For her brilliantly constructed and sustainable garments, BA (Hons) Fashion graduating student, Alexandra Fan, has placed first in not one, but two prestigious categories– the Womenswear Award and the David Band Textiles Award at the 2019 Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) Awards. 

Alexandra is one of the first cohort of graduating students from the partnership between Donghua University and the University of Edinburgh. 

Her incredibly successful journey of studying fashion in both Shanghai and Edinburgh has been topped off with her recent GFW achievement. The judges commended Alexandra on her innovative and creatively eco-conscious designs. She credits Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) with encouraging her to experiment with elements of minimalism. Whilst Alexandra felt that the awards ceremony flew by in a whirlwind of excitement, the memories of both the GFW awards and her time at ECA will last a lifetime. “I feel sincerely grateful to everyone who supported the project since, without them, there would be no final works or awards,” she said.

 

 

Alexandra with her fellow fashion designers and GFW winners who proudly show off their awards for their sustainable and creative designs
Wainam Cheung
Alexandra with her fellow fashion designers and GFW winners

“I gradually found that the learning atmosphere was very free, and everyone was encouraged to do what they wanted to do.”

Alexandra Fan

Alexandra is wrapping up her fourth and final year of studies, after spending the initial two at in her homeland of China before completing the latter two years here in Edinburgh. During her initial two years at the Shanghai International College of Fashion and Innovation (SCF), Alexandra was taught by academics from ECA and was tasked with two big projects each year. Since 2014, ECA and Donghua University’s partnership has offered SCF students the chance to study at ECA for the remainder of their degree’s duration. It was at ECA that Alexandra was first introduced to the concept of sustainability within fashion. “Although the course was very stressful I learned a lot from it,” she said, “I gradually found that the learning atmosphere was very free, and everyone was encouraged to do what they wanted to do.”

 

Alexandra's work on the runway of GFW and the eyewear collaboration with David Ding Dong
Sams Mitchell
Alexandra's work on the runway of GFW and the eyewear collaboration with David Ding Dong
Sustainable and futuristic designs by Alexandra at GFW, featuring a collaboration with David Ding Dong
Sams Mitchell
Sustainable and futuristic designs by Alexandra at GFW, featuring an eyewear collaboration with David Ding Dong

The contemporary fashion designer was elated to have been able to join ECA for two important reasons. The first being that she greatly admired ECA Fashion students and felt inspired by the high quality of work our students produce year on year. And now, the exceptionally talented Alexandra will be an alumnus alongside them. Secondly, she was looking forward to studying in “a place with a long history and a slower pace of life compared to Shanghai”, whilst being able to explore why Edinburgh is recognised as a cultural and fashion hotspot. 

“Once I found my own direction, I felt very motivated at ECA,” said Alexandra, “Plus, the whole department is working hard to support students – it was enjoyable studying here and I feel grateful for this opportunity.”


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