It was London Fashion week this week, and I was invited to attend the FAD Fashion Futures Final, where young innovative designers got the opportunity to present their masterpieces on the runway.
I got the chance to meet and talk to these brilliant young adults before the show, and was impressed by their determination. They were all excited, and yet nervous about their work, but overall were very proud of what they achieved.
“I am really excited, but I have butterflies in my stomach. It’s something new, and I’ve never experienced this. I really proud of myself for getting to this point.” (Sezuthi Islam, finalist)
Their ambition was inspiring, and their willingness to try, and their optimism at the outcome of the show, was energizing for everyone that was around them.
Backstage was also impressive – the volunteers’ and models’ enthusiasm created a buzzing atmosphere backstage, that built everyone’s excitement for the show.
The Jury panel were excited to see what the outfits looked like on the catwalk. One juror said “I am looking forward to seeing the actual outfits on the catwalk, and the impact they will have. I think it will be fantastic.” (Katherine Todd, George at Asda)
These mentors from the fashion industry were impressed by the work produced by the young creatives. “They were so determined to get to this stage, it’s incredible. Their determination from the beginning to the end is impressive. It’s commendable. It never faltered.” (Mark Fisher, designer at ASOS)
The atmosphere right before the show was electric, and presenter Annaliese’s zeal just accentuated the hype. The lights dimmed, and a video of the designers’ journey started, then the room fell silent, eager to see the show.
The music started playing and the first model walked down the catwalk, and the show began. The show was sectioned by theme, and each theme introduced three to four models wearing one of the finalists’ garments. The original and innovative pieces were beautiful, and I was impressed that such young people had created something so well executed.
The finalists’ designs displayed individuality. Some of the garments used embroidery to accentuate their pieces, while others focused on the shape and silhouette while others used denim or texture.
The hairstyles of the models appeared simple from the front, but looked very intricate from the back. The makeup was minimal with the exception of a bright pop of color from the holographic red lip, which looked great on the catwalk. The hair was by Jaime Devenish at Tony and Guy, with makeup by Lan Nguyen-Grealis
At the end of the show, two joint winners were announced: Victoria Olejniczak and Keir Booton. Sezuthi Islam won the Award for Silhouette and Tyana Hemmings won the Textiles Award.
On stage, all of them were very emotional and overwhelmed, but each managed to express how grateful they were to FAD for the opportunity they were given to be in London Fashion week.
I spoke to the winners after the show and neither could really wrap their head around the evening.
“I am in shock. I never thought I would win. It’s all surreal.” (Keir Booton, winner)
“I can’t believe it. This is amazing. Surreal. I want to laugh and cry at the same time.” (Vicky Olejniczak, winner)
The show was sponsored by Natwest and George at ASDA. Philip Northey, Managing Director Private Banking at Natwest described the show as “inspiring, stimulating, and reaffirming.”
In short, the show was amazing, the young new designers were inspiring, their garments original, and all the volunteers, jurors, and people from FAD were remarkable. It was moving seeing these young people take their first steps into the fashion industry.
Written by Estelle Lesault