Top national design prize for Kent student

A student on the University’s BA (Hons) Fashion course, a School of Music and Fine Art franchised course delivered at the Tonbridge campus of West Kent College, has won a top national design prize.

Cripa Yangkhrung won the Hainsworth Statement Award, worth £1,000, at the prestigious New Designers expo in London with her handmade fashion collection inspired by nature and its elements, Earthen Solidity, chosen from amongst the thousands on show.

Cripa said: ‘I never dreamed I’d be selected – and am beyond happy and honoured. I’ve always worked really hard and now feel this has paid off. I hope the fact they picked me offers inspiration to subsequent students.’

The award is for the most creative and innovative used of a cloth or fabric in a finished product, demonstrating a flair for fresh new ideas. In addition to the prize, the winner is invited to visit the prestigious Hainsworth Mill, whose cloth is used for the ceremonial uniforms worn by the Royal Family during state occasions and the military uniforms worn during the Charge of the Light Brigade.

The judges cited imagination, innovation, versatility, and good use of fabrics as reasons for selection, saying: ‘Cripa’s work shows excellent vision and concept, complimented with exceptional attention to detail and craftsmanship, resulting in a capsule collection that speaks of a longevity within the fashion industry and a bright and exciting future.’

Her collection consists of androgynous garments created by free-form pattern-cutting. Using locally-sourced wool fabrics with buttons she made out of wood, the collection promotes and supports a sustainable fashion industry.

SMFA Lecturer and Partner College Liaison Officer Tim Meacham said: ‘This is a huge achievement and a testament to the students, and the quality of teaching staff.’