Friday 21st June, 2013
Fash Factor day is finally here! Young wannabe fashion designers are taking over Covent Garden this morning, as over 100 fashionistas are queuing outside of Grazia Towers to pitch to our judges, including Roland Mouret, Peter Jensen, Liberty’s Head of Fashion Buying & Merchandising Stephen Ayres and, of course Grazia editor-in-Chief Jane Bruton and Fashion Director Susannah Frankel. And we've not even had our first coffee of the day yet...
Drumroll please... the doors at Grazia HQ are now OPEN! Let the judging commence...
Judge, Liberty’s Head of Fashion Buying & Merchandising Stephen Ayres, had a flick through Grazia before he starts he puts his serious judging cap on...
Grazia's editor Jane Bruton snapped this picture of the guys at the front of the queue who were the first to face the judges at 9am. Young jewellery designer Christina Rose Leon (above) travelled down from Glasgow last night to be in the Fash Factor queue. We caught up with her after her audition and she exclaimed: 'I'm so happy now! I was so, so nervous, but the judges were really lovely, and it was amazing to meet them.' She was so relaxed that she did a tap-dance for the judges!
Team Grazia is in the queue all day with our trusty BB10s in hand (obvs), bringing you pictures, updates and interviews with the queuers and judges... so stay right here for all things Fash Factor!
Fash Factor queueing essentials... blue fur, scrunchies and statement sunnies. Gemma Goldstone is so very fash-wan in the queue...
The judges are in their seats ready to find the next big fashion things. Spot the Diet Cokes at the ready - this is going to be one long judging session!
So how does the judging actually work? The Fash Factor judges are each compiling a yes, no and maybe pile for the entrants. But what if they can't reach a consensus? 'I'd definitely beat Susannah in a fight,' jokes Grazia Editor Jane Bruton, while Liberty's Stephen Ayres added: 'I'm definitely a lover, not a fighter.'
Fashion's bright young things waiting to show off their designs to the judges... good luck!
We chatted to the judges about why they wanted to get involved. Liberty's Stephen Ayres said: 'As a buyer for a dept store I am always looking for new talent. Being on the FashFactor judging panel is a great opportunity to hopefully find raw talent that we can nurture.'
This is the second Fash Factor and Jane explains why it is back for another year: 'We found some amazing new talent the first time around and we wanted to continue to build on that. Our readers love to know about the next hot new thing and new labels, so if we can be part of finding that at the very beginning then we can deliver that.'
We also chatted with Stephen Ayres and Peter Jensen about the camera function on the whizzy new BlackBerry Q10, as with Time Shift you can capture pictures perfectly. Photos ruined by closed eyes are a thing of the past!
Angela May Fairbank left Aberdare, Glamorgan at 1am in the morning to present a boho-vibe strapless maxidress featuring a Birds of Paradise-inspired print in jewel-like colours. And they do say of course that the early bird catches the worm: Angela's set her sights on raising the profile of her work via the power of celebrity: 'I'm really focusing on getting my collection out there' she enthused, 'Ash Morgan wore one of my designs on Britain's Got Talent last week and I'm really excited that Miss Great Britain will be wearing my collection too.'
Let us know your audition tactics on Twitter at @Grazia_Live...
Meet Oscar, our Fash Factor doggy model. He came along to help owner Alicia Weatherley showcase her Jojo & Jax scarves. 'I design for women who want to look stylish walking their dogs.' explains Alicia, 'I was living in Mexico and had to run an errand unexpectedly so tied a scarf around Oscar's neck and it all went from there: he looked so gorgeous and there was no-one out there doing it, so I decided to do it myself. I wanted to come along to get exposure for the label.'
Spare a thought for 18-year-old Rebecca, who travelled up from Bognor Regis at 3am to model for friend Joe Goode, 23. They started getting ready in a Kings Cross B&B at 5am. That's fashion dedication for you.
'It's really difficult to be a designer and so when I saw FashFactor I wanted to grab the opportunity with both hands,' said Joe as he waited to see the judges. 'I'm really excited about meeting Peter Jensen - I love the quirkiness and simplicity of his work. To me, he encapsulates what a good designer aims for - to be unique.'
Joe, who graduated in menswear from Northbrook in 2012, moved onto womenswear after being invited to create a collection by Brighton Fashion Week, has a clear idea of who he'd like to see wearing his collection: 'Jessie J. When I design I always have her in mind. Her style changes all the time and I think she's really unique.' We could see totally Jessie J wearing Joe's statement threads - someone get JJ on the phone!
