hollie Jenkins, Chipping Sodbury School
Charlotte Pollitt, Tewkesbury School
Tabatha Coaker, Farmor’s School
Emma Britton, Tewkesbury School
Ellie Taylor, Tewkesbury School
Runner Up Prizes
Emily Brooks, RGS Worcester
Kimmrendeep Sunner, St Martin’s School
Sophie Carter, Farmor’s School
Rosie Caldwell, Chipping Norton School
Jessica Jenkins, Christopher Whitehead Language College