The Professional Clothing Awards international student design competition, PCA Vision has announced its winners for 2018, with Summer Gill from Bedford College named the overall winner for her versatile outfit created for airport ground staff.
The annual PCA Vision competition challenges fashion students to be inspired to design innovative, stylish and functional workwear, while also utilising cutting-edge fabrications and textiles used across the professional clothing industry.
In previous years the PCA Vision has only be open to fashion students in the UK, however, this year the competition, which grants the overall winner 1,000 pounds and a work placement, was opened up to students from participating universities and colleges across Europe for the first ever pan-European contest.
This year’s brief challenged the students to develop unique designs that not only helped to meet the needs of the workers but also enhanced their ability to perform the job as well, with the shortlisted students taking on the uniforms for airport ground staff, prison officers, McDonalds workers, fire fighters, paediatric nurses, engineers, plumbers, personal trainers, mechanics, and lifeguards.
Overall winner, Gill said after her win: “I was completely surprised, I never thought I would win, but it is so lovely to have my design recognised, I really enjoy participating in the competition.”
Judges, which included representatives from Vivienne Westwood, Gerber Technology and Textilberatung Hamburg, said in a press release that Gill had demonstrated “creativity, versatility, professionalism and technical understanding of the job requirements” in her innovative design, which included multiple ways to wear through a creative zip design that meant the jacket could remove its arms and the trousers could be turned into shorts.
Explaining the inspiration behind her versatile airport personnel uniform, Gill added: “I was inspired by streetwear fashion and wanted to create a garment that was both practical for work and fashionable enough to wear off the job.
“The detailed shapes on both my outer jacket and trousers were inspired by airport runway markings, a direct link to my chosen job of airport ground staff.”
As overall winner, Gill received 1,000 pounds and will undertake a work placement of up to six-months.
Bedford College student Summer Gill wins PCA Vision 2018 overall prize
The other major winner of the night included Thomas Davidson from the Manchester Fashion Institute, who was awarded with the Durable Design Award by title sponsor Cordura for his “cutting-edge workwear” denim design, which the brand stated was “creative, commercial and practical for professional tradesman”.
Davidson, who was inspired by his Dad’s job as a plumber, created a denim boiler suit, which featured various pockets to make retrieving tools easier when on a job.
“I decided to take on the PCA Vision brief to challenge myself within my design work to create garments with a functional purpose,” explained Davidson after his win. “Being a denim-head and using the theme of ‘vintage versus modern workwear’, I was ecstatic to find out that Cordura brand had created a denim specially for workwear purposes, which is utilised in my design.”
As winner of the Durable Design Award, Davidson was awarded a cash prize of 1,000 pounds.
Cindy McNaull, global Cordura brand and marketing director, said in a statement: “Through student design competitions, we often discover that it’s the students who teach us the most, giving us the opportunity to see our technologies come to life in new and innovative ways because of their unique and fresh perspectives.
“We know how important it is to not only believe in the future, but to invest in it as well, by inspiring the next generation of designers who are committed to helping workers Live Durable.”
International student Filipe Santana of the University of Lisbon, Portugal, was also one of the winners of the night, taking home the YKK Award, granted to a student whose design used YKK zips in the most innovative and imaginative way. His design was created to be worn by sports coaches or personal trainers in a health club chain with functionality and versatility for employee roles both indoors and outdoors.
Commenting on his win, Santana said: “I was not expecting to even be one of the finalists, I entered to test my own design capabilities, so I was shocked and honoured to win this award.”
The final award Best Design Award (University) was presented to Manchester Fashion Institute, who had two finalists, and one winner in Davidson. The award, sponsored by Gerber Technology presented the university with 500 pounds for having the ‘best overall design submissions meeting’ the contest criteria.
This year’s participating UK schools included London College of Fashion, Manchester Fashion Institute, De Montfort University, Bedford College, University of Northampton, and Brighton University, alongside international schools, Letterkenny Inst. of Technology from Ireland, Hochschule Niederrhein - University of Applied Sciences in Germany, Faculdade de Arquitetura da Universidade de Lisboa in Portugal, and ESMOD International and L'Académie Internationale de Coupe de Paris from France.
Stay tuned next week as FashionUnited has exclusive interviews with emerging fashion designers and PCA Vision 2018 winners Summer Gill and Thomas Davidson.
Images: courtesy of PCA Vision 2018