Where would be without our sisters? Shara Johnson, 22, travelled down from Birmingham this morning - and sister Talisha came along to lend her support - wearing one of her sister's Liquorice Allsorts skater skirt. Natch! Wearing her own minty-fresh clashing print designs, Shara had really enjoyed her FashFactor experience: 'I was determined to get seen today so we stated at an aunts last night to get here at 7.45am,' she said. 'It was amazing to get to speak to the judging panel - I'd practised by presentation a million times and so I was happy with how it went.'
Focused on clashing colour and print in a sophisticated way, second year fashion student Shara is inspired by strong, sophisticated women: 'I'd love to see Nicole Schersinger, Lianne La Havas and India Arie wearing my designs. They have a natural beauty and a real boldness.'
Have we mentioned there's a queue? For those still waiting to see our judges, if you've got a BB10 why not read Grazia on the go? Yep, that's right, there is a super duper BlackBerry Grazia app and plenty of others to keep you going...
The judges are only here for 15 more minutes! Wowza didn't that go quickly? But those still outside Grazia HQ don't panic, our expert fashion team will carry on the judging.
Team Grazia are keeping spirits up in the queue. Like our tee shirts?!
FIERCE. Olivia Nataliie waiting to face the judges in her Taboka chic, structured designs - loving the grey overcoat.
We spotted Central Saint Martins' grad Cassandra Green, 23, with her model in the queue. Well, you couldn't miss it - we could totally see Lady Gaga rocking this multi-coloured shaggy top. She told us that this look is the easiest to wear of her collection, so the rest must be wild!
'I've only just graduated so Fash Factor is something totally new for me as I've not shown my work anywhere yet.' said the East Londoner. 'I LOVE Liberty and would love to be in their window. I've been creating showpieces but want to do ready-to-wear too, to it'd be great to get a sense of how to progress my career further from the judging panel.'
Fash Factor hopeful Tarang Bharti has the model girlfriend! Other than his girlfriend, 24-year-old Aurelija Ivinskyte, LCF graduate Tarang Bharti - also 24 - would love to see Dutch model Milou Van Groesen wearing his collection: 'She's androgynous, but still definitely feminine, and I think she'd look amazing in my collection.' he explained; 'I graduated two years ago and Fash Factor was a great opportunity to get exposure to Grazia and Liberty, plus I'm really looking forward to meeting Peter Jensen. I really like his work.'
Here's a lady who's a pro at running in heels. Milliner Katherine Ferdinand pegged it to Grazia HQ in her lunch break to get her audience with the Fash Factor judges. She doesn't look like she even broke a sweat!
North London girl Liane La Touche, 23, has a name that is surely destined to be in fashion, and she's focused on making it. She roped cousin Sharna Reid into modelling her lipstick red dress and coat combo inspired by the city's iconic architecture. 'I'm a new designer and wanted to come to Fash Factor to get a sense of where I could go next.' she explained. 'My designs are designed for any woman who's willing to try something new - I'd love to see Shingai Shoniwa wearing this look!'
Karolina Adamowicz at Fash Factor
Watch our interview with Karolina above...
The judges are deliberating as we type on the Fash Factor shortlist. There have been no major spats to report of just yet...
Valerie Smith has worked in fashion for over 40 years, before moving into millinery in the last few months. She left Wigan at 5am this morning in order to show off her quirky, knitted hat to the Fash Factor judges. 'I trained in fashion and have worked all over,' she laughed, ' menswear, womenswear, even costume design. But in the last few months I started making hats and have realised that's really where my passion lies. I wanted to come along to Fash Factor as it's so important to get into magazine and, well, it's Grazia isn't it?!'
A close up of the corset weaved out of Grazia Mag!
Milliner Rebecca Morton has been designing hats for three years (we loved the vintage vibe of her model's outfit), and was very clear about what she wanted most from the day: 'Meeting the judges is definitely what I'm really looking forward to,' she said, 'but mostly, I simply would love to be involved in Liberty - I love what they do with British designers.'
Team Grazia captured every moment of Fash Factor while on the move today thanks to our snazzy BB10s - they really DO help you keep on the move!
A recent graduate of University of South wales in Newport, 28-year-old Siddra Ahmed brought along a richly-embellished outfit which caught the eye of the fash pack including Hilary Alexander at Graduate Fashion Week last week. 'This was the look which got the most attention: I designed the jewellery on the tablet and got it produced in India by a friend as I think it really adds elegance to a woman's outfit.' said Siddra, clearly enthused by the Fash Factor process, 'I'm really happy I came: pitching to proper judges meant I got really valuable feedback and it has really boosted my confidence. I'm really excited about establishing my label, Siddra.'
So that's Fash Factor all done for another year! We've seen over 80 of your fabulous creations and the judges are now deliberating over the final decision. The winner will be announced shortly on Grazia Daily.