21st June 2016
A fashion design student from East London will be seeing her work at London Fashion Week after being named as a finalist in a competition for budding young fashion designers.
Fashion Futures is a national competition run by award-winning charity Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD). The charity offers young people an opportunity to get ahead in creative careers, regardless of their personal circumstances, financial situation or ethnic background.
Over a hundred 16-19 year olds took part in stage 1 of Fashion Futures, but only 22 could be selected to showcase their work at London Fashion Week this September.
16 year old Barking & Dagenham College fashion student Eleanor Mutare is one of them.
To secure her place in the final, Eleanor was challenged with a 10-week course of industry led, fashion workshops on Saturday mornings, including classes on technical drawing, garment construction and industry visits to George at Asda and Karen Millen. Each of the participants then presented their finished toiles and sketchbooks to a panel of industry experts.
The 11 jury members included, Design Manager Lorraine McNee from sponsors George at Asda, Phil Northey from project sponsors Natwest, Asos Womenswear Design Director Vanessa Spence and May Martin, judge on BBC2’s The Great British Sewing Bee.
Vanessa Spence, Asos’ Womenswear Design Director, commented:
"The level of work and dedication was incredible. The students demonstrated a great amount of creativity and the beginnings of a real understanding of the fashion industry that FAD have nurtured brilliantly.”
May Martin, judge on BBC2’s Great British Sewing Bee, said:
“It was fascinating to see each student’s unique interpretations of the brief this year, from sketchbook to toile. I am really looking forward to seeing the final evolution of the designs.”
The next stage of the project will see the selected finalists spend an intensive week at the University of East London from the 4th July, expanding on the skills they have developed in stage 1 to create their finished designs for the London catwalk.
The Fashion Futures final takes place at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week on Monday 19th September. All 22 finalists will showcase their work in front of 300 guests, including key industry and press.
Eleanor is still reeling from the news of her place in the final:
“I was shocked when I found out I had got through to the finals and I nearly cried. Barking & Dagenham College has done so much for me. I love the course, and I’ve made my mum proud.
“My ambition is to build a fashion, cosmetic and hair empire and create my own brand. My fashion idol? Well it has to be Versace.”