Wallace High School pupil Maria realised her dream of seeing her fashion designs on the catwalk recently, when she won a prestigious fashion design award from Belfast Institute.
Maria, along with her GCSE Art and Design class, had entered a design competition organised by BIFHE ,which aimed to encourage creativity and design amongst teenagers. The design brief was “Floral Bling”, and it was then over to the budding Diors to create a striking catwalk design.
Maria explained, “I’m really enjoying my Art and Design GCSE and am very interested in fashion. My sister Mei Mei had taken part in the Form and Fusion design competition a couple of years ago so I knew how interesting it could be. The concept “Floral Bling” proved very challenging. My design was a blend of styles – the oriental style jacket was patterned with sixties inspired patterns – I also included lots of colour to ensure the design had some bling!”
Having submitted her design to the judges, Maria then had an agonizing three month wait before hearing that her ideas had won the top prize for her age group.
Her prize included seeing her design brought to the catwalk, having been fully made by the Belfast Institute Fashion design students. Maria and her classmates went along to the fashion show, “Vintage Rocks” held in the Waterfront hall last Tuesday. Retro, urban, punk and ethno styles were the order of the day, with the event being a kaleidoscopic whirl of fashion and music. Final year Institute students’ designs were modelled, giving all the Wallace GCSE pupils plenty of food for thought.
Georgina, also in Year 11 and whose designs had been placed in the top twenty of the competition, commented, ” Seeing the work of the BIFHE students was really inspirational – I’m thrilled to have reached the top twenty of the competition – the standard of designs was amazing. Maria’s work was really dynamic and she deserved to win.”
Maria, whose prize was presented by Cool FM DJ and fashion writer Carolyn Stewart, also won £100. Maria added, “I’ll probably spend some of my prize money on clothes – I love reading about fashion and trying to customise my clothes to make my look a bit more individual. To be honest though, the best part of winning was seeing my designs on the catwalk, being modelled by a professional. I’d like to thank Mrs McMullan and Miss Simpson for their encouragement and the rest of my GCSE class for supporting me at the Final.”
So, will Maria decide to take up Fashion Design as a career? ” At the moment I haven’t really considered a career choice, preferring to keep my options open and concentrate on doing well in my exams. I certainly wouldn’t say no to the sort of salary which designers such as Stella McCartney can earn!”
Last modified: October 16, 2007