A STUDENT from Havering College will showcase one of her designs on the London Fashion Week catwalk next week.
Eighteen-year-old Holly Coutts – who completed a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Fashion at the college in Hornchurch, Greater London, this summer – will see her dress professionally modelled at the 2014 Fashion Futures Final.
Upminster resident Holly is one of 23 finalists whose designs have been chosen by a panel of experts.
Earlier this year Holly was selected from more than 130 young people from inner city boroughs in London and Manchester to take part in the Fashion Futures workshop programme run by FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) – a creative charity which supports young designers to help them reach their potential.
Over ten weeks they were given an insight into the working world of fashion – from collating research and drafting technical drawings, to pattern cutting and constructing a garment from scratch.
At the end of the workshops the teenagers presented their designs to a panel of industry experts when the finalists were selected for the next stage of the project.
Holly took part in a five day intensive FAD workshop at The University of East London where she created her outfit, a sporty evening dress in rich jewel shades inspired by the stained glass windows at the V&A museum. It is estimated the dress would fetch £540 wholesale and nearly £1,500 retail.
Holly, a former pupil of Frances Bardsley School in Romford, said: "Seeing my design on the catwalk will be a massive boost in confidence and I hope it will help me to get a place at university and then a career in fashion design for one of the main High Street retailers."
Ivy Scarlett, communications coordinator at FAD said: "The Fashion Futures course was launched ten years ago and gives great support to young designers so that they have the skills and confidence to be creative. We have close links with colleges including the tutors at Havering College. Holly has done extremely well to have her design chosen for London Fashion Week and I am sure it will be a success."
Marie Loney, curriculum manager for Fashion at Havering College, said: "Holly is extremely talented and very hard working. This recognition as a future potential star of the fashion industry is well deserved. Her success is an inspiration to other students at the college."
Havering College holds Artsmark Gold status from Arts Council England in recognition of its commitment to, and excellence in arts education.