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FAD Names Undergraduate Winner to Watch


Marking fifteen years of this prestigious event the FAD Competition final, organised by Fashion Awareness Direct, took place at the Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden.

The event was hosted by Fashion Scout, as part of their official schedule for London Fashion Week, and featured designs by 17 undergraduate designers from 16 different UK universities. It is the only collaborative, undergraduate showcase of its kind to take place on the London catwalk.

Charlotte Rollings, 23, from Nottingham Trent was selected at this year’s winner:

“It so amazing to have that commendation from industry ahead of my graduate collection; it’s given me a real confidence boost. The prize money is so valuable and will give me creative freedom over the fabrics and materials I can choose for my final collection. It’s been a great experience.” Charlotte Rollings, 2016 FAD Winner (pictured below).

FAD winner charlotte rollings

Winner Charlotte Rollings joined the jury onstage with models sporting her deconstructed looks. Inspired by a poem she wrote entitled ‘The Rear Window’ her garments take inspiration from a washing line with 3D moulded peg prints, reworked cotton shirts and bonded canvas jackets. She was presented with £1000 by FAD jury member Jackie Annesley, Editor of Sunday Times Style magazine. Talking about why the jury selected Rollings as the winner, fellow jury member Vanessa Spence, Head of Design at ASOS.com, commented:

“I loved Charlotte’s interpretation of the brief and the level of creativity and storytelling in her portfolio. She demonstrated great skill in her pattern cutting and attention to detail in the construction of her garments.”

Julian Fuller, Head of Design at Debenhams presented the first runner-up award of £500 to Alice Potts, 23, Norwich University of the Arts.  Described as a ‘stand out entry’ by Fuller, Potts wowed the jury with her interlocked, neoprene jackets and origami paper silk tops – all made with minimal stitching.

The second runner-up award went to another Nottingham Trent finalist, Chloe Jackson, 22. Presented by Professor Clare Johnston, former Head of Textiles at the Royal College of Art, Jackson was praised for her ‘upbeat and playful approach’ and the attention to detail in her printed and multi-layered designs.

A special mention was also made by Jackie Annesley for the work of Danielle O’Neill (pictured below), 23, from De Montfort University. The editor applauded her engineered knitwear, which bravely fused monochrome knits with tailored silhouettes. Danielle’s inventive take on knitwear has also led to a £2,500 bursary from The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, a medieval trade guild which supports the knitting and hosiery industry.

FAD danielle oneill

This year FAD challenged students to ‘slow down’ and ‘say goodbye to Google’ – to discover the extraordinary and the fantastic in the everyday. Over 100 entrants from 40 UK colleges and universities took part, resulting in a shortlist of seventeen finalists. On the night the catwalk hall was packed with industry keen to harness the talent of tomorrow, with representatives from ASOS.com, All Saints, Inditex, Karen Millen and Uniqlo seated front row.

Now in its 15th year the FAD Competition continues to challenge fashion students to think outside the commercial box; encouraging them to look to art, culture and wider social trends for inspiration.

Past FAD Competition finalists have gone on to achieve successful careers in the fashion industry most notably designer David Koma; 2010 Graduate Fashion Week winner Rebecca Thompson and RCA graduate Morwenna Darwell, who recently featured as one of ‘fashion’s finest new names’ in the December issue of Wallpaper Magazine.

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