By Sarita Rai
Fashion student Naomi Lobley received an unexpected gift for her 21st birthday as she scooped up the ‘Knitted Textile Designer of the Year’ award at the Clothes Show Live 2012.
Naomi, who is a final year BA fashion design student at De Montfort University, won the nationally recognised prize at the popular event held at the NEC Birmingham. Originally from Lytham St Annes, Lancanshire, she was amongst four other DMU students selected for the finals.
Her winning design was an electric, eluding and beautifully designed cream lace dress distinctively characterised with a knitted ‘snake’ scale pattern and a cropped jumper as the finishing touch.
Expressing her excitement, Naomi said: “It’s an amazing feeling to get recognition for your work, the publicity from winning will be really positive in getting my name known in the knitting industry”. She will be putting her £500 prize money towards her final collection, which she hopes will be presented at the Graduate Fashion Week.
Naomi’s winning design was inspired by Nanna van Blaaderen’s 2011 collection called ‘Species. A Tribute’. She grasped the concept of using various animal skin patterns and evolved them by using different materials to create the designs in knit. When asked which designers she looks up to for inspiration, Naomi revealed that she loves the work of Isabel Marant and Mark Fast.
The fashion student has always maintained a keen interest in sewing and knitting from a young age. She said: “It has always been something I wanted to pursue.” But this is not the first time the 21-year-old has been named as ‘Knitted Textile Designer of the Year’ at the Clothes Show Live.
However, she is currently torn between completing a Masters degree in textiles or knitwear or whether to focus on completing internships with different knitwear designers.