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De Montfort designer Hazel Symons scoops Graduate Fashion Week top award

De Montfort University designer Hazel Symons was presented with the Christopher Bailey Gold Award by Oracle at Graduate Fashion Week last night.

Hazel Symons winning collection

Hazel Symons’ winning collection

She received a £10,000 prize for her collection, which comprised inventive monochrome pieces with seams that were bolted rather than sewn together. The honour is named after the Burberry chief creative officer and chief executive, who debuted his work at the first Graduate Fashion Week in 1992 and was the first recipient of the award.

The 25th anniversary of Graduate Fashion Week was celebrated with a special event last night at the Old Truman Brewery in east London. Among the guests were Bailey, Dame Vivienne Westwood and her husband, designer Andreas Kronthaler, and Julien Macdonald.

The judging panel, which included accessories designer Sophie Hulme, blogger Susie Lau and designers Giles Deacon, Gareth Pugh and Christopher Raeburn, praised Symons’ collection for its inventive yet playful style.

The M&S Womenswear Award was given to Quivvei Jiang from UCA Epsom for a surreal collection of “impressive trompe-l’oeil masterpieces”, while the Debenhams Menswear Award was given to Caoimhe Savage from Kingston University for her range of “bold, oversized fishermen’s outerwear”. Both received cash prizes of £5,000.

The Matalan Visionary Knitwear Award went to Kendall Baker from Nottingham Trent University for a combination of crochet, machine knitting and embroidery and the first 25th Anniversary Tu at Sainsbury’s Scholarship Award went to Northumbria University’s Genevieve Devine. Devine will work for a year under the tutelage of designer Holly Fulton with the Sainsbury’s design team on the spring 17 collection.

The George Catwalk to Store Award was presented to George Hollins from Arts University Bournemouth, the N Brown Textile Award to Chloe Jackson of Nottingham Trent University and the ICG Accessories Award to Lorn Jean of Edinburgh College of Art.

The Fashion Marketing Award went to Nuala Convery from Northumbria University, the Vivienne Westwood Ethical Award to Fiona Cartmel from Edinburgh College of Art and the Barclays New Business Award to Danielle Reynolds of the University of Brighton.

Alex Hughes of Northbrook College Sussex picked up the Oracle Fashion Technology Award, while Emily Bunch from the University of Leeds received the Karen Millen Portfolio Award. Betsan Evans from De Montfort University won the Boux Avenue Lingerie and Swimwear Award.

The Little Black Dress Fashion Photography Award went to Erika Bowes from Northumbria University, while the stand award was given to Sheffield Hallam University.

The David Band Textiles Award was given to Alice Potts from Norwich University of the Arts, the Drapers Fashion Publication Award to Emily Reid of Arts University Bournemouth and the New Media Award to Vanessa Cuffy of University for the Creative Arts Epsom.

Other winners included the Mia Edie Roberts from the University of Central Lancashire for the Very Fashion Styling and Creative Direction Award, the Mothercare Childrenswear Award went to Sinead Blagbrough of the University of Salford and the Oracle International Catwalk Competition prize went to Amesh Wijesekera of the Academy of Design in Sri Lanka.

The Lipsy Red Carpet Dress Award was picked up by Antonia Nae of the University of East London and the Boohoo Fashion Innovation Award also went to Lorn Jean from Edinburgh College of Art, who won the ICG Accessories Award.


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