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YFD Midlands Region 2016 - First Prize Tabitha Lazenbury - Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester

Fairly soon after starting an AS Art Textiles course my Textiles teacher suggested I enter the ‘Young Fashion Designer of the Year’ (YFD UK) competition. It was quite a challenge to decide what elements to include on the three presentation boards to be sent to the judges. It was important to communicate the inspiration, development and outcome clearly on three A3 boards and so I was thrilled when I discovered my work had been selected for the final.  As one of the six finalists for the AS level I was invited to bring both design work and practical work to display on a board and mannequin at ‘The Royal Grammar School’ in Worcester on Saturday 25th June along with six finalists from GCSE and A2 students. After setting up the display, I was able to see everyone else’s work, which was both impressive and inspirational. It was amazing to see the sheer diversity and creativity of all projects, particularly in the A2 category, where the work was just outstanding. During the day, we were scheduled to have two interviews with different panels of judges to discuss our work. My first interview was at 10.30am with Sophie Wynne-Owen, a Couture Bridal Designer and Maker, and Imogen D’Arcy, the Founder of Rocks and Bijoux Limited, an online jewellery company. They asked me to explain my project and talk about how I had adapted a commercial pattern to create a unique design.  After this interview, we all took part in a fun T-Shirt upcycling workshop. It was here that we really had a chance to chat to the other contestants whilst being creative with our cutting skills, I made friends with one of the A2 designers who ended up winning her category with her amazing natural forms inspired prints and smocking embroidery work.  Then it was time for my second interview with Holly Richardson, Head of Design and Development at MyProtein Clothing and Georgia Richardson, owner of Fourth Generation Clothing. They quizzed me about the different techniques I had used in my practical piece and how I could adapt my design to fit commercial needs in industry. Whilst the judges deliberated, we all had lunch and a chance to mingle with everyone in the hall. At 2pm we gathered for the final presentation and announcement of the winners. It was a tense wait and after meeting everyone and making friends, we were all willing each other on. However,  I was so thrilled when my name was announced as the winner in my category. All the Finalists were presented with  goody bags and as a winner I  received a tailor’s mannequin courtesy of Morplan, YFDUK sponsors, a trophy and the opportunity of  a week’s work placement with the ‘Inkberrow Design Centre’ to make a garment to be  displayed at at the ‘Fashion, Embroidery and Stitch Show’ at the NEC, Birmingham in March 2017.

Since winning the ‘Young Fashion Designer of the Year’ Award, I have visited the ‘Inkberrow Design Centre’ for a planning meeting to discuss fabrics and designs for my NEC piece. I have put together my inspiration gathering fabrics and developing 6 design ideas to select from and plan my final idea. Now I am really looking forward to having the opportunity to create the design in October.

Taking part in the ‘Young Fashion Designer of the Year’ Award has given me both increased confidence and the opportunity to develop my work with the support of experienced professionals. All in all, it has been and is continuing to be an amazing experience that I would recommend to any creative designers with a passion for textiles.  Tabitha and the other Midlands Region Winners have since completed their work experience at Inkberrow Design Centre and are eagerly awaiting the exhibition at the NEC in March, we wish them all the best and look forward to seeing their creations on the catwalk!

Photos of our YFD Midlands winners at Inkberrow design centre preparing for their collections to be showcased at NEC in March.

YFD South Region 2015 A Level: First Prize Hannah Smith

Since winning Young Fashion Designer last summer I have fulfilled my dream of studying at London College of Fashion. Although winning the award for my designing and making skills, I am currently studying fashion journalism which allows me to combine my love of both fashion and writing. This degree enables me to channel my creativity in to my writing yet I am beginning to explore other career paths from couture design at Allison Rodger’s boutique to styling at Woman&Home magazine. I have definitely immersed myself in all areas of the industry and am excited to see what the future holds.

YFD South Region 2014 A Level: First Prize George Chaffey

The year since winning YFD 2014 has been a very exciting one for George. In September he started on a foundation course at Central Saint Martins in London, where he specialised in Fashion and Textiles. After exploring both these areas, George decided to focus on Textiles, and in particular his love of Print. The projects have allowed George to take inspiration from a wide range of sources, from public sculptures and brutalist architecture to the art deco movement and denim.

Throughout the year George has been able to work on several exciting projects. He worked on a joint project with the Paris College of Art, which explored the ideas of identity and an alternative passport. Another saw George working with the Museum Archive at Saint Martins on creating a project from seemingly unrelated sources, and another with the artist Camille Walala exploring food and geometry.

However, most recently George has been working with Universal Pictures on a project called the Minions Collective. This project formed part of the social media campaign for the recently released Minions Movie. 134 students were tasked with creating garments inspired by the minions. George was then selected as 1 of 20 to continue with the project, and turn his designs into an actual garment which was used as part of an immersive fashion event held at CSM. Starting with the minions love of Bananas, George developed print designs that were both playful and abstract. Then using a combination of screen printing and laser cut plastic, along with traditional tailoring George created both a suit and top. The project was an amazing opportunity, and gave George the chance to work with dancers, choreographers, pattern cutters and screen printers.

YFDUK Midlands Region 2014 A Level : First Prize –  Rosa Angelica Avilez

My Textiles Teacher at A-level heard about the YFDUK competition and suggested I enter.

YFDUK provided a unique opportunity to present in a professional environment and was a lot of fun to do. As well as being able to see the amazing work that other fashion and textiles students of my age group were creating.

I was thrilled to be given first prize and I was awarded a lovely glass trophy as well as the opportunity to complete a week’s work placement at the Inkberrow Design Centre (IDC) to prepare for and create my own Capsule Collection to be shown at the NEC in Birmingham and the Excel Centre in London this March. At IDC I was given access to the facilities as well as some technical guidance to create my Capsule Collection design ideas.

Since YFDUK, I have been studying an Art and Design Foundation at Oxford Brookes University. Here, I have been specialising in Fashion Design.Alongside this course I have been working on my Capsule Collection called Genesis which focuses on Guatemalan Culture and the use of their ethically sourced fabrics in a modern and fresh way. I have had the opportunity to show this Collection at Oxford Fashion Week in March 2015. I have also exhibited alongside winners of the AS-level and GCSE categories of YFDUK at the Midlands Fashion Awards in October

As a result of staying in contact with one of the Judges from YFDUK, Kat Jackson, I have also been offered a 4 week internship at the Ralph Lauren Head Office in London, which I am looking forward to doing in Summer this year.

From here, my dream would be to design wonderful collections with ethical design concepts to be shown and worn around the world. In the mean time I would just like to get into a good university as I am currently in the process of interviews.

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