TWO young fashion designers from Huddersfield University have made it to the finals of a national competition.
Sophie Brownson, 20, and Charmaine Bould, 19, are among the 12 finalists in the Fashion Awareness Direct competition.
The winner of the contest will get £2,000 in prize money and a work placement with a leading fashion company.
The competition aims to support young designers in the UK and help students bridge the gap between education and the fashion industry.
The final will be held on April 23 at The Music Room in Bond Street, London.
Entrants were asked to produce a garment inspired by Chinese prints at Kew Gardens and a second item, transforming the first piece into a different garment.
The competition’s creative director, Louise de Caires, said: “The concept challenged students to look beyond conventional points of reference to create a garment that could be transformed further.
“The complexity of the brief is demonstrated through the finalists’ rich designs, subtle referencing and intricate detailing, which we have no doubt will impress on the catwalk.”
Sophie, originally from Coventry, created a sketchbook of research on Chinese culture, focussing on symbolic plants like peonies, mulberries and bamboo that helped her come up with designs for two final outfits, along with a business plan.
This has all been sent to judges – but finalists have until March 23 to make their garments.
She said: “The first design was based on Chinese pagodas and calligraphy. I designed a dress. The second outfit was to include three layers to go on top. My layers were a cinched belt with attached skirt and a padded, hooded shawl. The third was ribbon to be tied around all the layers.”
She said it would be fantastic to win the contest. “If I win, I get the opportunity to undertake work experience, which is very valuable to someone looking to make a career in this industry. I am hoping one day to open an independent boutique of my own, though I need to gain some industry experience to pick up confidence and contacts.”
Charmaine, who is originally from Shropshire, also aims to have her own shop one day.
She said: “Winning a work placement in the fashion industry would open many doors and help me to gain experience. In the future, I’d like to own my own boutique and sell my own unique, one-off designs.”