I attended the annual Fashion Designers’ and Craft makers’ Young Designer Awards held at the Pullman Hotel earlier this month. This annual event held here in the UK and the US celebrates multi-cultural excellence. Their vision is to present an international platform for young individual designers to help find their niche as individuals and help build their brand their own way. It also helps highlight and encourage those with unique gifts both creatively and academically. The awards are divided into 4 categories; The Young Designer Award for UK & US are open to anyone aged between 9-15 and 16-26. The Radical Designer Award is open to young designers aged between 21-25 years and the winner gets to debut their collection during Vancouver Fashion Week. The Emerging Designer Award is open to anyone aged 9-29 years of age and the winner of this category gets to debut a full collection in New York City. It was an absolute delight seeing all the various young designers collection and meeting them backstage for a short interview as they talked me through the inspirations behind their crafts.
The brief for this years Young Designer Award category was to create one piece that was inspired by the great Alexander McQueen.
I met Designer Sara Sarshar whilst waiting to showcase her design, a white quilted satin caged dress. It looked very interesting on the model, who had minimum makeup and was barefoot. I was itching to find out more about this intriguing design which bridged fashion and art together. I was glad when Sara agreed to carry out a short interview with me. The idea and inspiration spun from Alexander McQueen’s life – focusing on his mental health. Sarah, who is a Central Saint Martins fashion student found creating this to be a real challenge because of the different materials and fabric used, using wire and cast and satin fabric material which is a brittle material but still shows the concept very well.
I was thrilled to find out Sara and her design won the Young Designer Award for this category.
Another young designer whose work caught my eye was Yi-Ling Kuo, who also won the Emerging Designer Award. We had a quick chat about her futuristic deigns after she picked up her award.
Yi-Ling, a student from the renowned London College of Fashion, studying fashion and textiles and specialises in Knitwear showcased two designs from her Human x Machine collection. A vision of how machines will impact our lives in the near future. She created silhuottes based on the look of machines and her researches were based on anything surrounding her that could capture the topic or subject she wanted to create but mostly, she drew inspirations from being in her father’s studio, being surrounded by industrial materials and the different textures they had.
Another designer whose work you couldn’t miss with her bold-statement-making-jewellery was Deborah Glasgow, who has been in the business for over 15 years crafting handmade jewellery.
Her collection consist of large and bold designs made from bronze and base metals giving it that antique look. Her Christian background very much inspired her to get creative and get started with the visions she received from God. I found this so inspiring to hear and loved interviewing Deborah, who was more than happy to pass down some industry knowledge and credible advice. I could relate to so many of the points she mentioned and I completely agree with her on the last piece of advice she gave which was; to follow your heart and dreams. Don’t be afraid to get creative as you have a gift. All you need to do is use it! Very well said Deborah.
I couldn’t interview each and every single designer but I managed to capture some of the pieces I saw during the presentations.
Colour Blind [ ing ]
Lace and Frills
A [ Head ] Masterpiece
Fancy Bead Work
It was great personally meeting some of the designers before and after the award show and presentations. I’m always intrigued and find it so fascinating when I discover how their ideas went from a basic idea to concept and then bringing it to life. As a designer (with basic skills) myself, I know how hard and challenging this can be so I take my hat off to you all and creating these amazing art work pieces. You are all winners and deserve recognition for all the hard work you’ve put into your work.
If you’re a younger designer based in the UK or US, I would highly recommend you check out the FDC website for more information and possibly get in contact to the organisers on how you can participate in their next awards event. You just might never know. I could be interviewing you next.
I hope you’re enjoying the festive season and thank you for taking time out to visit my blog.