Following a successful showing at Graduate Fashion Week in June 2007, BA (Hons) Fashion Studies graduate Gemma Leakey from The Arts University Bournemouth has had three items from her collection selected by Selfridges in London to sell in their store.

Gemma’s collection, entitled ‘Discarded Beauty’, was shortlisted for the River Island Gold Award at GFW. Her contemporary collection incorporates an eco-friendly approach to fashion. The outfits that have been selected by Selfridges include a silk frilled blouse and shorts, a kimono coat and a little black dress. They will be available to buy in a special Graduate Fashion Week ‘Pop Up Shop’ which will open in store the first week in October.

Upon hearing the news, Gemma commented “This is a fantastic opportunity for me to get my designs noticed as it’s the market I’m ultimately aiming for in my career. The Fashion Studies course at the Arts University taught me all the basic skills I needed, before allowing my creative interpretation of design to flow into my collections. I had a great time on the course, and now look forward to my future career with great anticipation.”

Only 20 garments were selected for the ‘Pop Up Shop’ from the Gala Show at GFW, from a number of students collections across the UK, so it is a fantastic achievement for three of Gemma’s garments to be chosen as cutting-edge style ‘must-haves’. Gemma explained her unique eco-friendly design style commenting, “Prolonging the lifecycle of a garment or textile by re-using it forms the basis of my collection driven by the idea of restricted creativity. It is a recycled collection for a sophisticated market – both contemporary and fashionable.”

The BA (Hons) Fashion Studies course reflects the way in which the world of fashion has evolved to become a diverse and multi-faceted international business with the consumer at its centre. Graduates from the course are now working in many areas of the fashion industry both in the commercial and high fashion sectors. Their jobs span design, styling, promotion and marketing for a number of companies including Alice Temperley, Oasis, Arcadia Group, Animal Clothing and Fat Face.

John Hopkins Course Leader commented “This is a fantastic testament to the quality and wearability of Gemma’s designs. We are all delighted for her – it is a fabulous opportunity for Gemma to get her first real taste of industry, and a great start to what we are sure is going to be a successful career.”

Having graduated from the course, Gemma is now looking for work in the design industry working for cutting-edge designers, before starting up her own design label. Although with part of her collection ready to be snapped up by eager shoppers in Selfridges, it seems as though Gemma is already well on her way to a successful career in fashion.