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Graduate Fashion Week 2012 Gala Awards Ceremony Part Two: Menswear, Womenswear and the Gold Award

Here's the second part of our Gala Show review - featuring the most coveted prizes and the show's climax - the Gold Award!

Written by Matt Bramford

Chloe Jones by Joseph Larkowsky

…And so with the rest of the awards presented and the crowds cheering at maximum volume, it was time for the most coveted awards of the evening: the menswear, womenswear and the Gold Award prizes. After four years of hard work and four days of Graduate Fashion Week, one student was about to walk away with £20,000 and the knowledge that they were cream of the crop.

Here are all the nominees and the winners:


Riona HorroxEdinburgh College of Art

Claire Acton – UCLan

James Walker – UCA Epsom

Kelly Maynes – University of Birmingham

Chloe JonesBath Spa University

Amy HoldenUniversity of Birmingham

Alice Griffiths – UCA Epsom

Charli CohenKingston University

Emma BeaumontUCA Rochester

Emily EdgeNorthumbria University


Riona Horrox from Edinburgh College of Art scooped the menswear prize. I’d raved about her collection in my review of the ECA show earlier in the week, so it came as no surprise to see her win. Menswear designer Carolyn Massey, b store‘s Matthew Murphy and stylist Luke Day presented Riona with the award, saying that her collection was decidedly current. It was lovely to see her hip hop-inspired collection, of oversized coats with luxury digital prints, again. Congratulations Riona!


Chloe Jones by Joseph Larkowsky

Chloe Jones won the womenswear prize. Her ethereal collection, set to the sounds of Enigma’s Sadeness, genuinely did stand out in a sea of digital prints and hip electronic music. Each dress, fusing sportswear with red carpet lengths, made said models appear as if they were magically gliding rather than walking. Embellished shoulders were used to maximum effect on grey, sporty marl sweaters worn over elegant, floaty floor-length skirts. Matthew Williamson, who presented Chloe with her award, said it was completely unique, and I wholeheartedly agree.


Daphne Guinness by Claire Kearns

When the womenswear presentation was over, a video of fashion dish Christopher Bailey appeared. Bailey won the first ever GFW Gold Award, and he talked at length about the quality of students’ work. I noticed across the room that Chloe Jones had come back into the venue, and Martyn Roberts, director of Graduate Fashion Week, pulled her aside. I knew then that she had also scooped the Gold Award. The adorable Suzy Menkes, a woozy Daphne Guinness and Fiona Lambert came onto the stage to present the climax. Suzy Menkes said, in her soothing, sweet voice, ‘I’m supposed to be reading some polite words from the autocue, but I’m going to say some words from my heart instead.’ Rapturous applause filled the room, and I fought back tears. I bloody love that woman and her trademark Pompadour do. I’d very much like to squeeze her, and when I see her at London Fashion Week the urge to jump on her is so strong that I usually run in the opposite direction. She said that the standard had been incredibly high this year, and she congratulated everybody for their hard work. Daphne Guinness managed to slur her way through a few inaudible words, and it was to Fiona Lambert to read out the name. Chloe Jones. So deserved, such an incredible collection, nothing really stood out quite as much. A glorious ending to a wonderful week!


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