Final year students attending Graduate Fashion Week in London excelled in all areas, including winning the prestigious Drapers Fashion Publication Award and coming second in the Best Stand Award category.
The first ever issue of UN_FOLD, representing the work of both Fashion Design and Fashion Communication students and featuring dissertations and photographs of collections, a student collaboration project led by Anna Higson, won the Publication Award after wowing judges with its stylistic design, format and content.
LJMU also received second place in the Best Stand Award, the event’s most significant award, where judges debated the structure, layout and aesthetic appeal of the stands of the 60 institutions who were invited to attend Graduate Fashion Week.
BA Fashion (Design and Communication) Programme Leader, Lesley Peacock, explains: “Every institution at the event is given an exhibition space and they have to come up with a design for that area which will display the work of the students in its best light and be of interest to visitors to the event – and obviously, also catch the judges’ attention. To come second out of 60 is truly amazing and it has given us a challenge to try and grab that top spot next year.”
Several students also won and were shortlisted in other categories for their work. BA Fashion Design student Fern Bywater won the George at ASDA Styling Competition, which involved styling models from a selection of clothes from George. Fern had to choose how to dress a model and the judges gave her first place not only for her outfit choice but for also taking into consideration the model’s hair and make-up.
Other commendations went to Simone Navardauskaite, who was shortlisted along with only nine other students for the Fashion Photography Award and Sinead Russell, who, out of just ten students, was shortlisted for the Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Award. Simone now has a paid placement at Liverpool visual production company Sane Seven and Sinead is currently producing a publication with the working title ‘Manchester Lads’ and has also had her work used by sporting giant Umbro. Anna Higson, who led the UN_FOLD collaboration project, also received the Liverpool School of Art and Design Dean’s Award, presented by Professor Roger Webster.
During the event LJMU students were also interviewed by Next and were asked by both George and Karen Millen to apply for internships.
Lesley adds: “It is invaluable to appear at Graduate Fashion Week for many reasons; to maintain our position as a leading undergraduate Fashion programme, to give the students the opportunity to display their work in a professional environment and receive the recognition they rightly deserve, and for them to have contact with leading fashion retailers and designers and hopefully gain employment. This is without doubt one of the highlights of the fashion industry.”
LJMU students were also filmed by BBC at the event, featured on Mode Connect, Catwalking.com and Coogle.com and their work appeared in fashion bible, Vogue.