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Budding Dagenham designer in finals of international fashion competition
Fashion student, Philomena Sarpong with her final design

Budding Dagenham designer in finals of international fashion competition

8 June 2015

Philomena Sarpong, studying Level 3 BTEC Diploma in Fashion & Textiles was recently a finalist at 'Liberate your style' fashion design competition co-hosted by The Liberty, Romford and M&S. The competition received global attention and provided a prestigious platform for a BDC student to showcase her work.

Barking & Dagenham College student Philomena Sarpong, 29, from Dagenham, reached the final of a prestigious fashion design competition which has attracted global attention.

Shortlisted amongst global entries

The competition, run by The Liberty Shopping Centre in Romford and iconic high street brand M&S, received a record number of entries this year, with designs flooding in from as far afield as Japan, America and Nigeria.

Entrants were asked to design an innovative women’s or menswear garment, based on their own interpretation of what ‘style’ means to them, and create a Pinterest mood board to outline their concept. 

Philomena joined the 21 other finalists at the shopping centre on Friday 29th May, to showcase their designs, which they have taken from the drawing board to the runway in an exclusive catwalk show.

Inspiration derived from from decorative arts & design museum

Philomena, who is studying design at the College, created a sophisticated and glamorous ivory and gold evening dress using beads and pearls. The inspiration for the piece came from ferns and feathers she had seen when she visited the fashion gallery at the V&A Museum. 

Being part of the final and seeing her dress on the catwalk was a memorable experience for both Philomena and her tutors.

Philomena commented:

“The competition was extremely tight but I'm really glad I participated. It took me a month to create the dress and my tutor Jo Price helped me immensely but it was a fantastic experience. In the future I would like to study an extended fashion course and work in the textile industry.”

Ana Guimaraes, Curriculum Director for Creative Digital & Service Industries at Barking & Dagenham College said:

“Reaching the final was a tremendous achievement and we are all so proud of Philomena. It was fantastic seeing her dress on the catwalk. She has clearly worked very hard on her design and her hard work has paid off.  She has lots of talent and we’re sure she will go far in her career.”

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