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Uni of Derby Student Nominated for ‘Emerging Designer’ Award


Sarah (pictured below) submitted six images of her womenswear collection in a bid to secure a place on the shortlist for the ‘Emerging Fashion Designer’ category. Now she has been selected Sarah will compete against four others for the prestigious title by presenting her collection at the awards ceremony catwalk in front of an industry panel of judges.

sarah woodward finalist mfa 15

Sarah, 24, said: “My final degree collection is based on the history of glamour and my contemporary take on it. When people think of glamour they think of Hollywood and Marilyn Monroe. I wanted to create a modern glamour that would be more relevant to young women today.

“I wanted to create a collection that was feminine but also structured at the same time. I went for pleats and asymmetric lines to secure this look.

“I was really surprised when I found out that I had been nominated for the award but really happy at the same time. It is a great opportunity to showcase my collection to other designers and industry professionals.”

Sarah, recently secured a three-month design internship at women’s fashion label House of Celebrity Boutique, in London, created four outfits for her collection; three dresses and a top and skirt co-ordinate set. Entitled Orenda, meaning a supernatural, Sarah explores the idea of a divine force within every human being, and includes a soft pastel pink and blue colour palette.

Sarah added: “Glamour developed into the word it is today at a time when women would be paid to look good for a man and their lifestyles were often provided by men – this gave my collection a twist of feminism.

“My designs are based on liberation and choice in clothing, bold but minimal and classy.”

Entrants for the Midlands Fashion Awards Emerging Fashion Designer category must be able to demonstrate their uniqueness, creativity, design and innovation and present a cohesive collection of six complete outfits. The winner will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Friday, 16th October at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre (CSBO).

David McGravie, Head of the Department of Art and Design at the University of Derby, said: “We are extremely pleased for Sarah. She worked hard to create the collection and it is great to see that she is being recognised for her designs. We wish her the very best of luck for the future.”

Jenny Eason, Founder and Managing Director of the Midlands Fashion Awards, added: “2015 marks the seventh consecutive year for the Midlands Fashion Awards and each year I’m completely blown away by the talent and creativity of the finalists – it really is just getting better and better!

“Previous participants have taken their work everywhere from Fashion Week to the Oscars, so this is just the start of the journey and I can’t wait to see what this year’s finalists can do.”

Midlands Fashion Awards 2015 Show Flyer

Midlands Fashion Awards 2015 full list of finalists:

INDEPENDENT DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Maurice Whittingham, Boo-Couture, FashionSistas, Dancing Dolls UK, Tiffany Standford

EMERGING DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Kashane Swaby, C La Rouge Fashion Design, Eleven Fifty Nine, Sarah Woodward, Crooked Knitwear

YOUNG DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Georgia Richardson, Isla Gilbertson, Abigail Emily Vincent, Ronja Fell, Kayleigh Wright, Sophie Hudson

ACCESSORY DESIGNER OF THE YEAR – Spirit of Harlequin, Monday Boutique, Kavina Tank, France Leonard, Magnifique

MAKE-UP ARTIST OF THE YEAR – Leanne Brown, Gabrielle Hunt, Fatou Jagne, Navdeep Makh



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