The GFW Gala Award Show is a showcase of the top 25 collections from UK students. With seven being selected from ECA, we put through the most number of students from a single college ever. The selected students were Rosa Cameron, Aurélie Fontan, Ambrose Frøsaker Lunde, Marta Kazmierczak, Michelle McAuley, Anna Victoria Pierce, and Maddy Stringer.
Aurélie Fontan, a BA (Hons) Fashion graduating student, impressed the judging panel and swept the board with her collection, winning the M&S Womenswear Award (winning £5000, and an extra £1000 for ECA), the Catwalk Textiles Award (winning £1000, and extra £250 for ECA), and the Dame Vivienne Westwood Sustainable & Ethical Award (Winning £2000, and an extra £500 for ECA), and coming runner-up in the Christopher Bailey Gold Award, Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award, and Considered Design Showcase.
Aurélie's work addressed the circular economy and closed-loop systems in fashion. "I have combined recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials for a lower environmental impact," said Aurélie of her collection, "The clothing I have created includes an alternative seaming method that facilitates dismantling. Using a process that I have called 'technocraft', I worked towards eliminating waste from the garment manufacture."
“The judges seemed really interested in my collection, which is very intricate," said Aurélie, "I grew my own textiles for one of the pieces - so I essentially grew my own dress. I think they saw the effort that went into my collection."
Other student award wins at GFW came from Marta Kazmierczak (who won the David Band Textiles Award - winning £750 and an extra £250 for ECA) and Christopher Reid (who won the ASOS Level 4 Portfolio Award). Maddy Stringer came runner-up in the Catwalk Textiles Award.
Edinburgh College of Art were also the winners of the Gap Inc Best Catwalk Show Award and the Stand Award, which this year focused on sustainability, with every part of the stand coming from a sustainable source.
"Fashion is an ever-evolving and expanding subject where designers seek to consistently innovate and design for future industry needs," said Mal Burkinshaw, Programme Director for Fashion at ECA, "This year's graduate cohort are no exception and the wealth of talent is evidenced through creative and personal design visions, including in-depth analysis into customer diversity, sustainability, technology and surface innovation."
"We are absolutely thrilled about the student successes at this year’s GFW. Having seven students selected for the Best of GFW Gala Show was unprecedented and a huge surprise for all," said Mal, "Winning the Gap Inc Best Catwalk Show of the week is testament to the high quality, innovation and future thinking in all of the collections showcased."
ECA at Graduate Fashion Week
ECA has a long history of showing in the gala catwalk show and of winning top GFW prizes, including six prize wins in 2017 (with Halina North winning the Gold Award and the Trailblazer Award), a triple award win for Melissa Villevieille in 2015, and the Gold Award for Lauren Smith in 2013.
This year’s GFW success follows two catwalk shows at the National Museum of Scotland, sponsored by Cazenove Capital and Turcan Connell, and a host of other industry accolades, including the Fashion programme winning the British Fashion Council Fashion Illustration Award, Alanna Hilton winning the British Fashion Council's Teatum Jones award, and Rhys McKenna (Fashion - MFA) and Aurélie Fontan showcasing their work as two of the four recipients of this year's British Fashion Council Scholarship.
These wins from Fashion add to a suite of graduate awards and prizes across ECA's subject areas in 2018.