Harrods to the High Street for Fashion graduate

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Fashion giant Warehouse snap up fashion starlet Shivani Chavda

AN award-winning Leicester Fashion graduate will see her colourful designs sold in stores across the UK this autumn after winning a national design competition.

Shivani Chavda, a graduate from De Montfort University (DMU) fashion school, will see her designs sold exclusively by high-street fashion giant Warehouse after winning the competition.

For the third year in a row, Warehouse has teamed up with the British Fashion Council to search for hot new talent in the fashion industry with their UK-wide competition.

And this year Shivani scooped the top prize after wowing a panel of industry judges with her eye-catching tropical collection, which will also be showcased this week at London Fashion Week.

Shivani, from Harrow, London, now has pieces from her graduate collection In My Wildest Dreams featured in Harrods and the shop window of Warehouse’s flagship store on Argyll Street in London, and they will be sold exclusively in selected Warehouse stores nationwide.

Her debut collection features brightly coloured animal and watercolour print designs, including silk chiffon maxi dresses, palazzo pants, shift dresses, side split skirts and crop tops.

The 23-year-old, who graduated BA (Hons) Fashion Design at DMU in Leicester this summer, said: “To me fashion is wearable art and I base my designs around this. I took my love of all things ‘unordinary’ and created hand-illustrated prints of exotic creatures in a dream-like fashion.

“I wanted my designs to transform humans into fantastical creatures that are not always what they seem. Animals are wild, free, powerful, and yet graceful and fluid in the way they move. By combining vibrant colours and bold prints with elongated silhouettes and fabrics with fluidity, I captured those attributes in my collection.”

After winning the competition, Shivani joined Warehouse for a six-month placement where she was involved with the full journey of the collection development, from the initial design process, right through to the production and marketing launch.

She added: “It’s been an amazing learning experience being involved in all aspects of the development process, from designing the garments and researching locations to shoot photos of my collection, to mocking up my own window display. It still all seems a bit surreal the moment, but I am incredibly excited about seeing the final products in store.”

This follows a successful year for Shivani who was also named Young Designer of the Year at the 2010 Clothes Show Live.

Her designs were also a close runner-up for the Zandra Rhodes Textiles Award at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.

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