Last week, students from across London displayed designs inspired by London and V&A at a glamorous event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. With close to a thousand students entering the competition, seven finalist teams worked with mentors from Central Saint Martins’ MA Material Futures to create stunning pieces that brought together London influences, cutting edge fashion technology and stylish tailoring.
Judges including design entrepreneur Wayne Hemingway, V&A fashion curator Oriole Cullen and design commentator Caroline Till, were dazzled by the quality of designs from the next generation of fashion designers. At the event at the Park’s London Aquatics Centre, seven pieces were showcased with the winner announced as Ayeisha Khalifa from The Ellen Wilkinson School, in Ealing. Ayeisha was presented with a bespoke 3D printed Concept to Catwalk trophy produced by Wonderluk.
The “Concept to Catwalk” challenge was launched in June 2014 for students in Key Stage 3 and 4 and explores and celebrates the links between fashion and technology, focusing on the textile heritage of east London. During the project, students aged between 11 and 16 were invited to design a new item of clothing that reflects twenty-first century lifestyles and technology-led innovation in fashion.
Almost 1,000 students entered the competition from which just 7 were picked to work with mentors from MA Material Futures. The mentors helped the students to realise their designs by introducing them to new materials and processes and leading them through the process of conceptualising their work. Students collaborated in different ways, visiting the new Central Saint Martins’ campus in Kings Cross, working after school and recording their process to share as part of their displays at the final event.
The final catwalk show showcased the final creations in a spectacular style. Inspiration came from far and wide: from the Olympic Park’s architecture and Brick Lane graffiti to Edwardian fashion in the V&A and wearable technology. Ayeisha Khalifa’s winning entry used collaged digital prints of street art collected in East London tailored to form a futuristic shillouette.
This is a partnership project between Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Victoria and Albert Museum, MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins and MyKindaCrowd and forms part of the Mayor’s Challenge programme.