Manchester Metropolitan University

Wednesday, 3rd June 2015

Hannah wins top prize at Graduate Fashion Week

Two School of Art students take home awards

Hannah Wallace, who won the top prize at this year's Graduate Fashion Week

MANCHESTER School of Art student Hannah Wallace has won the country’s biggest graduate fashion prize. 

Hannah won the £10,000 Gold Award, sponsored by George, at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week, the annual showcase of the country’s best up-and-coming fashion designers.

See work from Hannah’s collection

Hannah said: “I can’t believe it – I’m still in shock! There were lots of tears.”

The collection draws on ideas of rioters and astronauts to create garments that she describes as combining “subculture, science and engineering”.

Huge difference

Hannah is now hoping to start up her own sportswear label and has had approaches from Nike and the Royal College of Art.

“It will make a huge difference – there are so many opportunities and open doors right now – I’ve just got to go and take what I can,” she said.

Hannah also won the Creative Catwalk Award. She started out creating clothes for herself before deciding to follow the path of studying for a fashion degree.

She said: “I chose to study fashion as I have always altered and customised my own clothes. I decided to take a short course in fashion alongside studying for my A levels and it was then that I realised how much I enjoyed sewing and illustrating my creations.”

Experimenting and innovating

Hannah thanked her tutor Robin Kerr for “encouraging me to experiment”, and the technicians who helped her throughout the creation of her final collection.

Another winner from the University was Hannah Sykes, who took home the award for Innovation.

“I couldn’t believe it, I wasn’t expecting anything!” she said. “The judges told me they loved the way that they could see the concept and story all the way through the designs.”

She was sponsored by Oliver Dredge at creative paints and inks company SFXC, who provided the colour-changing dyes Hannah used to give her garments the incredible “rain-changing” effect that impressed the judges.

Truly outstanding

Joe McCullagh, Head of Design, said: “Many congratulations to the two Hannahs! I am absolutely delighted for them and this success for our students. The work is truly outstanding, highly creative, highly crafted, out there and has the design attitude we have come to know from our students here in the school.

“Importantly, at this stage of their early careers with the acknowledgement of such world-renowned awards from Graduate Fashion Week I would also like to say the work is world class.

“Big thanks to all staff in the art school, too, who have continually supported our students on their creative journeys. I know that this generation of talented students will go on to further great things.”

Notes to editors

For more information, hi-res images or to speak to either of the winning students, contact Kat Dibbits in the Manchester Metropolitan University press office on 0161 247 5278 or email

Manchester Metropolitan University is one of the most extensive higher education centres in Europe with 37,000 students and more than 1,000 undergraduate, postgraduate and professional courses. The University educates and trains large numbers of legal and business professionals, scientists, engineers, teachers, health workers and creative professionals.

The University is in the top three nationally for environmental sustainability and has an 85% research impact rated world-leading and internationally excellent.

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