The Fashion Design BA Honours course at the University of Westminster scooped both of the top awards at the British Fashion Council’s Graduate Preview Day last Friday. The course was awarded the Fashion Monitor Outstanding Portfolio Award as well as the WGSN Illustration Award at the British Fashion Councils Graduate Preview Day. Twenty-eight colleges from around the UK attended the event which showcases the portfolios of graduating students and celebrates emerging talent.
The students' work was reviewed by a judging panel of industry experts which included Anna Orsini, Strategic Consultant, British Fashion Council, Ilaria Pasquinelli, Global Brand & Propositions Director, WGSN, Sarah Penny, Head of Content, Fashion & Beauty Monitor and Celebrity Intelligence, and artist Janet Lance-Hughes.
The Fashion Monitor Outstanding Portfolio Award honours the best portfolios from both the student and college. The portfolios were judged on the students’ ability to manage a brief and show their development to their final line-up.
The WGSN Illustration Award is given to the course whose portfolios feature the most exceptional fashion illustrations. The BA (Hons), Fashion Design course at Westminster, was previously awarded the BFC Fashion Illustration Award in 2012, 2014 and 2015.
The awards were presented to Course Director Andrew Groves, by Sarah Mower, Vogue.com’s chief critic and the BFC’s Ambassador for Emerging Talent. Final year student Lloyd Husband was also announced at the ceremony as the winner of the BFC X Coach coemption and was awarded £3000.
Now in its 23rd year, the Graduate Preview Day highlighted a wealth of new, young and innovative British design students due to graduate this summer. The event, which provides an invaluable networking opportunity for the colleges, was attended by representatives from ASOS, Burberry, Harrods, Harvey Nichols, River Island, Topshop, and media including The Evening Standard, Vogue Italy, Vogue USA, Wallpaper and WWD.
Course Director, Andrew Groves, said: "We put great emphasis on students not only being able to realise their design work in 3D for the runway but also the importance of being able to clearly communicate their design vision in 2D form as well, via their portfolios and illustration work. It’s extremely gratifying that this has been recognised by industry, as no matter how amazing a runway collection looks, it is always the graduates’ portfolios that enable them to get fantastic jobs once they go out into the fashion industry.”
This year’s graduates have already worked for an impressive range of fashion companies including Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Céline, Alexander McQueen, Molly Goddard, Phoebe English, Kenzo, James Long, Balmain, Adidas, Marc Jacobs, Burberry, Roksanda, Chloé, Bernhard Wilhelm, Craig Green.
The course will be holding its exclusive Portfolio Preview Day at the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch on Monday 5th June from 9 am until 6 pm.