No nightmares with student awards for fashion about dreams and the surreal

Date 19.08.2021

Two Fashion students whose designs focus on how the pandemic has influenced our dreams and perceptions of reality have seen their work officially recognised.

The Fashanne Awards have been running since 2016 and provide a showcase for design talent in universities, pitting the best third year fashion design students against each other.

This year Natasha Finlay and Georgie Lee scooped awards, wins that follow a recent ‘hat trick’ at Graduate Fashion Week* (GFW) for University of Northampton fashion stars.

Then, Natasha scooped the Accessories Award at GFW for her textile print collection inspired by the odd and weird dreams people have experienced during the pandemic (Footwear & Accessories student, Charlie Irwin, won the Footwear Award and came first in the TU Challenge 21 category).

To create her designs, 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.Fashion student Natasha Finlay

Natasha says of her latest award win for these designs: “I think the originality of my concept and my designs really appealed to the judges. Also, all my work has been backed up with a lot of research I had done for future trends and I think I managed to design accessories which embodied the future of fashion. I think the fact that I didn’t hold back from my design excited the Fashanne Award judges as much as they did for GFW.

“Needless to say, I am thrilled my work has received further recognition and am very happy to add it to my ‘trophy collection’ that is all thanks to my time at the University of Northampton and the quality of the course and lecturers.”



Natasha Finlay's winning designs on the GFW catwalk.

Natasha Finlay’s winning designs on the GFW catwalk.

Georgie Lee won the Athleisure Design Award judged by Chris Johnson, Head of Design at Speedo.Fashion student Georgie Lee

Georgie’s collection takes influence from her personal associations with childhood combined with more current elements to create a surreal world, providing an escape from the strange reality we have all found ourselves in recently.

Georgie adds: “During the first lockdown I reflected on my childhood and how, as we grow up in society, we take on added pressures of the world especially over the past year and a half during the pandemic. As we move into adulthood, we are bombarded with so many stress factors, such as finding a job, finding love, our appearances etc, which can often overcome us, and I know it has at times for myself.

“Having been inspired by ski-wear fashion through the years, many of the silhouettes in my designs reflect that, whilst also keeping them contemporary. Fabrics include knit which has been a reoccurring fabric through the decades of ski-wear, stretch jersey is used to mimic the base layers when skiing and silk to create my larger pieces in response to the market level I am designing for.

Fashanne Award 2021 winning designs from Georgie Lee

Some of Georgie Lee’s Fashanne Awards 2021 winning designs.

“I combined digital and traditional techniques through digital print and handcrafted knit to create the collection. The prints within the range, inspired by my research, explore different types of print; repeat, placement and borders.

“I am absolutely delighted and honoured to have been picked as the winner of the athleisure award. To receive recognition by a major sports brand such as Speedo is incredible as sports and athleisure is an area of the industry. I hope to progress here, driven by my own sporting background.”

You can follow Natasha’s work on Instagram.

You can follow Georgie’s work on Instagram.

Find out more about the Fashion Design at UON.