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Creative quartet’s work impresses Graduate Fashion Week judges

Date 10.06.2021

Work by creatives from the University of Northampton has caught the eye of the judges from Graduate Fashion Week.

The annual showcase of the UK’s university fashion talent marks the high point of students’ three years of study, and this year four Northampton undergraduates were in the running for an award.

Charlie Irwin, Natasha Finlay, Jen Bradley and Jonathan Goddard were all longlisted for an award – or in Charlie’s case, two awards.

Two days of judging in London saw Footwear & Accessories student, Charlie Irwin, make the top three shortlist for both the Footwear Award and the TU Challenge 21.

Charlie's concepts for Graduate Fashion Week.

Charlie’s concepts for Graduate Fashion Week.

Charlie’s concept aims to help customers get outdoors to escape their busy modern lives. It had impact and waste in mind, made possible through re purposing damaged and abandoned items to create his pieces.

Textiles for Fashion student, Natasha, was also named in the top three shortlist for the Accessories Award.

Natasha’s textile prints are inspired by the odd and weird dreams she experienced during the pandemic. Natasha put a request out on social media to ask if others had the same kind of dreams and recorded a mixture of the dreams visually by her hand drawings and paintings. Each piece has a story and the printed and appliqued accessories were named the Dream Stealers by Natasha.

Natasha's designs

Natasha’s designs were inspired by pandemic dreams.

While Footwear & Accessories student, Jen, and Fashion student, Jonathan, were long listed for the Footwear Award and Culture & Heritage Award, respectively, neither made the final three – however their long listing confirmed the high standard of their work.

Jen Bradley's shoes and bag combo.

Jen Bradley’s shoes and bag combo.

Jen’s entry comprises a pair of colourful bird-themed children’s shoes and bag. Her work aims to raise awareness of the plight of the Amazon rainforest and help to build a deep love of nature to the younger generation.

Jonathan's designs were inspired by the struggle faced by people in Senegal.

Jonathan’s designs were inspired by the struggle faced by people in Senegal.

Jonathan’s entry was a menswear collection inspired by the injustices suffered by people in Senegal.

Charlie and Natasha now have an anxious wait to see if they will win their respective awards, with judging taking place during Graduate Fashion Week, which runs from Saturday 12 to Friday 18 June.

You can follow their fortunes on the Graduate Fashion Week website.