June 23 celebrated an exciting beginning for Fashanne Awards. A new fashion initiative organised by BBC TV presenter Anne Davies, who joined forces with Emma, the Duchess of Rutland to support and commemorate the next generation of talent within the East Midlands.
The glamorous affair attracted over 150 guests and took place at the magnificent Belvoir castle in Leicestershire. A landmark which proved the ideal setting for an evening filled with dazzling elegance, which began with a champagne reception, allowing guests to mingle and take in the beautiful surroundings of the idyllic castle.
The top five fashion design students from each of the East Midlands’ creative universities included; De Monfort University, University of Derby, University of Lincoln, The University of Northampton and Nottingham Trent University, were given the remarkable opportunity to present an abundance of talent by showcasing their collections on the catwalk.
Judging the collections for the Fashion/Knitwear Design Award and the Textile/Fashion Accessory Design Award was; Fashion Journalist & TV Presenter Susannah Constantine, Founder of Eternal Spirits, Susi Henson, Designer and consultant, Daniel Hanson, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger, Becky Sheeran and Marketing Manager at My Beautiful City, Lady Violet.
Leicester born musician Howard Rose performed as a guest, whilst models sashayed down the catwalk, all exhibiting wonderfully creative and thought provoking designs.
The delightful evening continued with a 5 course dinner where guests also got to indulge in a feature dish, prepared by 2 Star Michelin Chef, Sat Bains.
The evening also helped raise money for Rainbows Children’s Hospice, which owes many thanks to the generosity of Jeweller Stuart Thexton and the support of Solaise from BillHub in London. The “Guess the value of the jewels” competition raised over £1000 for the Hospice, that was then doubled by Measom DryLine.
The selected students waited in anticipation as the judges deliberated the winners of the two awards. The Fashion/Knitwear design award was presented to Charlotte Yates from Nottingham Trent University, whose incredible collection was inspired by imperial Russia. Emma Garner from Loughborough University was presented with the Textile/Fashion Accessory Design Award, whose beautifully contemporary designs were inspired by architectural reconstruction, with a modern, fresh and high end approach.
Both Charlotte and Emma won a cash prize of £2000 which is intended to help them further their passion and talent for design.
TV Presenter and Fashanne Organiser, Anne Davies said: “The evening was stunning in every way. The castle always looks beautiful but that night, lit up in FASHANNE blue, the look and the atmosphere was magical. She said.
“The fashion show exceeded all my expectations. I knew that the entries from our students were excellent but once on the models, with makeup by Leicester College, and stunning ponytails coiffured by Becca, Jodie and Sophie from The Tier. The outfits and accessories were transported into another world.
“I hope that we are at the start of a journey that will enable FASHANNE and its supporters to champion the expertise and skills of our students for years to come. It was a wonderful night. One I had dreamt of – which only goes to show that sometimes, dreams do come true.”
By Jessica Challoner-Sterland