BA (Hons) Fashion Design student Gracie Clarke has won a four-week work placement at Morgan and Fenwick Bespoke British Tailoring.
Second-year students competed for the internship by responding to a live brief set by Morgan and Fenwick during their second-year tailoring module. Samantha Fenwick, BA (Hons) Fashion Design alumni, and Director and co-owner of Morgan and Fenwick, set the brief and judged the competition.
The second-year students were each asked to send in styled photos of their final tailoring module garments, along with a short-written piece about the concept of their design, what they liked about the tailoring module and what they hoped to learn at Morgan & Fenwick if they are selected as a winner.
Samantha then came to Leeds Arts University to interview the three shortlisted finalists: Amelia Connor, Gracie Clarke and Heather Sprowson.
Samantha says of the competition: “It was lovely to see you today and meet the finalists again, it is a pleasure to run this little competition and see the amazing standards of work coming from Leeds Arts Uni every year. I would like to thank all of the students who took the time to write about their garments and send it over to me. It was a delight to hear so many of them are enjoying learning more about the tailoring industry and the traditional techniques involved.”
It was hard for Samantha to pick just one winner, saying, “It was very difficult for me to select a winner today, after speaking with Heather, Gracie and Amelia, all three entries we very different to one another and all very impressive in their own way.
However, I have decided to offer the placement to Gracie, I can see how much passion she has about tailoring and I was very impressed with the amount of effort she had put into creating her garment.”
Gracie was thrilled to be selected as the overall winner, telling us, “I felt so honoured to have won the competition! I really wanted to push myself in this module and in my jacket, it was a long process but I really enjoyed every step - even if the pattern matching was making me dizzy haha!"
Image: Gracie Clarke
"Looking at my jacket I am very proud of what I have achieved and being part of this competition was so fun. Not to mention the support of all my teachers and having such a talented class, my classmates really helped to inspire me along the way all of our jackets were so unique it was so lovely to see."
When asked about the concept for her winning garment, Gracie told us: “My concept was really inspired by music and culture that I grew up with. Coming from a single parent household me and my mum have always been really close and she always played Northern Soul and Ska records ever since I can remember. The first time I watched This is England I was instantly drawn to the clothes, the skinhead subculture inspired me to create the detachable braces that go on this jacket. Not to mention the tartan fabric had a strong punk Vivienne Westwood influence - sourced from a local company in Leeds called Marton Mills.”
Image: Gracie Clarke
She is keen to learn more about tailoring during her upcoming internship at Morgan Fenwick, saying: “I really appreciate this opportunity and I am so excited and eager to learn more about tailoring. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in this competition and I hope to inspire other students like myself.”
Whilst working with Morgan and Fenwick Gracie will get the chance to have her garment remade using M&F fabrics and have her garments shot with a professional photographer – a dream come true for an aspiring designer!