Fashion quartet’s designs are all-set for Italian exhibition

Date 24.01.2020

Four students from the University of Northampton are the only UK winners in an international art and design competition.

Textiles for Fashion students, Emily Robbins and Olivia Hughes, and Fashion undergraduates Chloe Cooper and Iona Beresford, were amongst the finalists in the International Art & Design Competition 2020.

The competition, which is run by Florentine art school, Accademia Riaci, seeks out to find the best up-and-coming designers, from a range of disciplines, across the globe.

All finalists will have their work exhibited in Florence, Italy, during April, and receive fully or partially funded places on various Accademia Riaci courses.

The competition provides second year Fashion students with an ideal opportunity to develop their research and portfolio skills, according to Senior Lecturer, Jane Mills.

She said: “The brief was incredibly complicated, which meant the students really had to put the work in, to make their entries worthy of submission.

“The competition allowed them to research and develop their concepts, create a sketchbook showing their design processes, and finally, a professional portfolio.

“The skills they develop by completing a successful submission will put them in good stead for their final year of study, and then when they enter the fashion industry following graduation.”

This year’s competition challenged students to create designs based on Italian culture, mixed with their own culture.

Photo of Iona Beresford

Iona Beresford.

Iona, who fused the work of Sherlock Holmes author, Arthur Conan Doyle, with Italian influences for her fashion capsule collection submission, is planning to study at Accademia Riaci in summer 2021.

The Fashion student, who is from Northampton and wants to break into costume design, said: “It’s an incredible opportunity to study abroad once I’ve graduated, and I’m hoping it will help me to continue developing my skills.”

Photo of Chloe Cooper

Chloe Cooper.

Her coursemate, Chloe, meanwhile, developed a fashion capsule concept which mixes Italian seaside resorts with resorts on her parents’ native Isle of Wight. Chloe, who is also from Northampton, has ambitions to run her own clothing label.

Photo of Olivia Hughes

Olivia Hughes.

Textiles for Fashion student, Olivia, meanwhile, created textile print designs which were based on Roman architecture, mixed with the building styles found in her Northampton hometown.

Photo of Emily Robbins

Emily Robbins.

Olivia’s coursemate, Emily, created a textile print collection influenced by attractions in her home county of Leicestershire and Venetian culture.