This year, four of our graduating Fashion - BA (Hons) students have won major prizes in the most high-profile student fashion design competitions, including the British Fashion Council (BFC) graduate fashion awards, and the Levi’s ARTS THREAD design challenge.

All three prizes in the British Fashion Council Burberry Fashion Design competition went to ECA students, with Rhys JP McKenna taking first place, winning a £2,000 prize and a paid, three-month internship at Burberry.

Second place (and a paid, three-month internship) was secured by Jonathan Preston Moore, who also picked up the British Fashion Council Topman Graduate Talent Award. His paid internship at the leading British company will be for a year.

Fiona Cartmel won third place in the Burberry Fashion Design competition, again securing a paid, three-month internship, while Megan Mitchell gained a top five place in the BFC Topshop competition.

BFC winners' work at SHOW 2016

For the capacity audiences who filled the Sculpture Court this year for SHOW 2016, our annual catwalk show was a chance to see the Graduate Collections of our four British Fashion Council award winners, and more.

Two of the winners showed menswear, with Rhys JP McKenna’s collection fusing Scottish heritage and futurism, and Jonathan Preston Moore premiering a vibrant and playful Autumn/Winter range.

Fiona Cartmel and Megan Mitchell showed womenswear. Fiona creates work that is made entirely from waste, including offcuts from clothing manufacturers, while Megan’s is highly colourful.

Both Rhys and Megan feature in Eunice Olumide’s BBC Loop round-up of SHOW 2016, together with former Diversity NOW! winner, Alice Firman.

Levis ARTS THREAD winner

Another major award winner to feature in SHOW 2016 was Matilda Barrowcliff, whose menswear show opened the Graduate Collections.

Her work is an exploration of gender, a theme which underpinned her entry to the Denim 2020 design challenge run by Levi Strauss & Co and ARTS THREAD earlier this year.

Having won the global competition - which had upwards of 500 entrants - in April, Matilda will now spend her summer at Levi’s headquarters in San Francisco, USA.

She says of the win “I was so shocked to hear I’d won, especially as there were so many other entrants. I am very passionate about denim, it is an amazing fabric that can be used in so many different ways, so this is an opportunity of a lifetime”.

Diversity, inclusion and sustainability

Challenging the fashion industry on issues such as body image and ethical production is a key feature of the Fashion - BA (Hons) programme at ECA.

Designing Diversity was one of the largest and most collaborative collections on display at SHOW 2016. It featured the work of 39 second year students from both Fashion and Graphic Design using typography to explore identity and self-esteem.

Of the other group work featured, two brands were about ‘slow-fashion’, including third year project Oriin which won The Harvey Nichols Award 2016 for Best New Brand at the final show of the run on Friday 20th May.

Other SHOW 2016 fashion awards went to graduating students Lorn Jean and Alice Robinson, respective winners of the Betty Davies Award for 'Innovation in Classic Cutting and Impeccable Garment Finish' and 'Consistent Standard of Excellent Workmanship and a Sensitive Approach to Creative Fashion Design’, and third year students Irene d’Antonio and Juliane Rumpf (Mackintosh Project Award winner and runner-up), Polly Thomas, Max Wells Gray and Ruth Williams (Michael Kors Prize winner and runners-up).

In addition to the 22 fashion collections on display (including Graduate Collections by three MFA/MA students), SHOW 2016 also featured group work by second and third year Textiles students, and 26 collections of Performance Costume.

Graduate Fashion Week 2016

The 13 graduating Fashion - BA (Hons) students bring their collections to Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) in London on Tuesday 7th June 2016, sponsored by L’Oréal Professional Paris. 

We have a select number of tickets to see the catwalk show. To be in with a chance of snapping one up, please email marc.stalker@eca.ed.ac.uk.

At last year’s Graduate Fashion Week, ECA's Melissa Villevieille was announced as a triple GFW award winner, picking up the Best Womenswear Collection Award, the Catwalk Textiles Award and the David Band Textiles Award.

Previous ECA Graduate Fashion Week winners include Lauren Smith (George Gold Award for Best Collection 2013) and Shauni Douglas & Olivia Creber (Menswear Collection of the Year 2013).


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