A student from Bath Spa University has won the £10,000 top prize at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.
Grace Weller, 21, won the George Gold Award for her womenswear designs and will have the opportunity to complete a fully paid internship at the Asda clothing line, Graduate Fashion Week’s main sponsor.
Her pieces will be stocked in store and on George.com under George’s G21 Talent label, which was launched last year to support a handful of new designers from GFW. Weller’s darkly romantic collection featured intricate red and black floral and lace designs mixed with sheer black.
George vice president Fiona Lambert said she and the other judges, designer Peter Pilotto and the British Fashion Council’s Sarah Mower, had been impressed by Weller’s craftsmanship.
“Her designs are graceful, beautiful and elegant and the craftmanship and hard work really stood out,” Lambert added.
Previous Gold Award winners include Stella McCartney, Julien Macdonald and Christopher Bailey.
As well as the top prize, Weller took home the accolade for best womenswear collection. Aimee Dunn from Nottingham Trent University won the menswear category.
Anne Tyrrell – managing director of Anne Tyrrell Design Consultancy, a member of the British Fashion Council Advisory Board and former senior tutor at the Royal College of Art – picked up the lifetime achievement award.
Presenting the award, fashion journalist Hilary Alexander praised Tyrrell’s support of students over the course of her long career.
A pop-up shop this week at Graduate Fashion Week’s new home, the Old Truman Brewery in east London, showed some of the limited edition G21 Talent collections from last year’s George Gold Award winner Lauren Smith and G21 Talent Award winner Francesca Calabrese.
George has yet to announce who will join Weller at the label in 2015.