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Designer Jessica storms to the top

PUBLISHED: 11:00 26 June 2008 | UPDATED: 10:17 12 August 2010

Gala Graduate Show 2008
Graduate Fashion Week
Copyright Catwalking.com
'One Time Only' Publication

Gala Graduate Show 2008 Graduate Fashion Week Copyright Catwalking.com 'One Time Only' Publication

CATWALKING.COM

A FASHION student has dazzled judges at a top industry event, scooping two awards and a £20,000 prize. Jessica Au, who studies at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, in Chislehurst, was handed the prestigious The River Island Gold Award, a

A FASHION student has dazzled judges at a top industry event, scooping two awards and a £20,000 prize.

Jessica Au, who studies at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, in Chislehurst, was handed the prestigious The River Island Gold Award, at Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) by a judging panel which included supermodel Claudia Schiffer and haute couture designer Julien Macdonald.

Hosted by fashion expert Caryn Franklin, this year's GFW Gala show had support from a glittering array of fashion luminaries, including model of the year Agyness Deyn, How to Look Good Naked presenter Gok Wan and designer and president of GFW, Jeff Banks.

Miss Au said she was still reeling from the surprise of winning the top award at Earls Court on June 11. "It is such a huge honour to even be asked to show your work at GFW," she said. "I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do with the prize money but it puts me in a fantastic position. I'm considering doing an MA and lots more work experience. But for the time being I'm going to take time out for some relaxation."

As part of her prize, she can now call on a mentoring panel made up of industry moguls for advice on how to get her name known in the notoriously competitive world of fashion.

Judge and editor of Elle magazine, Lorraine Candy, said: "We felt Jessica's work was original and refreshing, especially for menswear design"

As well as picking up the top award, Miss Au won the Catwalk Textiles Award after impressing judge and fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. Ms Rhodes said: "Jessica's collection was dramatic and totally wearable."

Chief executive of high street fashion chain River Island, Richard Bradbury, called Miss Au's collection inspirational. He said: "It was fresh and energetic and gave us a great new direction for menswear.

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