Posted Monday 15 May 2017
A fashion collection inspired by the Renaissance, surrealist art and the abstract prints of fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has won a Kingston University student the prestigious Anne Tyrrell Student Design Award.
Megan Greenfield scooped the award and a £5,000 prize for a project she named Illogical Fantasies. The judging panel highlighted her use of print and pattern, the modern and innovative shapes she created, and praised her sophisticated colour palette. "I'm currently influenced by the glamour and experimentalism of the late seventies, personified in style icons like Bianca Jagger and David Bowie," she explained. "I like to work with print designs, I love the work of potter Betty Woodman whose designs are very abstract. I like to combine contemporary prints with details from vintage garments. This could be a difference in cuff length or a different collar size – these are the small details that make clothes unique."
The 20 year old from Fareham in Hampshire discovered she had won the coveted award while researching her next project in the library at Knights Park campus. "I got quite emotional when I heard I had won. There were a lot of projects running at the same time with brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Gap, but I thought it was worth sacrificing a night's sleep for the opportunity and I'm very pleased I did," she said.
The award was established in memory of much loved fashion and interior designer Anne Tyrrell in 2015 to support students in the second year of Creative Skillset Ticked fashion courses. The Kingston University Fashion BA (Hons) course was among the first to achieve the accreditation which recognises courses that connect with industry and teach professional skills to ensure that graduates are work-ready.
Megan first contemplated studying fashion after a teacher introduced her to textile study in year nine. After completing her A-levels she visited Kingston University at an open day for the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design and felt an instant connection. "As soon as I stepped through the doors at Knight Park I felt like I should be here. Everyone studying an art based subject is based on campus, you rub shoulders with people studying graphics, illustration and architecture – there's a great atmosphere here," she said.
Having previously clinched a much sought after internship with luxury brand Mulberry, assisting in the preparations for London Fashion Week, Megan plans to make use of the University's Erasmus scheme which supports students wanting to study or work abroad. "I've applied to positions at a number of brands – it's a great opportunity to see how the industry works, visit new museums and meet different people. I think it will definitely change my thought processes and improve my work ahead of my final year," she said.
Head of fashion Elinor Renfrew said the award recognised a talented student designer and highlighted the importance of providing a course giving students exposure to the fashion industry. "Having been included in the first group of courses awarded the Creative Skillset Tick, Megan's win shows Kingston University continues to provide industry-ready graduates for some of the biggest brands in the world," she said.
Megan's award comes at an exciting time of change for Kingston University's Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. In a return to its origins, the faculty will be known as Kingston School of Art from September 2017. The new name reflects the faculty's legacy in an era when creative thinkers are highly valued in the rapidly growing creative and cultural industries. Megan treasures the University's fashion archive, which includes artefacts from the 1800s to the present day, using it to produce a contemporary mix of styles in her designs. "Fashion reflects the designer's cultural experience and becomes part of the messages that the consumer is sending out into the world via the fashion choices they make," she said.