On Monday 19th September at 7pm, our 21 Fashion Futures finalists showcased their work on the London Fashion Week catwalk, the culmination of months of hard work with FAD over the past nine months.
The 21 teenage finalists are the youngest designers to showcase at London Fashion Week and were shortlisted from over 100 teenagers who took part in FAD workshops earlier this year. They presented garments inspired by the artistic heritage of the Indian Subcontinent, fused with London street-style.
The overall winner on the night was 18-year-old Georgie Hudd, from Holy Trinity School, Crawley. Georgie’s work was highly praised by an expert jury panel for its impeccable construction, attention to detail and thorough research. The look consisted of three individual pieces that layered together beautifully to create an original yet commercial look. Her prize, a placement with the design team at George at Asda, was presented by May Martin, former presenter of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee.
“It was such a shock! I’m really happy, really excited!” said Georgie on the night, still overwhelmed. “It’s been an amazing experience over the last nine months; I’ve met so many inspirational people!”
“The overall winner is exceptional, really exceptional. I’m a traditional sewer and she ticked all the boxes, but she also ticked the boxes of fusion and layering and techniques – she had the whole package.” – May Martin, former presenter of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee
The four runner-up awards were announced by FAD Founder & CEO, Maria Alvarez and fellow jury members Lorraine McNee, Head of Design at George at Asda, Phil Northey from the Skills and Opportunities Fund at Natwest and Delores Oblitey, designer and former Fashion Futures finalist.
The award for Innovation was presented to 17-year-old Sindy Nguyen from Tower Hamlets. Inspired by the way in which teenage boys in her area style their kameez with Nike Air Max and sports jackets, Sindy’s unique interpretation of the brief led to a garment that combined tailoring with creative draping. The judges highly praised the originality and clean construction and also awarded her with a design placement at George at Asda.
The Technical Excellence Award went to 17-year-old Bianca Blanari from Westminster. Her pink and red gown inspired by India’s natural beauty, was awarded for its highly skilled level of execution and construction.
The Textiles Award was presented to Cleopatra Thompson, 17, from Lewisham, who had printed her own fabric in order to create her architecturally inspired jumpsuit.
Eleanor Mutare, 17, from Barking and Dagenham College won the FAD Outstanding Achievement Award. Her design put a commercial twist on the traditional Indian sari and she was highly praised for her hard work, dedication and positive attitude throughout the project.
The show was followed by an exhibition of the finalist’s work at Startisans. Many past FAD teens attended on the night along with industry supporters from George at Asda, All Saints. Karen Millen and Next.
To be selected for the Fashion Futures Final, the teenagers undertook ten weeks of practical workshops with FAD before presenting their finished toiles and portfolios to a panel of industry experts. The selected finalists, chosen from over 100 entrants, then spent five days with FAD mentors at The University of East London creating their garments for the London catwalk.
Now in its fifteenth year, the Fashion Futures project sponsored by George at Asda and Natwest provides hands-on training and industry experience to 16-19 year olds, targeting disadvantaged young people with free places and mentoring support.
“These opportunities are life changing. People that adopt and grow with sewing skills gain confidence within themselves, meet likeminded people and extend their knowledge. This is a really stimulating and challenging environment to be in, but Fashion Futures builds people’s confidence,” – May Martin, textiles tutor and former presenter of the BBC’s Great British Sewing Bee
Thank you to our sponsors at Natwest and George at Asda for making Fashion Futures possible.