On Friday 7th October the annual Midlands Fashion Awards took place at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Centre, an event which recognises emerging talented designers from across the Midlands region. Collections from those who had successfully secured shortlisted spaces were showcased in a vibrant catwalk to rival the recent London Fashion Week.
This year’s event, now in its ninth year, saw another sell out for the show and continues to see a year on year increase in application entries to the awards with entries being received from some of the highest ranked universities for fashion in the region including Birmingham City University, Coventry University, De Montfort University and Nottingham Trent University as well as established independent designers.
Jenny Eason, Founder of Midlands Fashion Awards comments, “The pool of fashion design talent here in the Midlands is exceptional. When we announced the 2016 awards earlier this year, we were inundated with hundreds of applications from designers, seeking to use MFA as a platform to become recognised.”
She added; “This is a fiercely competitive industry and it’s humbling to see how MFA is increasingly becoming a stepping stone to forward-thinking designers which has resulted in record levels of entries. We were thrilled with this year’s response but it does make it increasingly difficult to select category winners with such high talent.”
This year the finalists were judged by a panel of industry professionals including Jenny Eason, Founder and Director of the Midlands Fashion Awards; Debra Hepburn, Founder of Young British Designers (YBD) and last year’s winner of the Independent Designer category, Maurice Whittingham, Owner and Designer of Maurice Whittingham Couture.
The Category winners were as follow:
Young Designer of the Year
Sophie Gordon from Coventry- Winner
Sian Sweet from Wolverhampton- 2nd place
Tado Vito from Birmingham-3rd place
Emerging Designer of the Year
Sophie Pittom from Warwickshire- Winner
Merce by Jaqueline Richards from Coventry- 2nd place
Rosie Billington from Birmingham -3rd place
Independent Designer of the Year
Helen Howe from Leicester- Winner
The Bottle Blonde from Nottingham -2nd place
SM Walker from Leicester -3rd place
Accessory Designer of the year
Alexa Milne Jewellery from Nottingham– Winner
Jemima Olivia Millinery from Nottingham -2nd place
Sophie Pittom from Warwickshire -3rd place
Make-up Artist of the year
Chelsea Moore from Dudley- Winner
Hanna Louise Field from Worcester- 2nd place
Ahead of the fashion show, guests were able to view the shortlisted accessory designers’ collections at the welcome reception with selected pieces featuring on the catwalk as part of the show. The show was presented by husband and wife duo Adele and Jamie Roche with sponsors Steel & Jelly providing Jamie’s outfit from their AW16 collection.
Entertainment was also provided at the show by The Voice 2015 finalist Sasha Simone.
“The event was a proud representation of the talent which exists in the region with some real stand out pieces in terms of creativity, workmanship and marketability. It was great to see so many attendees from around the Midlands area and beyond. We also raised over £300 for Edwards Trust, this year’s charity partner, in a prize raffle draw,” said Eason.
The celebrations continued, with an after party held at Nuvo, where attendees were welcomed with a glass of fizz.
For further information visit midlandsfashionawards.co.uk