A BUDDING fashion designer proved she was a cut above the rest at a recent national competition.
Joanne McGillvray, 23, from The Murray, was awarded Graduate of the Year prize at the Scottish Fashion Awards at a glittering ceremony at the Armadillo in Glasgow.
Due to finish her course at Heriot Watt University in Galashiels in a matter of weeks, Joanne hopes it is the start of promising career in the fashion world.
And as part of her prize, a dress she designed for the competition will go on sale in Marks and Spencer later this year.
She will also get the chance to complete an internship at the company’s design base in London in September.
Joanne told the News: “This was the first time I entered the competition and I was absolutely delighted to win.
“It was really unexpected though, as everyone who entered was great and the talent was really high.
“One of the lecturers at university asked us to put forward out graduate collection as part of the competition as it is our final year.”
Joanne described her style as classically feminine with a bit of an edge. And having previously worked with London-based designer Kimder Aggugini, she has drawn inspiration from high-profile designers in the industry.
She also admires the work of fellow Scot Christopher Kane, who is also a designer based in London, and describes him as a “great inspiration”.
“The category he won in the fashion awards was Designer of the Year in London and to see a fellow Scot being as successful as he is was a great inspiration,” said the former Claremont High pupil.
“Although winning the title caught me completely off guard it is a great platform for me to go to London and see how the internship goes.
“I am really excited about going down to London and because I previously spent five weeks doing an internship down there I already know my way about, so it won’t be quite as nerve-wracking.”
Although Joanne will spend the next few months feeling her way into the industry, she has big plans for the future and has set her sights in creating her own label.
“I would love to start up my own label and have catwalk shows.
“But I will see how things go with the internship and maybe contact other independent designers to see if they want to work with me or work with designers in a fashion company.”
And Joanne had plenty of support when she picked up the Graduate of the Year title at the Armadillo.
“My family are absolutely delighted and my mum was screaming when I won the award – I could hear her all the way from the stage,” Joanne added.
“I would love to show my graduate collection and maybe organise a charity show, which is something I am going to think about in the next couple of months.”