Sunday, 24 June 2018

Fashanne Awards 2018

An evening of beautiful clothes, inclusivity and inspiration.
Nottingham hosts a showcase for East Midland's designers of tomorrow, highlighting their incredible talent and hard work.

If there were ever a fashion show to pick for your first, Fashanne should be at the top of your list. Inclusivity, creativity, music and passion for fashion come tied together in a refreshing display, with Nottingham's St. Mary's Church as the perfect backdrop for an evening of sophisticated chic.

I first heard about the awards in February, after attending a talk with event director and co-founder, Anne Davies, as part of my creative writing degree at De Montfort University. I was immediately struck by Anne's warmth and enthusiasm as she discussed the event. Now in it's third year, Fashanne aims to showcase final-year student designers from six East Midland universities – including my own, DMU. With my interests in fashion already flourishing, I leapt at the chance to sit beside the catwalk and support the designers of the future.

The student's collections compete for awards in four categories; Fashion Design, Knitwear, Footwear & Accessories, and Textile Design, judged by a panel with expertise in style and media, such as Simon Platts, the sourcing director at ASOS. There was also a People's Choice award, voted for by the public and event guests.

This year's campaign focused on inclusivity, championing a diverse array of models not just in ethnicity but also physicality, with Paralympic double gold medallist Richard Whitehead strutting his stuff on the catwalk. It was wonderful to see such inspiring work, reminding us that fashion belongs to us all, to be enjoyed by everyone from all walks of life.

The Designs

So, this is what you came for, the collections. The student's exhibitions were innovative, creative and chic. It was so great to get a flavour for the collections displayed around the church before the show began, including some of the sketches which lead to the final products. While many of the collections were inspiring, I've selected a few of my favourites for you which immediately caught my eye – some were even award winners, so don't tell me I don't have great taste, eh. 

38 - Finlay Bray & 29 - Lucy Dennis
Loughborough University  //  Textile Design

Both of these designs dazzled on the catwalk, from Finlay's sparkling Greek Goddesses in purple, to Lucy's soft and flowing armour. 
I could easily see these artistic designs as a springboard for the every-girl's special occasion wear.

14 - Annabelle Williams
Loughborough University   //   Footwear & Accessories

A definite Cath Kidston vibe here with Annabelle's bright pops of colour, geometrics and florals. I dig it.

12 - Stephanie Douglas
De Montfort University   //   Footwear & Accessories - Winner*

The highlight of the show for me, Stephanie's Cruella De Vil-esque monochrome designs grabbed my attention the moment I saw them, 

especially the knee length boot. The simple yet striking design also nabbed her the People's Choice award! What team? DMU, heyooo.

25 - Brittany Sun
De Montfort University  //  Textile Design
Bold summer colours on a hand bag that looks so extra, yet so stunning with pompom's galore. 

If a handbag could make you go weak at the knees, I would have hobbled straight over when I saw this!

37 - Aoife Thomas
Nottingham Trent University   //  Textile Design - Winner*
Aoife's collection is everything I live for when it comes to fashion: bright pastel colours in beautiful bold prints. 

This collection just reminds me of candy floss and happiness and I could happily colour my entire life with it!

I'll definitely be keeping my eyes peeled for the designers in the future, as I'm sure this is just the beginning for them. All in all the Fashanne Awards was an enjoyable and sophisticated evening and a great opportunity to witness rising talent, whilst raising funds for Rainbows Children's Hospice. I'd definitely recommend for anyone interested in fashion or broadening their horizons, for an injection of creativity and positivity.

For more information on the student's collections, 
or to book your tickets for next year's event, visit

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