Sponsored by Bolli Darling, the Showreel Design Competition concluded Brighton Fashion Week catwalks of 2015 this year.

Photo by Dawid Pietraszewski


Showreel was a chance for designers to put their artistic influence into their designs demonstrating how fashion and art collide. It was an amazing way to promote the importance of environmental awareness whilst also showcasing the creative, inventive and art inspired individuals.

This year the brief for our Showreel Design Competition was ‘Beauty from Waste’. This brief tested each designer to create a wearable piece of art out of recycled waste. The chosen finalists showcased their costume in a live choreographed show where three influential creatives judged each costume.

Our Showreel Design Competition was sponsored by Bolli Darling, known for her exceptional and flamboyant costumed entertainment. Brighton Fashion Week had hundreds of entries and selected the top 10 designers to take part as finalists in the Showreel Design Competition. This was a perfect fit for BFW as we wanted to bring light to the importance of sustainability and the environment through the brief of the competition.

Each designer interpreted the brief ‘Beauty from Waste’ differently, showing how diverse sustainable, eco-friendly fashion is! The winner of the Showreel Design Competition was Afton Ayache with ‘Les Couleurs d’Afrique’. The prize of the Showreel Design Competition was £1,000 awarded by Veolia. This was a fantastic reward for the winner, enabling Afton Ayache a stepping stone for starting up a new business and advancing in her design career.


In amongst the chaos of all of the catwalks, I managed to grab some of the designers and have a chat with them about the competition! Here is what they had to say…



Hayley Trezise

Photo by Malcolm Tam


Hayley Trezise goes under the name “Raggedy Rags”. She finds inspiration from textiles/textures within her work. Raggedy’s recent collection of luxury woman’s wear tests us to ‘…dress like nobody’s judging.’

BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 HT: I see beauty in waste all the time, especially when I’m creating unique garments from waste every week. It always inspires me and challenges me to make something beautiful from something that is quite far gone. In fact, sometimes the more far gone, the more it inspires me. The challenge to create beautiful things form waste is my creative mission and what I am doing all the time. I love it!

BFW: You have previously found inspiration from textiles, landscapes, textures and figures and forms around us. Has this played a part in this design for Showreel?

 HT: Rebirth is a symbol of rebirth from the Earth and the continuation of reincarnation. Things will always regrow, rebirth, reconstruct. The shapes I have used, the bubble effects and the curves are inspired from landscapes and textures in nature.  The elegant form I have used is inspired by woman's unique body, the curves and different shapes.

BFW: In your luxury women’s wear collection you want woman to "dress like nobody's judging". Has this also inspired your design for Showreel?

 HT: My slogan 'dress like nobody's judging' is my message throughout every garment I produce, so the design for my showreal does have this to. Although it is a statement piece, it is emphasized. It must be working because I have already had a commission from a lady to make a dress very similar.



Freya Von Bulow

Photo by Malcolm Tam


Freya von Bulow is an inspired Paper Couture designer who came from a textile background, but then studied Illustration at Brighton University and discovered her love for paper. Every gown she makes is unique and cannot be worn again due to the transient nature of the material.

BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 FVB: I first read Beauty & the Beast in the competition brief and had to laugh, as the management of waste is a bit of a beast that needs to be wrestled, and until now it hasn't been too successful. We are still creating mountains of waste that just get shipped out of sight and out of mind to other continents. Maybe beauty is the answer.

BFW: As a Paper Couture designer, how much flexibility did you have with the brief? 

FVB: I had already created a 14-piece Paper Couture collection for BFW's Showreel showcase last year, so it was easier finding inspiration for only one garment and paper leant itself perfectly as the ultimate recycled/recyclable product. This time I wanted to bring in other elements too for my statement, so I decided to combine wood & paper (source & product) as well as glass. Creating a one-off showpiece is really what I do, a piece of art more like a sculpture rather than fashion. I am not interested in mass production. Each of my creations only lasts the moment of glory it was created for and then gets destroyed or recycled. It can never be owned. It's a lot about letting go and creating new ... Not hanging on to 'material things' but cherishing the memory of that moment which stays forever ... And it is star sprinkled! The mind has more storage space than a wardrobe.

 BFW: You studied at Brighton University, how does it feel to be showcasing your piece for Showreel in Brighton? 

FVB: I studied illustration as part of Brighton University but was actually based in Hastings, which was the perfect creative background for me. Hastings has got a wealth of artists, musicians and things are really starting to heat up creatively over here now. I was lucky to have been there right when everything started gaining momentum, when the town suddenly turned around. There is a lot of artistic freedom and some fantastic collaborations are starting to evolve.  That's when I also somehow got involved in organising the FRONT ROW Fashion Show; a platform for innovative designers to show collections made from pre-loved customized, upcycled, recycled and vintage garments and materials. We collage fashion designers, performance artists, artistic performers, dancers and musicians all sourced locally into one big event at the iconic De la Warr Pavilion on 21st November themed 'Out of this World'.



Kumiko Tani

Photo by Malcolm Tam


Kumiko Tani is a graduate from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Kumiko is a re-cycle style director/costume designer. She has worked with many different theatre companies, where she has designed and made the outfits.

BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 KT: The fashion industry is the 3rd biggest industry after IT and Cars, and it is a big influence on everybody’s life. I love to make dresses with fabric from waste. Beauty influences people every day which can change people’s identity. If their identity changes in the way they approach how they choose their clothing, we can reduce waste. This is why I believe the fashion industry has to keep approaching in its own unique way!!

