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Winners of Graduate Fashion Week announced

Jun '10
Graduate Fashion Week 2010 Winners announced. Rebecca Thomson of Manchester University School of Art wins sixth Annual River Island Gold Award judged & Presented by Alberta Ferretti, Kim Jones, Elle Editor Lorraine Candy, Gq Editor Dylan Jones And Naomi Dominique; River Island womenswear design Director.

Alberta Ferretti
“We have all agreed on the winner because of her good sense of proportions, the unusual and interesting combination of fabric and for the contemporary feeling of her collection. She proved to be a complete designer, with creativity and strong knowledge of tailoring. This is the strength of British colleges, they manage to teach their student to be complete.”

Wednesday, 9 June saw the most significant and prestigious prize for Graduate Fashion – The River Island Gold Award - awarded to Rebecca Thomson from the Manchester University School of Art. With a life-changing prize of £20,000, the prize was judged and presented by Alberta Ferretti, Kim Jones, Lorraine Candy, editor in chief Elle, GQ Editor Dylan Jones and Naomi Dominique; title sponsor River Island's Womenswear Design Director.

“I'm just over the moon. By winning the River Island Gold Award, I have now got the money to do my masters at the Royal College of Art and I'm ready and excited to do bigger and better things.”
Rebecca Thomson

The judging criteria for the River Island Gold Award is that the collection clearly demonstrates exceptional ability in Design, Cut and Construction as well as excellent use of Colour and Fabric.

The judging process for this award is designed with a pre-selection from 42 initial collections to produce the best ten. An elite industry panel of preliminary judges joined the audience at every university show, to highlight what they considered to be the hottest collection from each. The judges included GFW Trustee Professor Wendy Dagworthy (RCA), Mark Eley (Eley Kishimoto), Betty Jackson and Vanessa Anderson from River Island.

The preliminary judges also selected from nominations for the BHM Visionary Knitwear Award and Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textile Awards and this year's first International Award. Each of the River Island Gold Award nominees were then put through a gruelling interview process and judging system by the River Island Gold Award judges.

Womenswear Award
Rhea Fields from Northbrook College was the successful winner of the Womenswear Award. She was selected for her award by the panel of Gold Award judges.

Lorraine Candy and Alberta Ferretti
“We chose the winner because we felt she was a skilled and accomplished designer with a strong contemporary approach to developing and realising her collection.”

Menswear Award
The panel also selected Thomas Crisp of Ravensbourne as the winner of the menswear award.

Kim Jones and Dylan Jones
“The winner was chosen for his skills as a modern menswear designer with a good commercial edge.”

Hosted by Caryn Franklin, this year's Graduate Fashion Week Gala show celebrated its 19th anniversary and saw a glittering array of fashion luminaries lending their support to the event including Erin O'Connor, Zandra Rhodes, Nicola Roberts (Girls Aloud), Bonnie Wright (Harry Potter) Rachel Stevens, Emma Hill (Mulberry), Clare Waight Keller (Pringle), Amelle Berrabah (Sugababes), Zara Martin, Olivia Inge, Caryn Franklin, Jeff Banks (President, Graduate Fashion Week), Terry Mansfield CBE (Chairman, Graduate Fashion Week) and Harold Tillman (Chairman, British Fashion Council).

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