BRIGHT FUTURE: Jennifer Healy, from Barnard Castle
BRIGHT FUTURE: Jennifer Healy, from Barnard Castle

AN ambitious student from Teesdale has been hailed as one of the world’s best graduating young fashion designers.

Jennifer Healy, originally from Barnard Castle, has been studying for a fashion degree at Manchester Metropolitan University. A womenswear collection, designed by the former Teesdale School pupil, was exhibited at the national Graduate Fashion Week in London earlier this week. It is an annual festival celebrating the work of the world’s best 1,000 graduating young fashion designers.

The 22-year-old described her unique work as “playful and kitsch” inspired by abstract art and 1960s fashion.

She said: “My design style is quite extravert and busy with clashing bright colours and prints mixed with frills and shape. The sixties will always be a huge inspiration for my work from the aspects of shape, materials and colour.”

She has developed her print onto a range of fabrics including coloured PVC jackets using self-adhesive vinyls.

Although Ms Healy has sold handmade earrings and bags online, she has no plans to sell her collection. However, she would love for it to be featured in future shoots.

Her ultimate ambition after graduating is to become a womenswear fashion designer.

She said: “I have loved fashion for as long as I can remember, saving up my pocket money to go to the charity shops as a child. After studying fine art and textiles at college I knew fashion was what I wanted to go into in the future.

“My ambition after graduating is to design womenswear for a high street company or start my own small label featuring unusual printed and kitsch pieces.”

Ms Healy has been shortlisted for a scholarship opportunity with Tu at Sainsbury’s. If successful she will work on the womenswear team.

In the meantime, she has collaborated in a project with BUNKA fashion school, in Thailand, as well as working with Miao embroiders, in the Guizhou region in China.

Senior lecturer at Manchester School of Art Louise Adkins added: “Jennifer is a very promising young designer whose work features bold, bright colours and dynamic prints. She has worked extremely hard this year.”