Graduate Fashion Week announces winners as it draws to a close

Graduate Fashion Week, the international showcase in London, held on Wednesday the annual Gala Awards Show at the Truman Brewery, revealing the winners of the event’s most prestigious prizes.


Halina North of Edinburgh College of Art was awarded the prestigiousChristopher Bailey Gold Award - Photo: GFW

The ceremony marked the end of Graduate Fashion Week, which was created in 1991 by Jeff Banks, Vanessa Denza and John Walford to unify both UK and international universities and create a stronghold for the creative industries.

Now in its 26th year, the event was hailed a “huge success” by managing director Martyn Roberts. “We saw so many graduates being offered jobs. We've seen so many companies come here, work with them and help them on their way. When you see the show and you see the talent, you'll realise the future is exciting and there's so much potential.”

The prestigious Christopher Bailey Gold Award, named after the first winner of the award in 1992 and now chief creative of Burberry, was awarded to Halina North of Edinburgh College of Art for her womenswear collection. She was selected by a panel of judges including Anna Clarke of Tu Sainsbury's, Sadie Frost of Frostfrench, Holly Fulton, Matthew Harding of Palmer Harding and Sarah Harris of Vogue, among others.

The judges for the Christopher Bailey Gold Award said, "We've chosen our winner because it was a collection that had showed a great body of work, it had a great sense of creative development and an interesting collection. It was experimental and had immediate impact during the show."

Winner Halina North was also awarded the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award. “I am over the moon, I cannot believe I won the Christopher Gold Award and Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award. My collection is sustainable and that's what I endeavour to carry on in my future designs,” she said.

Daniel Rynne of Arts University Bournemouth received the Debenhams Menswear Award, while Irene D'Antonio of Edinburgh College of Art was awarded the M&S Womenswear Award.


Daniel Rynne of Arts University Bournemouth received the Debenhams Menswear Award

Ruth Williams of Edinburgh College of Art was presented with the Visionary Knitwear Award, The Catwalk Textiles Award went to Maddie Williams of Edinburgh College of Art and the George Catwalk to Store Award was given to Laura Capello of Bath Spa University.

The ceremony also included the the Bonmarché Fashion For All Award, which went to Caroline Bowden of University of Central Lancashire, the Mothercare Childrenswear Award for Catherine Watts of University of Salford and the Clarks Footwear Award, awarded to Megan Davies of University of South Wales.

Laura Gillings of Bath Spa University and Amy Vonderwel of Nottingham Trent University were named the recipients of the TU at Sainsbury’s Womenswear and Menswear Scholarships.

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