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Two graduates from the BA Fashion Design course at the University of Westminster have been selected by the Council of Fashion Designers of America CFDA+ programme as ones to watch.

Each year, the CFDA invites applications from a community of top-tier design programs in the United States and abroad. For the sixth edition of CFDA+, 60 talents were selected worldwide as they enter the fashion system empowered by education.

Sara Kozlowski, CFDA’s Director of Education + Professional Development, said: “The 60 CFDA+ 2018 Design Graduates are a true creative class curated to represent a generation of designers who are inventing new codes of fashion and questioning the traditional role of designer. Individually, they have unique approaches to materials and processes and diverse specialisation- based strengths. Collectively, their ‘Creativity GPS’ is centred at the intersection of change, innovation, craft, and awareness.”

Westminster graduate Ieva Melece-Hall’s work focuses on creative cutting and draping, inspired by four years of working in Yohji Yamamoto’s Paris showroom. The way Yamamoto handles fabric and the dramatic and unorthodox aesthetics of his work still shape her design approach.

Melece-Hall’s final collection explored the Latvia-born designer’s love-hate relationship with the material and emotional legacy of the Soviet Union. At the core of the collection is the communal flat, where the faded glory of the 1930’s bourgeois interior encounters the clutter of everyday Soviet life.With internship experience from Paul Smith, Chalayan and Roksanda, she is now a Design Assistant at Paul Smith.

London-based Manimekala Fuller also graduated from the BA Fashion Design course in 2018. Her designs are inspired by personal experiences and always informed by thorough material research, combining traditional and modern techniques. Her graduate collection, ‘Modern Alchemy’, established her own coven of modern white witches through experimental textiles and technological alchemy. Fuller has gained work experience from Manish Arora, Roksanda, Holly Fulton and Clio Peppiatt, and is currently developing her namesake brand, Manimekala.

Course Director for BA Fashion Design, Professor Andrew Groves said: “I'm immensely pleased that both Ieva and Manimekala’s unique talents have been recognised by this announcement from the CFDA. They both epitomise the high-level creativity that is central to the teaching of Fashion Design at Westminster.”

In addition to CFDA+, the CFDA also supports the next generation of fashion through Fashion Future Graduate Showcase, an annual pop up exhibition and digital portfolio platform created in partnership with NYCEDC.

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