UWE student leads the fashion pack

Issue date: 18 July 2011

UWE Fashion Design student Emily Smeaton has won the Warehouse Design Competition, which is awarded in association with the British Fashion Council.

The high profile competition attracts hundreds of submissions from Fashion students across the UK looking to be recognised as the next fashion design talent and for the first time this year, included a search for a fashion photographer to work in-house with Warehouse.

UWE Fashion Design staff put Emily forward for the competition, regarding her work as meeting the values and essence of the Warehouse Brand and believing her to have a fresh take on fashion imagery.

Emily first decided to focus on fashion photography and styling in her second year when she started to develop her signature bold and contemporary style, which uses bright colour and strong lines to create confident, polished images. Emily said: “I like to have a lot of movement in the foreground and a fairly blank background so that the focus is on the clothing and the models. This year I took inspiration from the 70's and 80's and from shopping for and styling photoshoots. I find that an image comes together best when I know how the model will look so I can make a decision about how and where to photograph her.”

The quality of Emily's portfolio and mood boards convinced the panel of judges including Lisa Byrne, Design Director, Warehouse; Caroline Rush, British Fashion Council Chief Executive; and Editor of the Sunday Times Style Magazine, Tiffanie Darke; to put her through to the final stage.

The final challenge was to create a fashion story around action on the catwalk that could be used online or for PR. Emily had access to the studio, models hair and make up and an hour to shoot the story. Her finished submission beat off stiff competition from the other three finalists and she will shortly take up a six month paid placement at the in-house Warehouse photography studio. Emily will also shoot the fashion design winner's collection in August, working with the Warehouse marketing team and to develop the creative concept for the shoot.

Emily is very happy to have won, saying: “Winning this competition is so exciting, it has given me a head start in such a tough industry. I am going to put all my effort into the internship and launching my career as a fashion photographer and stylist.”

Adrian Grandon, Fashion Design course leader said: “Emily's work is exciting on many levels. It has an air of contemporaneity as well as referencing vintage looks. She draws from a wardrobe of high end garments that are quirky but also timelessly fashionable. The work is stylish and very well composed and reflects a body of work that has developed at an excellent pace over her last year of study”.

Back to top