Blog: Fashion takes over UK Houses of Parliament

Petah Marian | 12 June 2013

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the first ever fashion show to be held in the Houses of Parliament.

The UK is renowned as being a hotbed for young design talent, so it was only fitting that the show highlighted the winners of last week's Graduate Fashion Week.

The event shows that the UK government recognises the importance of the apparel trade, which the UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT) says contributes GBP37bn to the UK economy.

Yet, there is always more to be done, and the UKFT re-launched its manifesto last night, which outlines its priorities for the year.

To help develop talent, the UKFT is calling for the government to get behind a campaign to educate fashion and textiles graduates on the basics of running a business, as well as a new mentoring programme to help start-up designer businesses.

It is also seeking continued assistance for apprenticeships in the fashion and textile industry.

UKFT CEO John Miln said: "We are delighted that fashion design has reached the House of Commons. This is an important first step in bringing together Government and designers as they launch themselves into business and become the future of this great industry."

Last night's award winners:

  • George Gold Award - Lauren Smith, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Womenswear Award  - Hannah Williams, UCA Epsom
  • Menswear Award - Shauni Douglas & Olivia Creber, Edinburgh College of Art
  • Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textile Award - Kirandeep Bassan, Northampton University
  • Stuart Peters Visionary Knitwear Award - Thea Sanders, Nottingham Trent University

The event also featured designs from George at Asda's G21 Talent line, which is created by designers from Graduate Fashion Week. Designers include Chloe Jones, Claire Acton, Francesca Quinn and Jessica Piper.


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