London calling for Buchan fashion girl

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A BUCHAN fashion student is set for success after winning a coveted fashion award.

Gray’s School of Art student Ashley Duncan was delighted when she learned she’d won the UK wide David Nieper prize for her collection of women’s professional attire.

The 21-year-old’s five piece collection of confident prints and quality fabrics designed to flatter the over 50 female form impressed judges at the Derbyshire based clothing firm, and Ashley was awarded a £250 cash prize. More success was to follow when Ashley was shortlisted for the British Fur Trade Association’s (BFTA) national competition. The former Peterhead Academy pupil was one of just eight finalists invited to take part in a workshop led by designers in London. Ashley said: “I didn’t think I would get through but I was really chuffed when I found out I was one of the finalists. Although working with fur is quite controversial, I enjoyed learning new techniques from some top designers.”

A lifelong horse riding enthusiast, Ashley looks to the equestrian world for inspiration in her edgy and confident designs. Her degree project, ‘Mare Machines,’ looks to nineteenth century riding wear “twisted with an endurance riding influence.” “Gray’s has made me a lot more confident,” says Ashley, “I think my mum was a bit worried that I wanted to do Art at uni until she realised I was doing quite well.”

After graduating from RGU next summer, Ashley hopes to complete a postgraduate course in Pattern Cutting for the industry in London, although she doesn’t rule out becoming a fully fledged designer in the future. “I want to go to London,” she says, “work underneath somebody and learn more about how the industry works.”