 BFW: You were originally born in Japan, do you gage any inspiration in your work form this?

KT: I was born and have grown up in Japan. My work has always been inspired by Japanese taste. I have also lived in the UK for 10 years and have visited many countries. Many different countries, culture, architect and art have inspired me. My work is a mixture of inspiration. That is my way.

BFW: Why Brighton Fashion Week?

 KT: Thankfully, they invited me to do a showcase at Brighton fashion week last year. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity at such a cultural place in Brighton. I really thank Lizzy, the director of Brighton Fashion Week for this opportunity.



Anne-Sophie Cochevelou


Photo by Malcolm Tam


Anne-Sophie is a French inspired fashion designer who graduated from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Performance Design and Practice. Her work generally explores the concept of wearable art and the performative aspect of costume.

 BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 ASC: For me "beauty from waste" is the essence of the artistic creation. The artist is the one that transforms the "shit" of the world to make it something beautiful. I was very inspired by the brief as I mainly use a lot of up cycling material, junk and reclaimed toys in my work.

BFW: Do you get inspired by French fashion?

 ASC: To be honest, I'm from Paris but I don't have at all the elegant minimalistic French style. I'm more attracted by bright colours, mismatch prints, shiny materials and over the top dresses. My work is definitely more inspired by the UK fashion!

BFW: What was the best thing about this competition whilst designing your costume?

 ASC: The best thing about this competition was to have a lot of freedom in the creative process and to have the opportunity to make it to the catwalk. It is like a dream becoming true!



Juliette Simon


Photo by Malcolm Tam


Juliette Simon is a designer who has created a brand exclusively for Showreel competition. She loves the idea that each piece of clothing tells someone’s story in life, therefore with the power of up-cycling and re-cycling materials it can tell a whole story.

BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 JS: When I first read the brief "beauty from waste", I was extremely excited as it is something that I personally find great amounts of inspiration from. The idea for my design actually came very naturally to me after reading those words. I immediately knew I wanted to portray something related to an unhealthy lifestyle and the waste it generates, while making my creation as beautiful as possible.

BFW: Where did you get your inspiration from for this design competition? 

 JS: My inspiration for the American waste theme came from Lana del Rey's music, which in my mind depicts the USA as a wasteland. The shape of the dress and the bare feet came to me from watching Fellini's La Dolce Vita for my Italian studies.

BFW: You love the idea that every object holds something of history and has been part of somebody's life. Did you incorporate this into your work for Showreel?

 JS: Absolutely! Most of the cigarette packets featured on the dress have been picked up from the street. Some of them I picked up while on my trip to Venice, others I have picked up in the UK but are actually from Spain or Poland. In this way, I believe that each of these packets have touched distinct lives and have participated in different people's stories. That is so exciting for me to involve in my work for Showreel.



Genieve Couture


Photo by Malcolm Tam


Genieve is an amazing designer, wife and mother of three who is currently studying BA Fashion Design at London College of Fashion.

 BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

 GC: Transformation is what first came to mind. Moving from one thing to another.

BFW: The competition is all about using initiative to up-cycle and recycle materials in order to create a costume. What appeals to you about this? 

 GC: I love having the opportunity to create Couture from waste.

BFW: What interests you about Brighton Fashion Week? 

 GC: I'm interested in BFW because it's all about sustainability and an opportunity to showcase my work.



Afton Ayache


Photo by Malcolm Tam


Afton Ayache was born in France and studied fashion in Paris and is a UK trained fashion designer who loves art and textiles.

BFW: The brief for the Showreel Design Competition is "Beauty From Waste", what first came to mind when you read this? 

AA: Drawing and designing textiles is something I enjoy doing. The beauty and uniqueness of African print using eco materials and unwanted clothing to promote poverty in Africa, really makes people aware that we do take our belongings for granted. Poor African children can reuse everyone’s belongings; this is what my garment will be representing. I went on from this, and gaged my inspiration.

 BFW: How important is sustainable fashion to you?

 AA: Sustainability is very important to keep a planet safe.Living sustainably is all about living within the means of what we have and showing less greed in the world. This also means using things accordingly. It will be better for everyone, humans as well as animals.If everything has to stop today, what will you wear tomorrow?

BFW: Why Brighton Fashion Week? 

 AA: Brighton fashion week is the place for ART & EXPRESSION! Showing what I do at BFW gives me a place to express my feelings in clothing. My clothes can talk about the city. BFW is becoming more popular in fashion surroundings and anybody not able to see these collections will miss out, it’s a great cause!



Introductory section featured a costume by show sponsor Bolli Darling.

Photo by Malcolm Tam



Well done to all of our contestants for providing us with an amazing Showreel Catwalk to end Brighton Fashion Week 2015!


Showreel Contestants

Elpida Hadiz-Vasileva / Gunna

Genieve Couture / Rags to Riches

Anne Sophie Cochevelou / Glorious Junk

Afton Ayache / Les Couleurs d’Afrique recycler

Hayley Trezise - Raggedy / Rebirth

Kumiko Tani / Evening Coffee

Boo Hodges / The Rain In Spain

Molly Rouge / Underneath Utopia

Freya von Bulow / Flow Of Nature

Juliette Simon / American Dream


A special well done to our winner of Showreel 2015, Afton Ayache!

Photo by Dawid Pietraszewski


Check out our video here:  Showreel Design Competition Video