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Student Designer of the Year: Jenna Martin

Student Designer of the Year is an acclaimed award that recognises young talents who will make a difference to the future of bridal. We find out more for 2019 winner, Jenna Martin

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Jenna, you won the Bridal Buyer Award for Student Designer of the Year, tell us more about this?

Student Designer of the Year is a national student design competition for those studying fashion and textiles. The award is industry-sponsored and highly recognised. A brief was sent to universities across the country and my tutor at the University Centre Colchester received it.

I had been waiting all year for this and was so excited when my tutor finally passed it to me. To enter I had to submit a research board, technical drawings and a description and illustration of my design.

See the full list of 2019 Bridal Buyer Awards winners here.

Can you tell us more about your winning design?

The brief set was on the theme of Old Hollywood glamour and we had to create a silhouette that we could develop. I took inspiration from the silhouette of Grace Kelly’s wedding dress.

I felt it was a great opportunity to develop this style into a contemporary pair of palazzo pants which still accentuated the waist and hips. The embellishments on the bodice were all created and applied by hand.

Fashion designers and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the impact fashion has on the planet. I work uniquely, repurposing selected fabrics and trimmings from previously loved bridal gowns, so this was the ethos I applied to my competition entry.

After I submitted my proposal, I received a phone call from my tutor who was extremely pleased to inform me that my design was shortlisted. The next step then was to construct my design and have it displayed for judging.

How did you feel when you won the award?

I was thrilled to have won the award and overwhelmed by the positive response I received from all the attendees at the award ceremony. The feedback I received from the judges was truly inspiring and I was ecstatic to meet Ian Stuart who judged and presented my award.

Read More: Retailer Employee of the Year 2019: Danielle Wallace

Why do you think you won?

I think I won due to my innovative design pushing the traditional bridal boundaries - bringing something different to the table with sustainability using pre-loved fabrics and trimmings. I also think I won because of the strong silhouette that could flatter any model.

Why is this award important to you?

Winning this award has given me a lot of confidence as a fashion designer. The fact that my hard work has been judged and prized by industry professionals is a great experience. Receiving the award is pushing me forward with my work and has helped me follow my passion. It was also a fantastic way to finish my degree at University Centre Colchester.

Read More: Bridalwear Retailer of the Year: Wales - Laura May Bridal

How much influence do you think this award will have for you?

Winning this award has given me so much already. In fact, it has inspired me to develop my own label Betsy Mae Rose, designing and producing one-off sustainable wedding outfits.

What’s next for you?

I am currently collaborating with other industry professionals to create a styled high fashion shoot celebrating sustainability within the wedding industry, along with launching my own label in 2020.

The Harrogate Bridal Show dates for 2020 have already been set, so make sure you put them in the diary, 13 - 15 September 2020 at Harrogate Convention Centre.

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