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Fashion graduate gets big break

Designer will show collection in Paris

Image for Fashion graduate gets big break

Toni Stott working on her collection

A Manchester School of Art graduate has been chosen by fashion giants to show her collection at the world’s most prestigious tradeshow in Paris this week.

Toni Stott who graduated from BA Fashion in June 2011, competed with graduates from over 50 fashion schools worldwide to win the opportunity.

She'll be exhibiting at the Who’s next/prêt a porter fashion show in Paris from the 21-24 January.

Toni (22) was chosen by a panel of 7 judges – including creative directors from Calvin Klein, Henri Lloyd and Tommy Hilfiger – to win the competition which aims to launch the careers of 10 designers.

Toni who is from Wythenshawe says: “I’ll get the chance to meet buyers from the big fashion houses and fashion journalists and get lots of publicity for the collection.

“It will also give me the chance to start my name as a brand and launch independently as well as learning about trade shows and learning more about orders and collections.

“There’s also a chance that someone might buy the collection, which would be fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it – it really is an amazing opportunity for me.”

X Factor

It’s not the first time Toni’s collection, which she first showed at last year’s Graduate Fashion Week, has attracted attention - the X Factor requested the collection for this year’s show and stylist Laury Smith emailed Toni saying that she loved it and wished they had had an opportunity to use the clothes on the show.

Toni adds: “I even had to email them and ask for it back because I had a job interview - but it was locked in Wembley arena for the final!”

The collection which Toni describes as ‘an off duty modern day ballerina look’ was also worn by critically acclaimed ensemble The Irrepressibles on their recent European tour and will be featured on their new album cover.

A visit to Platt Hall in Fallowfield to draw 17th century collars and cuffs provided the inspiration for the collection as well as the 1920s Ballet Russes, French impressionist Degas’ drawings of ballerinas and American sportswear.


”I was inspired by the detail in these pieces and the delicate fragile appeal that they had. My collection is really feminine in fine fabrics such as silks and chiffons and is very graceful,” explains Toni.

“I’ve always loved to draw and have been designing clothes since I was 13. My look is very feminine, delicate and pretty and I like to use lightweight fabrics to create movement.”

The competition was organized by design website Arts Thread who asked the 50 most prestigious international fashion schools to nominate one graduate.

Toni was chosen to represent Manchester Metropolitan University’s BA fashion course, lecturer Alison Welsh said:
‘Toni produced a stunning collection which combined garments made from very fragile transparent fabrics with elements taken masculine sportswear, her work is incredibly desirable and it looks fantastic on the catwalk.’

Big break

Katie Dominy at Arts Thread said: “We asked all the big international fashion colleges to nominate one student to go to the judging panel. The judges were looking for commerciality as well as creative new design. It’s an invaluable opportunity for a designer just starting out as all of the big international brands will be there - they won’t get a better chance to network.”

In May Toni will start an internship with London fashion brand Erdem which is sold in premiere stores, including Harvey Nichols and counts Kiera Knightley, Sienna Miller, Thandie Newton, Chloe Sevigny, Michelle Obama, Erin O’Connor and Claudia Schiffer as fans of the brand.

Published Monday, 16th January 2012 Bookmark and Share

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