Designer becomes first menswear winner in the competition’s history
Talented fashion designer Rhiannon Wakefield from Middlesex University was awarded the top accolade at a national fashion competition after being selected by a leading industry panel, including British Vogue magazine.
Final year Fashion Design student Rhiannon saw off competition from students across the UK to be crowned the winner at the finals of the 2014 FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) competition during London Fashion Week, as well as setting the record of becoming the first menswear finalist to win the competition since it was established 13 years ago.
At the central London finals professional models took to the runway in the students’ designs in front of an industry panel and a packed audience. Rhiannon impressed the judges with her striking outfits including a trenchcoat, crisp shirts and parka jackets featuring prints in palettes of moody greys, mustard yellow and Yves Klein blue.
FAD judge Prof. Clare Johnston, Head of Textiles at The Royal College of Art, said: “I was thrilled to see such excellent work from the winning Menswear Design students. Rhiannon Wakefield’s collection combined colour and print with great shapes. It conveyed drama, emotion and a real passion for design.”
A delighted Rhiannon was awarded the top prize of £1000 and took to the catwalk to celebrate her victory. She commented: “I’m absolutely thrilled to have won the competition. It’s an amazing opportunity to have even reached the finals, but then to have won and have my work recognised is incredible. The whole show was great and the standard of entries was really high.”
For the first time in the competition’s history the two runner-up entries also went to menswear finalists – from London College of Fashion and Bath Spa University.
Commenting on the extraordinary clean sweep by menswear finalists this year, FAD judge Jessica Bumpus, Fashion Feature Editor at Vogue.com said: “We were all in agreement that the menswear was especially strong this season – the ideas and the execution certainly giving the womenswear a run for its money!”
Fellow Middlesex Fashion Design student Alexandra Olivier also made it to the finals along with Rhiannon.
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