Skilful King’s Ely students, Poppy Carter, Emillie Jerman and Rose Vernon-Harcourt, have achieved further success in the 2024 Young Fashion Designer UK (YFDUK) Competition!

As previously reported, the talented Textile Design trio were invited to attend the finals of the prestigious competition at RGS Worcester with their families on Saturday, June 8th. This was after Poppy and Emillie were shortlisted in the Year 9 category of the national contest, and Rose, who is in Year 12, was shortlisted in the Years 12 and 13 category.

The girls not only had a fantastic day at the finals, but all three of them received Highly Commended Awards, Poppy came runner-up in the Year 9 Upcycle Challenge, and Rose was runner-up in the Year 12 category!

The YFDUK competition was launched in 2010 by former Head of Textiles at Kent College Pembury, Karen Wintle, who wanted Fashion and Textile Design students to have their work recognised and judged by industry professionals in an annual national competition.

This year, entrants had to choose a classic fashion staple garment and consider how they could reuse or recycle it to make it appealing to the teenage consumer, and to help reduce the implications that throwaway ‘fast fashion’ continues to have on our environment.

Students had to create three separate slides – one researching their chosen garment and the ways in which they could reuse and recycle; one exploring techniques that they could introduce such as patterns and print, fabric manipulation, and construction ideas; and a third producing four design ideas that included their chosen classic fashion staple garment and link the techniques that they have explored.

Finalists were then invited to submit a 90-second video presentation in the style of a TikTok reel, telling the judges more about themselves, their fashion style and vision, and their Textiles skills.

A spokesperson for YFDUK said: “It was a pleasure to meet Emillie, Poppy and Rose, and they must be congratulated on how well they represented King’s Ely at the finals. It is a remarkable achievement to have been selected from over 250 entries and from more than 50 schools in the region alone.

“The judges had a very difficult job and spent many hours looking through all of the entries before deciding that they would like to invite all three girls to the finals. The judges have worked with us for many years and so have lots of experience with selecting talented students who go on to have successful careers in the fashion and textiles industry beyond the YFDUK competition.

“It was a delight to see them each receive a Highly Commended Award in their respective categories, for Poppy to be awarded the runner-up prize in the Upcycle Challenge within her Year 9 age category, and Rose for the Year 12 and 13 awards. Very well done to Emillie, Poppy and Rose.”

Mrs Alison Rhodes, who is Director of Art at King’s Ely Senior, added: “I am so proud of all three girls!”

Speaking after the finals, Rose said: “I had a fantastic experience at the finals. I was nervous to create a garment in two hours for five judges! I think it turned out really well and I enjoyed participating in the competition. It was great to talk to industry experts and I took away lots of ideas.”

Poppy said: “The competition was an amazing experience and I found it fun to talk with the other finalists. My highlight of the experience was the Upcycle Challenge, which tested your concentration and Textiles skills. I think it was the perfect opportunity to get into the mindset of what it is like on the actual GCSE course. Overall, the competition was a great way to find out about previous winners’ careers and how you can think on the spot to produce a final piece so quickly.”

Emillie added: “I found the competition a really fun experience, and I was pleased to get Highly Commended. I really enjoyed the Upcycle Challenge, even though the time pressure was a challenge in the last few minutes. However, I really enjoyed the challenge and found it exciting.”

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