Graduate Fashion Week: 5 award-winning designers who are set for stardom

6th Jun 19 | Beauty

Remember their names – these young designers could be the next Stella McCartney or Christopher Bailey.


Over the last four days, students for the UK’s top fashion schools have been showcasing their collections at Graduate Fashion Week, culminating in the annual Gala Awards Show.

At the show, 32 awards were handed out to students, the most coveted being the Christopher Bailey Gold Award, named after its first recipient, the former Burberry creative director.

After winning the Gold Award in 1991, Bailey went on to have an illustrious career in fashion, spending 17 years at Burberry.

Other previous award winners include Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald, so the current crop of winners are likely have a bright future ahead of them.

So who are this year’s future stars? Here’s who triumphed at Graduate Fashion Week 2019…

1. Brian McLysaght

The big winner of the night was Brian McLysaght from Edinburgh College of Art, who took home three awards, including the prestigious Christopher Bailey Gold Award.

He also received the Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award and the Conscious Design Award for his print heavy collection which used organic textiles and fabrics reclaimed from landfill.

Designer and judge Christopher Raeburn, said: “Choosing the winner was for me relatively straightforward, there was one stand out designer who I felt really exemplified the brief in terms of catwalk impact, level of craft, creativity, skill, expertise and thoroughness, research and material choices – really impressive.”

2. Alexandra Fan

Another Edinburgh College of Art graduate, Alexandra Fan collected two awards, the Womenswear Award and the David Band Textiles Award, whose designs were inspired by changing urban landscapes.

Designer and judge Henry Holland said: “It blew me away, was nothing like I had ever seen before. It felt like something that was actually new, inventive, intriguing.

“I wanted her section of the show to continue for longer, and then when we met her, seeing her research and development and hearing her story and her reference points and approach, it just re-enforced the idea that what she had done was revolutionary.”

3. Rosie Baird

The George Catwalk to Store Award, which goes to a designer whose collection shows design excellence and strong commercial potential, went to Rosie Baird, another Edinburgh College of Art graduate.

Baird’s collection was heavily influenced by Scotland, featuring multi-coloured tartans, tweeds and elaborate knitwear designs.

4. Greg Brears

Greg Brears from Birmingham City University was the winner of the Menswear Award.

His collection was inspired by workwear, with models taking to the catwalk in hefty overalls, oversized raincoats and fisherman style hats.

5. Keri Thornton

De Montfort University’s Keri Thornton took home the Clarks Footwear Award which comes with a £5,000 prize.

To enter the award, Thornton had to submit a design concept for ‘a unique and innovative footwear proposition that pushes the boundaries of shoe-making to create the best possible environment for feet’.

© Press Association 2019