FDC Young Designer Awards 2017

I hope you’re all having a great November despite the gloomy weather outside. For me, the fact that Christmas is around the corner and that the pubs have officially started selling mulled wine is definitely making up for the lack of daylight and the never-ending rain. Apart from drinking mulled wine, my November has mostly consisted of coursework and uni deadlines. Hence the silence on my blog. But now that I’ve submitted my coursework, I finally got time to sit down and write about an event I recently got to invited to and that just turned turned out to be one of the most inspiring events I went to this year – the FDC Young Designer Awards. So what was the event about? As you might already suspect, it was all about fashion created by upcoming designers and celebrating multi-cultural fashion and as the title says, it included an awards ceremony as well. This ceremony took place at the very beginning of the event and let me just say one thing – all the awards very well-deserved. The ‘Young Designer of the Year Award’ went to Violet Somers, who created the stunning red dress in the photo above. There is no doubt about whether she deserved this prize – the dress is a piece of art in itself and it is very unique, I have never seen anything like it. This is the kind of dress I would expect celebrities to wear when attending the British Fashion Awards or any other kind of prestigious event. Well done, Violet!

After the awards ceremony, all the designers presented their collections and as bloggers, we had the chance to ask questions and to learn more about the creative process behind the fashion. What I loved about this event was its intimate nature – we were only about 15 bloggers/creators which really gave us the chance to connect with designers and to talk to them in a relaxed surrounding. So glass of wine in one hand and my phone in the other to take notes, I started immersing myself in the world of fashion design. One of the collections that particularly caught by eye was the one created by KC Dainty. The theme of her collection was ‘Fetish and Fashion’ and she demonstrated how easily you can transform an outfit by just adding a choker or a harness. In a world where women are still criticised for showing too much skin, this collection really sent out a strong message that fashion as a form of self-expression knows no boundaries and that we can be whoever we want to. As KC Dainty put it: “You gotta be brave to be different.” And being different is a beautiful thing!

One of the designers that inspired me this most was Stine Sanderman with her sustainable clothing line that was entirely made from waste materials (!). As a young child, Stine used to go to sheep farms with her mother. When she discovered that most of the sheep wool was burnt since the farmers had no use for (in Denmark farmers are required to shave their sheep at least once a month) she sensed an opportunity for combining fashion and sustainability and creating her unique ethical clothing line. As a person who is passionate about ethical living, I felt very inspired by that concept and the fact that Stone knows exactly which sheep her produced clothes are coming from. When buying her fashion, the concern about where the materials came from falls away. Of course I did not only love this collection for its ethical aspect – I also think the clothes are absolutely stunning, especially the blue dress and the white jumper which is definitely something I would wear myself. Who doesn’t like comfy oversized jumpers that do look amazing as well?!

This tartan skirt was designed by Rebekah Gebru. Growing up in a family passionate about fashion and producing traditional Ethiopian dresses, Rebekah quickly discovered her own interest in fashion design. At only the age of 16, she has already designed her first item, this gorgeous green and black skirt. Rebekah is particularly interested in menswear and asking her how that interest was sparked, she remembered watching a Vogue catwalk show and noticing a gap. A gender gap that she’s now aiming to fill by breaking the traditional ideas of men’s fashion. I personally love this idea and fully agree with her – fashion is not about gender, it is about expressing yourself and by changing fashion stereotypes, we can break gender stereotypes and create a society that does not need categories.

Elizabeth An’Marie‘s collection was – as you can see from the photo – all about knitwear and therefore straight up my street. I loved the dress she was wearing and I can see myself living in it all winter. Moreover, I loved the white dress on the left since it looks incredibly chic but yet very comfy. Talking to Elizabeth, it turned out that she had produced – in other words, knitted – all the clothes herself which – me being a person who can barely stitch something up – left me in utter disbelief. Elizabeth’s fashion is perfect for the cold season and I love that it is not just functional but also very unique and elegant.

Last but definitely not least, let’s talk about this stunning collection by Cocoabelly Costumes. This collection definitely stood out for its vibrant colours and huge range of different colours. Asking the designer about her inspiration behind her collection, she referred to her former career as a counsellor and explained how we have to pass through different shades of colours in life before we reach the light, represented by the white dress on the right side. This metaphor really spoke to me – life can be painful but it is worth it. Above the shades of darkness, there is always the light even if it seems out of reach at times. But that doesn’t change the fact that it is there and that things can always get better, even if we seem to be stuck in a period of darkness. Sometimes we have to pass through pain to see the light, but once we do, we know the struggle was worth it.

All in all, I had an amazing day at the FDC Young Designer Awards and I got to know many amazing bloggers and inspiring designers. Plus we got a little goody bag that included chocolate biscuits, did I mention that? They should go really well with mulled wine. But anyway, I definitely recommend checking out the designers I talked about as well as the other designers who attended the event – all of their collections were stunning and unique. I’m very grateful I got invited to such an interesting and inspiring event – it has opened my eyes to the possibilities of self-expression through fashion and I’m spending a little more time thinking about what I put on in the morning but a lot less time thinking about what others would say about it. xx

What do you think about the different collections? Which one is your favourite? xx

Make sure you check out the FDC Young Designer Awards Facebook site for more information about the designers and about upcoming events!