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Haydn Brown, who will graduate from the Fashion Communication programme this summer, won the Fashion Communication Portfolio Award.
Haydn Brown, who will graduate from the Fashion Communication programme this summer, won the Fashion Communication Portfolio Award.

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Four Northumbria students scoop awards at Graduate Fashion Week

With 26 talented Fashion students from Northumbria University making it on to the shortlist for awards, there were high hopes for success at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.

The world’s largest showcase of new graduate talent returned to Coal Drops Yard in London from June 20th to 24thand four students from Northumbria were honoured with Graduate Fashion Foundation Award trophies, in recognition of their creativity and hard work.

Those on the shortlist were tasked with presenting their work in person during the event for the final stage of judging. They were also given the chance to network with fellow fashion students and industry professionals before the winners of 16 categories, as well as the stand-out collections from each University catwalk show, were announced in glittering daily awards ceremonies.

Gayle Cantrell, Head of Subject for Fashion at Northumbria University, said: “This is a flagship event for which our students work extremely hard to prepare, supported by our dedicated team of academic and technical staff.

“To have so many students make the shortlist, and have four student projects singled out for awards by industry judges, is a fantastic achievement. Recognition on a national level is a great way for students to be noticed as they take the next steps towards furthering their studies or starting their careers.”

Haydn Brown, who will graduate from the Fashion Communication programme this summer, won the Fashion Communication Portfolio Award. His passion is bold and colourful photography, created through his own brand Haydn Brown Photography, which champions diversity and the LGBTQ+ community by featuring elements of queer culture and underground nightlife, inspired by 90s cinematography.

He has already been commissioned to work on editorial photo shoots for international magazines, the charity Northern Pride and the popular Drag Race UK television series. Haydn’s award submission included an artzine publication called the Kloset Club featuring the work of queer artists from all over the world, which he created as part of his final degree module.

“For me, photography started as a hobby and now it’s what I do full time,” explained Haydn. “The fact that I won this award has taken a while to sink in. It’s surreal but absolutely brilliant.”

Can I touch your hair? is a collection of clothing that celebrates Black hair through fashion, created by Levi Warren-Howard from the Fashion programme. Levi’s womenswear collection was made with specially designed tactile fabrics to reflect African and Caribbean hair styles and textures such as braids, afros, dreadlocks, curls and waves. It was inspired by her own experiences of growing up with curly hair. Her creative approach saw her bring home the Culture and Heritage Award.

Levi Warren-Howard with her Culture and Heritage Award.
Levi Warren-Howard with her Culture and Heritage Award.

“Graduate Fashion Week was a really positive experience where I met lots of new people who were interested in engaging with my work – including some industry professionals who were very interested in what I’ve been doing,” said Levi.

“To win the award was a shock but also a confidence boost. It’s encouraging to know what I created caught people’s attention.”

Having been shortlisted in three different categories, Olivia Fletcher, who has just completed her studies on the Fashion Design and Marketing programme, is mulling over a number of offers to join various fashion houses, but eventually hopes to build upon the creation of her final collection – a brand called Otherness – and become an independent creator.

Olivia was named joint winner of the Fashion Illustration Award and is passionate about the brand she has created being people-focused, with an overarching aim of having self-expression woven into each garment.

Writer and blogger, Megan Jayne Crabbe, presented Olivia Fletcher with her Fashion Illustration Award.
Writer and blogger, Megan Jayne Crabbe, presented Olivia Fletcher with her Fashion Illustration Award.

As an antidote to fast fashion, Olivia has been determined that her designs show the process of ageing in a positive way, and a jacket forming a centrepiece for Othernessis 100 per cent upcycled, made up mostly of her grandfather’s old shirts, alongside offcuts from the rest of the collection. This piece was showcased in London as part of Graduate Fashion Week, alongside a dress, two bonnets and a skirt inspired by the theme of ‘Antique Queens’.

The final recognition for Northumbria at this year’s event came when Emily Gibson from the Fashion programme won the Northumbria University Dome show. Her work was selected by judges watching the Northumbria catwalk show which rounded off the week and highlighted designs and creations from all Northumbria students who took part in the event.

Emily’s collection of womenswear was also chosen by a panel of judges including designer Henry Holland, model Munroe Bergdorf and designer Patrick McDowell, to be included in the opening Graduate Fashion Week show, featuring garments from all of the universities involved.

The following Northumbria students were shortlisted in this year’s Graduate Fashion Foundation Awards:

The Fashion Illustration Award

Olivia Fletcher – Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Storm Anh Thu Le – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Fashion Innovation Award

Olivia Fletcher - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Fashion Marketing Award

Olivia Fletcher - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Fashion Portfolio Award

Bethany Oakey - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Lily Clark - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Fashion Styling & Creative Direction Award

Rebecca Barnes - Fashion Communication BA (Hons)

The Footwear Award

Rosie Holt – Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Bethany Oakey - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Zandra Rhodes Fashion Textiles Award

Amelia Jackson - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Holly Wright - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Olivia Pennie - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Terry Mansfield Fashion Publication Award

Katie Donaghy - Fashion Communication BA (Hons)

The Sportswear & Leisurewear Award

Cindy Salim – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Range Plan Award

Levi Warren-Howard – Fashion BA (Hons)

Zoe Jefferson – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Fashion Concept Award

Zoe Jefferson – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Fashion Communications Portfolio Award

Haydn Brown – Fashion Communication BA (Hons)

The FACE Excellence Prize

Angelica Dodds – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Accessories Award

Bethany Oakey - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

The Culture and Heritage Award

Levi Warren-Howard – Fashion BA (Hons)

Holly Wright - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Angelica Dodds – Fashion BA (Hons)

The Childrenswear Award

Lily Clark - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Amelia Jackson - Fashion Design and Marketing BA (Hons)

Fashion programmes at Northumbria are internationally recognised for producing innovative and industry-ready graduates. Northumbria School of Design was ranked 11th nationwide according to the Guardian University Guide 2022, and Art and Design at Northumbria is ranked 4th in the UK for research power, according to the Research Excellence Framework 2021 results. Visit northumbria.ac.uk to find out more about fashion-related study options at Northumbria.

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