George and ITV’s This Morning have joined forces to launch a new award for Graduate Fashion Week 2011. The winning designer will get the chance to design a garment with George, to be sold online, as well as work experience with the TV programme.
The “This Morning Viewers’ Award” offers graduates the chance to design an item of womenswear that will really push the boundaries, while being wearable and desirable to the This Morning audience.
On the programme today George’s Brand Director Fiona Lambert joined fellow judges and fashion icons Hilary Alexander, fashion director of The Daily Telegraph and twice-crowned British Fashion Journalist of the Year; British fashion designer Betty Jackson; This Morning resident style guru Anna Dowd and fashion expert and Dancing on Ice star Jason Gardiner to choose the six finalists.
This Morning viewers now get to choose their favourite by noon on Wednesday 8th June – the final day of Graduate Fashion Week. You can vote on the This Morning website.
Here’s what the judges had to say about each of the designers:
Francesca Armstrong, Kingston University:
The young designer from Guildford has mixed dramatic silhouettes with softer fluid shapes, combining hand-painted silks with structured fabrics. Anna loved this design and said she could see style icon Lady Gaga wearing it. “It has a good mixture between very feminine and very sculptural – it’s beautifully made.”
Le Thuy Le Thi, University of East London:
Le Thuy has taken the concept of nostaligic “tea time” and translated it into a gown and intricately cut leather waistcoat with a touch of the Orient. This was universally loved by the judges for its delicate embroidery, textures, colours, and ability to be worn as individual garments. Betty Jackson said: “The short sleeves take the edge off it being too high fashion”, with Hilary Alexander commenting on the good combination of Eastern and Western influences.
Johanna Wullf, The Arts University College at Bournemouth:
Johanna has created a timeless design for women of all ages and sizes with an elegant mix of clean lines and fluidity. Fiona loved this piece because: “It’s very wearable. I love the concept that you can wear it no matter what size you are – the way it drapes just means it’s accessible to all ages and sizes.”
Katie Nippard, UCA Rochester:
The room was filled with “Wow!” when the judges saw this creation. Katie has taken her inspiration from the structure and formation of shells, capturing their beauty in a sculptural silhouette. The judges discussed how well this “gorgeous and flattering” collection would translate into a onepiece, whether in elegant black or greys, or Betty’s choice, a sensational, vibrant tangerine.
Esther Phillipson, Manchester Metropolitan University:
Esther has drawn on a recent trip to Thailand to create a bold collection mixing texture and print – including oversized tribal-inspired fair isle knits, digital print on silk georgette and crepe de chine. Jason said this was an extremely versatile piece and could see it on so many different women going from day to night, from beach to bar. Betty added: “I love the colours, they’re beautifully bright but still wearable,” with Hilary commenting: “It’s great to see someone take a bold concept and re-imagine it.”
Robert Tarasek, Plymouth College of Art:
Robert has designed a textured and fluid evening gown using silk, crepe, crystal organza and feathers fit for any red carpet event. Fiona said: “We all like a bit a bit of glamour in our lives. This dress is just stunning – it’s definitely an Oscars’ dress.”
Read the judges’ advice to the six finalists – and find out how you could break into the fashion industry.
The winner will be announced during final Gala Show at Graduate Fashion Week on Wednesday 8th June, and will appear on This Morning on Friday 10th June.