young fashion designers

Budding fashion designers head for top London show

University fashion design students at Somerset College, Taunton, will be heading for the bright lights and a prestigious London catwalk this Friday (June 1) when their final year collections go on show at Free Range, a top graduate showcase event for a handful of invited universities and courses.

The professionally modelled and choreographed show at London’s Brick Lane, is visited by recruiters and scouting teams from the fashion industry, as well as the public, and the College’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design degree students are keeping fingers crossed after putting in hours of work on their collections.

Students come to the College from around the UK as well as two from Thailand and Norway, while closer to home a number from Devon and Somerset are counting down the days and sewing last-minute hems and seams.

Tom Evans, 24, of Haywood Farm, Nynehead, near Wellington, is the only man in his class while others include Jade O’Hanlon, of Telford Crescent, Plymouth; Katie Oliverio of Townstal Road, Dartmouth; Emma Sothcott of Beresford Street, Stoke, Plymouth; Zeta Thorne, 21, of Dobree Park, Rockwell Green, and Connie White, of Shoreland Way, Westward Ho, Bideford.

Tom Evans, 24, of Haywood Farm, Nynehead, near Wellington, is the only man in his class and designs menswear fashions. The upcoming London show is a huge event for him. "I’m really excited, it’s like the last three years have all come down to focus on this one day," he said.

Being the only man on the course has not been a problem, he found. "We all get along and I’m treated like anyone else - and there are some advantages," he said. Now he hopes to get into designing menswear or fashion show production.

For Emma Sothcott, 21, of Beresford Street, Stoke, Plymouth, the prospect of the show is exiting – and nerve-wracking.

"We’re just doing the final hand sewing and finishing touches now, it’s really exciting and we’re all also equally nervous.

"We are such a strong, supportive group and the tutors have been extremely supportive, it’s not how you might imagine a fashion group to be. We’ve had so many laughs and it really helps the stress levels."

Caption: Lecturer Gary Mills, centre, with the Class of 2012 - all set for London.