This year, the prestigious Gold Award was awarded to Edinburgh College of Art graduate; Lauren Smith. With past winners including international creative directors such as Burberry's Christopher Bailey, there are high hopes for the Scottish designer. Claes Oldenburg would be proud of the oversized paper clips that adorn the unusually cut garments. A sketchbook adorned, doodles and tulle underskirts complete the dresses while sporadic scalloped edges complemented intricate embroidery.

How was the Graduate Fashion Week experience?
Is was really nervous, I don't really know what to expect really. It was more the anticipation, the adrenaline was flowing and then the ECA show went really well and everyone was happy so after the ECA how on Sunday we kind of relaxed a little bit and then I found out obviously that I was in the gala show and that was amazing. So yeah, the whole experience was actually really good, it totally went beyond my expectations.

Roland Mouret said that is was the personality in your collection that was the deciding factor in the Gold Award judging, will you continue to develop this aesthetic or will you look for a new concept?
No absolutely, I think what he kind of picked up on was that I really do quite like to put myself into the work that I do and I find that most of the topics and things i'm inspired by are normally kind of ordinary things. I think it's just the way I am I guess, it's probably always going to come through my work.

Is that why you focussed on the sketchbook?
Yeah definitely. I don't really know how the idea came about...I just love creating and making sketchbooks and I think I just really wanted to make something in fourth year that I would look back on and think that that was the essence of the degree and that i'd be really happy with it. I'm just really chuffed really!

People often say they inspiration from travelling, but when you're stuck in the studio for weeks on end it must be it's our surroundings I guess that inspire us.
Exactly, it's so hard not to get stuck is it. Even if you do have that source of inspiration like travelling, sometimes when you're in a studio it's hard to like retain the inspiration because you're in a studio base. It's hard not to be inspired by what you're surrounded by 24 hours a day.

What has this experience with Fashion Scout meant to you?
It's meant a lot. I'm quite overwhelmed to be here. It seems really grown up and really professional so i'm really excited to see what happens today.

You've been on placement with George at ASDA, tell us about this experience. What is next for you?
I've done my placement with George already, so it was a two week placement and I designed a small collection with them that's going to be in stores next summer.


Lauren is continuing her studies having been offered a scholarship to do her MA in Textiles at the Edinburgh College of Art. We look forward to seeing her shine in the future.


Madeleine Ayers, contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @MadeleineAyers
Images by Tracy Asslanian, @TracyAsslanian

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