Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two on the Fringe of a Triumph

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Two on the Fringe of a Triumph

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vicky Pepys

Vicky Pepys follows the Fashion Fringe finalists.

The national Fashion Fringe competition gains momentum this week.

Ten semi-finalists picked from hundreds of entrants will find out if they are one of the lucky four who will go on to hold their own catwalk show during London Fashion Week, and have the chance to win pounds 100,000 worth of support to start their own business.

Northumberland-born Andrew Jones and business partner Abdul Koroma are one of the 10 design duos and individual designers which make up the group of semi-finalists who epitomise the creative people the competition has been created for.

Fashion author Colin McDowell, the enigmatic Northumberland-born instigator of the competition, said: "It will appeal to and suit the designer who perhaps graduated a little while ago, who's in the business or wants to come back to the business, with the passion and drive to create their own thing."

Andrew, 30, from Cramlington, and Abdul, 28, originally from Sierra Leone, have done just that.

Their label, Modernist, has been created for the competition, now in its second year. They didn't enter last time, although they have both been keen observers of last year's winners, Basso & Brooke, especially as, like both Andrew and Abdul, they are ex-Kingston University students.

Andrew, a former Cragside First School and then Cramlington High School pupil, he did the two-year BTEc in fashion at Newcastle College before transferring to the BA (hons) fashion course at Kingston at the insistence of his tutors because of the quality of his portfolio.

He graduated in 1998, the year Abdul arrived at Kingston as a first year.

It was at an international fashion house in Bologna, Italy, where they met. Andrew, three years ahead, already had a position on the design team.

Fast forward a few years and their Fashion Fringe entry collection is called Domestic Bliss. A working from home look encompassing work and gardening wear with feminine smocks, aprons and dungarees. It is very feminine and witty with the emphasis on high fashion. …

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