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The University of Southampton

Knitwear student scoops prestigious fashion award at Graduate Fashion Week 2006

Published: 14 June 2006

A fashion student from the University of Southampton's School of Art has scooped one of the three main catwalk prizes at Graduate Fashion Week 2006.

Abbie Storey (21), from Maidenhead, who is a final-year student at Winchester School of Art (WSA), was presented with the Visionary Knitwear Award at the event's gala fashion show by Clare Waight Keeler, creative director of knitwear company Pringle.

Abbie's opulent and modern knitwear collection, entitled 'The last night at the theatre' was inspired by 1920's Paris theatre and pantomime and the colourful costumes of characters such as Harlequin and Columbine. Abbie says: "The collection features graphic stripes and bold trimmings inspired by discarded, torn and shabby theatre costumes which retain a delicate beauty and feeling of Edwardian elegance."

It is the second consecutive year that WSA students have been recognised at Graduate Fashion Week. Last year, Alexa Davies won the prize for the Best Use of Colour in her designs. Graduate Fashion Week, which took place at the Battersea Arena in London, was launched in 1991 as a forum to showcase the very best BA graduate fashion design talent in the UK. Many students go on to careers with some of the world's most famous fashion houses.

John Hopkins, Head of Fashion at WSA, comments: "I am very pleased with the range and quality of work that our students produced this year which reflects a very high standard of craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is particularly gratifying that Winchester School of Art won the new Visionary Knitwear Award, one of only three catwalk awards at Graduate Fashion Week in recognition of the superior work of our students."

Abbie now plans to get some practical work experience in the fashion industry before continuing her fashion studies next year.

There will be an opportunity to see the work of WSA students at the 2006 Degree Show between 24 and 30 June at Winchester School of Art, Park Road, Winchester. Visit: for more information.

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Notes for editors

  1. Winchester School of Art merged with the University of Southampton in 1996. Founded in 1860, WSA has an international reputation for research and teaching in art, art history and design.
  2. The University of Southampton is one of the UK's top 10 research universities, with a global reputation for excellence in both teaching and research. With first-rate opportunities and facilities across a wide range of subjects in science and engineering, health, arts and humanities, the University has around 20,000 students and 5000 staff at its campuses in Southampton and Winchester. Its annual turnover is in the region of £287 million.
    Southampton is recognised internationally for its leading-edge research in engineering, science, computer science and medicine, and for its strong enterprise agenda. It is home to world-leading research centres, including the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research; the Optoelectronics Research Centre; the Textile Conservation Centre; the Centre for the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease; and the Mountbatten Centre for International Studies.
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