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Knitwear garments made from shoelaces bags award
Jun '11
A De Montfort University (DMU) student's colourful catwalk collection including knitwear garments made from shoelaces was awarded the David Band Textiles Award at London's Graduate Fashion Week.

Sarika Pancholi, a final-year fashion design student at DMU in Leicester, was one of three students to be put forward for the award at Graduate Fashion Week's closing Gala Show on Wednesday 8 June.

This follows a successful week for the student whose talents have been spotted by high street fashion retailer River Island, who have just offered her an internship as a knitwear assistant. Fashion designer Zandra Rhodes has also named Sarika as one of the top five British designers to look out for this year.*

For her collection, Sarika took inspiration from her rich Indian culture and traditional British knitwear techniques, and also incorporated everyday items into the garments, such as shoelaces, straws, lolly-pop sticks and whistles.

The 22-year-old from Rushey Mead, Leicester, said: “I am still feeling very overwhelmed by the whole experience of Graduate Fashion Week – it has been an amazing few days. It's a privilege to win an award in honour of the late David Band, who has been an inspiration to so many artists and designers. It's a real reward for all the long hours spent on finalising my portfolio and catwalk collection.”

Della Swain, fashion design course leader at DMU, added: “We are very proud of Sarika and the uniqueness of her work, which meant she stood out as the best contender worthy of winning the David Band Textiles Award. It's a real testament to the quality of the innovative collections we had on the catwalk this year.”

Commenting on Sarika's portfolio of work, judges at the Gala Show said: “From research to conclusion Sarika has used her own personality and understanding of textiles to a great degree.”

Sarika was awarded £750 and DMU also received a cash prize for the David Band Textiles Award.

Her collection also recently won her The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters Bursary of £2000. The bursary meant Sarika was mentored and guided by someone from the company throughout her final major project.

The Gala Show at Graduate Fashion Week proved to be a successful event for DMU, with three more of its students shortlisted for other prestigious awards. Ume Sacranie's rock-and-roll inspired collection incorporating hundreds of birds' feathers was among the final 10 shortlisted for the event's top accolade – the George Gold Award. Shavani Chavda's eye-catching tropical prints were a close runner-up for the Zandra Rhodes Award, and Ceri Jones was a finalist for the First Word Journalism Award.

De Montfort University (DMU)

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