The Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) Fashion Futures Final 2014 saw 23 teenage talents showcase the designs that impressed an esteemed jury, including Louise Ibak (designer at George at Asda), Maria Alvarez (founder and CEO at FAD) and Martyn Roberts (founder and director at Fashion Scout), amongst others. The charity supports young designers from all walks of life, helping them to get internships and experience in the fashion industry. This culminates in an annual Fashion Futures awards ceremony, sponsored by George, bringing finalists to Fashion Scout each season.

Presented by Annaliese Dayes, a Next Top Model herself, the packed Vestibule of family, friends and industry members took their positions to watch the six themed collections. 


First up, a tough, urban collection; Renée John Baptiste an all black menswear look, with emphasis on shape and dropped or cropped silhouettes. Andrea Loaiza Giraldo’s blue skirted coat with feminine seaming was made modern with black puffa-style sleeves, while Renée Mutsunge’s floral embellishment added detail to an otherwise simple monochrome dress, with flashes of blue and white zip. Toni Elysse Wright finished the collection with a column-esque white shirt dress, with Perspex band around the bust and lime green mesh ruffle around the hips.


Daniela Silva Velasquez opened the following African inspired collection with a black halterneck gown complete with primary coloured bustier. Tim McDonagh’s grey printed menswear shorts and strong-shouldered blazer combination looked pleasantly retro, while Gabriela Guana’s simple blue sundress with white zig-zag stitching looks perfect in any era. Ellie Boothman’s grey shift dress featured printed panels of 90s style tessellated triangles at the waist and hem.


Holly Coutts opened an athletically regal collection with her sporty tennis dress, realised in red with exposed black zip and metallic mesh skirt. The following gold embellished top, featuring a squiggle pattern by Henrietta Dent, was paired with a brown midi skirt, and followed by Zhané Anjum completion of the collection; a red velvet menswear cape and white shirt with gold embroidery, pearl embellishment and chain shoulder detailing.


Things took a darker turn with Charlotte Dillon’s Victoriana structured patchwork grey and black evening gown with lace back, followed by Hayat Chehab full skirted lace dress with graphic leather modest panelling. A striking bustier by Chenai Jack stood away from the body, finished with a peach lace asymmetric skirt. Yinka Williams’ silver cross-front cape looked modern paired with the deeper shade of steel underneath, and Emily Bass’s shell embroidery on a drop-waist black tulle skirt was unexpected for a long sleeved shirt dress.


Seada Merkulaj bought mermaid ethereality to the next collection, with a navy blue gown and white heart-shaped lace overlay. An aqua and brown waterfall front utility jacket by Kayla Miles surprised when light caught the laser-cut leather panels. Niove Louca’s elegant mermaid skirted dress in neutral lace was made alluring when its backless design was revealed, while Elleanor Goodall’s grey 20s inspired tennis dress with box pleats was accented in lemon yellow.


Finally, Bella Dunne’s Perspex raincoat with black fur trim looked 60s futuristic when paired with a pastel playsuit, the raincoat dotted with the same brushstroke print. The blue, pink and orange cape dress that followed featured subtle animal prints by Tilly Tambini Cooper was a highlight for presenter Annaliese. Shalon Siqueira completed the show with a menswear coat, pink and purple in hue in sporty materials.

Following the show, jury members Alvarez, Carol Robb (freelance designer) and Dorota Watson (Head of Fashion at University of East London) announced the recipients of this year’s awards for Embellishment (Harriet Dent), Colour (Tilly Cooper) and Innovation (Shalom Siqueira). The overall winner of the Fashion Futures Award 2014, announced by Louise Ibak, was Andrea Loaiza Giraldo for her creative and commercial design.

With some serious talent on show, the jury had a tough decision on their hands. This year’s FAD finalists proved just how valuable FAD is for getting a tough break in the fashion industry, and we hope to see some of these young talents as Fashion Scout designers in their own right in the future.

By Isabella Silvers, Contributor, (@izzymks).
Photographs by Elizabeth Hodsin.

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