Richard's designs

Somerset College undergraduate shows at London Fashion Week

Fashion undergraduate Richard Maynes claimed third place in the Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition and saw his designs go down the catwalk as part of prestigious London Fashion Week.

Richard, who studies BA (Hons) Fashion at Somerset College, was competing against 14 finalists from universities and colleges across the UK for the prize of £2,000 and a placement with prestigious designer Paul Costelloe.

He produced two designs based on the concept of ‘Retrofuturism' and ‘Space Tourism'. Finalists had to look back to the 1960's and take their inspiration from films including ‘2001: A Space Odyssey' to create fashionable uniforms for galactic hosts and hostesses.

Richard said: ‘It was an awesome experience to take part in London Fashion Week. To be part of a big show like that has been the highlight of my course so far.'

Richard drew his inspiration from the planets. He chose Neptune and Mars and used space and geometric shapes to good effect on his designs. This gave a futuristic feel to the pieces.

He used the geometric shapes to portray the hard lines and masculinity of Mars, and space for the softness and femininity of Neptune. Richard designed a dress made from cotton, cotton satin mantra and organza, and a body suit from jersey and formed plastic.

Richard said: ‘It was a great brief to work with as I could produce really wild designs. The planets I chose are polar opposites of each other, so the designs were really striking when put up against each other on the cat walk.

‘The designs portray the inner and outer persona of the wearer. The inner persona was the softness that is portrayed in the dress representing Neptune. The outer persona is represented by the hard lines of the Mars inspired body suit.'

Gary Mills, Fashion Tutor at Somerset College said: ‘Richard has come on leaps and bounds since he arrived at Somerset College. He has also claimed a bronze award at UK Skills. We are proud of all he has achieved so far.'

Richard's two designs were seen on the catwalk at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout event during London Fashion Week. They were featured alongside Paul Costelloe, Vivienne Westwood and Jasper Conran who also had shows during the week.

Now in its eighth year, the FAD Competition is dedicated to highlighting and supporting undergraduate talent, providing a platform for young designers to showcase their work before they graduate. It is heavily supported by industry with representatives from Harrods, French Connection, Marks & Spencer, Margaret Howell, Religion, Jasper Conran and Vivienne Westwood attending this year's show.

Next year Richard will have the opportunity to showcase his designs at London Graduate Fashion Week.

He said: I am really looking forward to see my designs at London Graduate Fashion Week, it is amazing to think that my designs will go down the same catwalk that has launched the careers of designers including Stella McCartney and Julien Macdonald. I have had a taste at London Fashion Week and now I am really looking forward to Graduate Fashion Week.'

The BA (Hons) Fashion course at Somerset College is delivered through a partnership with the University of Plymouth. For more information on the degree programme, or any of the other 25 degrees the College offer, click here. Alternatively contact (01823) 366 331.