At last Weeks Graduate Fashion Awards, two out of the three top prizes went to students under the tutelage of our Diversity Network Director Mal Burkinshaw.
Congratulations to Shauni Douglas & Olivia Creber, Edinburgh College of Art who won the Menswear Award and Lauren Smith also at Edinburgh College of Art who won the GOLD Award, with a whopping £20,000 handshake.
We are cock-a-hoop because this years students have had a full three-years of an All Walks Beyond the Catwalk influenced curriculum promoting emotionally considerate design. This comes off the back of Government Minister Jo Swinson acknowledging the work we are doing within education as the way forward.
We salute the next generation of enlightened designers and the very obvious skills of Mal Burkinshaw, Course Leader at Edinburgh College of Art.
Judges: David Gandy, James Long, Adam Cameron, Dunhill, Stephen Ayres, Liberty, said…
“From concept to catwalk the quality and finish of this collection was of an exceptionally high standard. Shauni and Olivia demonstrated an ability to play with proportion which is most unusual for BA graduates This collection showed a really strong visual concept and superb craftsmanship our vote was unanimous!”
Judges: Fiona Lambert, George at Asda, Roland Mouret, David Walker-Smith, Fenwick were unanimous on who should win with Roland Mouret telling All Walks….
“For me Lauren was the clear winner because there was a cohesion – a clear flow – between herself and her collection. The garments were an extension of her and I think this stems from an understanding of her own body, it was evident in the finished product”
Lauren Smith confirms…
At Edinburgh, I learnt to understand my responsibility as a designer. I ensured that at every stage from research to garment development that I remained sensitive to the female form.
Some of the nicest compliments I received after the show were about how women could imagine wearing some of my designs. As a young designer this really is the highest compliment of all and proof that emotionally considerate design is respected.
I understand why design teaching might begin with bust stand but by no means should it end there. Some of the most frustrating moments for a student can be not understanding why the garment they fitted for the mannequin fits differently on a real women and how to fit it accordingly. That is why I am so thankful that at ECA, we were heavily encouraged to try our toile’s on real women regularly so that we could see the fitting issues and learn how to fix them. “
Mal Burkinshaw, Edinburgh Course Leader Director of the Diversity Network and explains…
”Lauren is part of a graduate cohort who have explored emotionally considerate design as part of their studies at Edinburgh College of Art. Lauren’s sketch design process involved drawing a healthier body shape and a less elongated proportion that is all too common in fashion sketching. As a result, Laurens design proportions, garment fits and sense of composition are underpinned by a celebration and empathy towards non-catwalk sizes. Lauren has considered her needs as a customer and as such maintains a deep connection to her own practice. Questioning, fashion aware,and with an intuitive and honest sense of the ‘new’, Lauren is helping to lead a new wave of empathic and intelligent designers without narrow or elitist views on beauty”
Congratulations to ALL Edinburgh students – All Walks has championed an awareness for the end user and this is a pivotal moment. Now your enlightened design process makes it’s way into the commercial market place and guess what? EVERYBODY WINS!
Former fashion editor and co-editor of i-D Magazine for 6 years in the early eighties, Caryn Franklin has been a fashion commentator for 31 years. She presented the BBC’s Clothes Show for 12 years and BBC’s Style Challenge for 3 years as well as producing and presenting numerous documentaries for ITV on designers including Vivienne Westwood, Philip Treacy and Matthew Williamson.
Working in education throughout her career as external assessor and lecturer in colleges like Central St Martins, London College of fashion and Royal College of Art, she is also an ardent fashion activist and has co-chaired the award winning Fashion Targets Breast Cancer for 17 years and proposed the London College of Fashion Centre of Sustainability and is its ambassador.
Follow Caryn on Twitter: @Caryn_franklin