A big congratulations to Myrto Samou of UCA Rochester who won the fifth annual River Island Gold Award. Yesterday's Gala was a highly anticipated event with an array of fashion luminaries in attendance including models Claudia Schiffer, Erin O'Connor and designer Giles Deacon.
The Gold award, which is the most significant and prestigious prize for Graduate Fashion was greatly deserved by Mytro for her beautifully feminine, Grecian inspired, minimalist collection.
Praised for it's distinctive style, Richard Bradbury, CEO of River Island was brimming with enthusiasm for the winners' work, saying: “I thought it was a beautiful collection with a distinctive style. All the judges agreed that you would not be surprised to see this range on sale tomorrow. The quality, the attention to detail and the clarity of the focus of the collection made it hard to believe this was the work of a graduating student.”
The judges who included Lorraine Candy, editor of British Elle and fashion mogul Matthew Williamson all came the a unanimous decision that Mytro's designs were a cut above the rest embodying a certain quality parallel to that of an established designer. Mytro impressed the judges consistently enough to also walk away with the Womenswear award.
The Menswear award went to Mehmet Ali, who in describing the influences and direction of his collection won over the judges. Lorraine Candy described his design thesis as "very intelligent" and hailed him a great all rounder with a shining portfolio.
Other winners on the night included Charlotte Simpson who won the Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textile Award and the Fashion Innovation Award went to Nicola Morgan both graduates from Northumbria University.
The celebrities in attendance were endorsing some key trends for the season; Claudia Schiffer looked fantastic in a boyfriend blazer and nude top, Erin O'Connor and Dasha Zhukova wore statement prints, whilst Amber le Bon achieved 'Olde English' sophistication with brocade shoe boots and a tailored jacket.