Olivia is a finalist in the 2015 Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition, an annual platform for fashion design students from universities across the UK. She has also made the shortlist of the British Fashion Council (BFC) Burberry competition, her designs chosen from more than 200 submitted entries.
The FAD competition brief asked entrants to explore the commonalities of physics and design. In response, Olivia focused on gravity; inspired by sky diving and the concept of falling, she created a mini collection which looks at the physical impact of gravity on the body. Her pieces feature details such as harnesses and parachute designs, and use techniques including digital embroidery and heat sublimation. The collection will feature in a FAD runway show judged by an industry panel, with entrants vying for a first prize of £1000.
The BFC Burberry competition called for designs that explored contrast. Olivia used the 'coming of age' of women as her focus, taking inspiration from tribes in Ethiopia and South America to create her pieces. She is now in contention for a £2000 prize and an internship at Burberry.
"It's really exciting and a massive confidence boost to have been recognised in both competitions," Olivia said. "It's been intense, but I've learnt a lot from the process and my classmates and tutors have been really supportive. It's surreal to think that I'll see my pieces at London Fashion Week already!"
Paul Haywood, Deputy Dean of the School of Art and Design at Middlesex, praised Olivia for the response her designs have garnered. "Everyone in our School gains a huge sense of pride each time one of our students is recognised at this level," he said.
"Olivia's achievements in these awards will be celebrated to our entire community. It is this energy and the quality of creative co-operation at Middlesex that motivates and inspires our students to success. This is a wonderful outcome for a thoroughly gifted, committed and generous individual with an incredible future ahead of her."