Inside the Midlands Fashion Awards 2019

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Friday 11 October saw designers, fashion & beauty photographers and stylists come together for an evening of sophistication and style.

Celebrating the regions most creative talent, the Midlands Fashion Awards 2019 saw deserving winners and nominees recognised as the next generation of designers and photographers.

35 finalists took part in the inaugural event, with industry talent from the Midlands in attendance.

As the night begun, guests were treated to a tempting cocktail – or mocktail for those who were driving, with a variety of options to chose from. I went for the classic mojito.

Possibly the highlight of the night, guests received a luxury goodie bag on arrival, containing gifts from Kiehls.

Scoping the past, the present and with a large focus on the future, the creativity of these designers seemed endless.

The fashion show saw the designers of tomorrow showcase their creative talent. From bold, bright and beautiful to seriously suave, we saw a wide range of looks on the runway.

These young designers are at the forefront of current fashion disruption, given that the industry is ever evolving and styles change. Attendees got a glimpse into what the future of fashion may look like.

There was also time to appreciate the accessory designers during the night, ranging from minimal to extravagant pieces. Finalists offered fresh takes on classic accessories.

Following the announcement of winners, guests were invited to celebrate into the night over at the Marco Piere White bar in the Mailbox. The first lucky 100 attendees received a free glass of prosecco.

Designer TaWA showcased their collection on Friday

See the full list of winners below:

Emerging Designer of the Year – Isabelle Pennington-Edmead

Sustainability Designer of the Year – Serefina Rose Charles

Young Designer of the Year – Lucy Taylor

Accessory Designer of the Year – Abigail Burvill

Professional-Makeup Artist of the Year – Chetna Ladwa

Rising Star Award Makeup Artist – Miriam Bibi

Fashion Photographer of the Year – Lee Leyland

Alongside the title, winners of Midlands Fashion Awards categories will receive mentoring from industry professionals, coverage and promotion across all MFA channels and the opportunity to be featured in an editorial photoshoot in Style Birmingham.

Meet Emerging Designer of the Year winner, Isabelle Pennington-Edmead:

Cameo Lab Photography © @cameolabphoto (Instagram)

I use fashion as a medium in which to highlight particular political and socio-economic issues that resonate with me.

First of all, congratulations! You’re a MFA winner! Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what it is you do?

“I’ve just graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Fashion Design and I’m now doing an MA at Manchester Met in the History of Fashion. My background is in fine art and textile design”

Your work is beautiful but clearly very unusual, where did your inspiration behind the designs come from?

“I use fashion as a medium in which to highlight particular political and socio-economic issues that resonate with me. As a third-generation Windrush, I have family roots of migrating to the UK from the Caribbean. The Windrush controversy really inspired me, and I wanted something that would be a tribute to my family, so I envisioned the kitsch decoration of a typical west Indian sun room and the family home I remember from being a child.

What are the highs and lows of being a fashion designer?

“I love researching and coming up with ideas. Looking at galleries and old photos is something I’ve always really enjoyed! As much as I love what I do, if I had to pick something I don’t particularly enjoy doing it’s got to be the pattern cutting. I made that tailored jacket about ten times because every time I fitted it to the model it was never quite right.”

You’ve just won Emerging Designer of the Year! What are your future plans?

“I want to start my own brand. Starting it up will be difficult, but I think with my Masters and obviously winning this and the mentoring I’m going to get it will really help me get my name and face out there.”

If I learned one thing from the Midlands Fashion Awards its that maybe I’m not quite as stylish as I thought. The night brought a variety of creative faces to the spotlight and the future is clearly a big one for every one of these designers.

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