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A good illustration of why Kingston is a fashion leader

Posted Tuesday 4 May 2010

Fashion course director Elinor Renfrew said Kingston places a lot of emphasis on illustration.  Kingston University has beaten off competition from 26 other leading fashion colleges to win a prestigious British Fashion Council Award. Undergraduate Fashion course director Elinor Renfrew collected the Fashion Illustration award at the BFC's Colleges Council Graduate Preview Day, along with fellow lecturer Andrew Ibi.

"Kingston has always had a very good reputation for Illustration", Mrs Renfrew said.  "This award didn't come out of the blue, it's something we've been focussing on and putting in the building blocks for over the past few years."

The colleges' portfolios, which consisted of illustrations of the garments that will eventually make up the students' final collections, were judged by a panel of senior industry executives, headed by chair of the British Fashion Council Colleges Council, Anne Tyrrell. "Kingston University's portfolio included very sensitive pencil drawings and the content was creative and innovative," she said. "It showed a complete package of design talent including textile swatches and knitwear swatches, which were very complimentary to the design work and showed graduates' individuality and creativity."

The judging panel also included representatives from Selfridges, WGSN website, Drapers magazine and London Fashion Week designer Todd Lynn. Vogue Italia, Elle Magazine, Marie Claire, Evening Standard, Max Mara, Matches, Harrods, Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Browns, Topshop and Warehouse were all among the media and industry guests who attended the prestigious awards ceremony.

Fashion student Harriet de Roeper’s work was included in the winning portfolio.Kingston University's award marked the culmination of three years' hard work for the students. "We all felt very proud," said third year student Harriet de Roeper, whose work was included in the winning portfolio. "We're all friends and we bounce off each other and push each other. There's always a lot of creative energy in the room." Many of the drawings in the portfolio will form the basis of garments that will be exhibited at this year's Kingston University Fashion Show on June 7.

The annual British Fashion Council Graduate Preview Day provides universities and colleges with the opportunity to showcase their graduating students' work to industry professionals. It is now in its 16th year. "The Kingston students whose illustrations were included in the portfolio will find there's a lot of interest in their work", Mrs Renfrew said, "but the great thing about this award is that it's for the whole of the Kingston University Fashion Department, not just one student."

WGSN digital development director Lauretta Roberts said this year's entries were of a higher standard than ever. "The way in which the work was presented was incredibly strong," fellow judge Todd Lynn added.

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