Graduate Spotlight: Rebecca Thomson
This is the last in my dedicated 'Graduate Spotlight' posts, though don't think that's the last you'll see of this years' graduates on my blog, as they'll be popping up sans interviews in the future for sure.
For the last post in celebration of Graduate Fashion Week, I thought it would be rather fitting to include an interview with the winner of the Gold Award at GFW, the lovely Rebecca Thomson of Manchester Metropolitan University.
When I heard that a Manchester student had won the Gold Award at Graduate Fashion Week, I instantly thought of Rebecca Thomson hoping it was her as I loved her collection and Rankin image.
I caught up with Rebecca the morning after her win for a chat about Manchester, her Jewish roots and her favourite designers....
Let's start simple, tell us a little bit about yourself...
I'm from Southport and I'm 22. I just decided that I wanted to be in fashion about a year before starting the course at Manchester. Before that I always had an interest in fashion, but it was more of a dream, like wanting to be a popstar! But in reality it's a really accessible job.
What was the inspiration for your collection?
I had a chat with my Nanna and she talked about our relatives who were Jewish and from Eastern Europe. I began to research into the culture and more specifically into an illustrator called Arthur Rackham who's work is cheerful, bright and fantastical but with dark undertones and a light colour palette.
Did you ever imagine you would win the GFW Gold prize?
Never. I got nominated on Tuesday, I was so ecstatic about that! Then I got shortlisted to be interviewed by the panel of judges including the CEO of River Island so I was just so honoured to be able to do that. When they were announcing the winner, I had all my stuff ready to leave, trying to find my mum! Then they called my name and I got up on stage, there was no time to be nervous, I just enjoyed it all.
Did you enjoy studying and Manchester Metropolitan University and would you recommend it to others?
Definitely, I wouldn't have won without them. They let you excel in whatever you want and encourage you to make as much of your collection as you can. It taught me to design, draw and make clothes, it has made me a very rounded designer.
If you could work for any designer, who would it be?
I have two favourites, Betty Jackson and Nicolas Ghesquière, head designer for Balenciaga. My design level is somewhere between the two of them, it's aimed at the classy, older woman but with fun elements for younger consumers too.
How would you describe your personal style?
By day I would say casual, comfortable, classic pieces and very simple. I always wear flats during the day. At night, I love to dress up and feel special. Comfort is the key to style, when you feel good it's reflected in your confidence. This is shown in my collection with tailored shirts, comfortable fabrics as well as unwearable crinolin jackets.
Who would you most like to see wearing your clothes?
I would love to see lots of people wearing my clothes! I love Beyonce, I think she embodies the person I'd like to see wearing my clothes, an independent woman who is comfortable in their own skin.
Where is your favourite place in the World?
Ibiza, it's such a beautiful island with a great chill out vibe. I love just pottering around the beaches and finding different restaurants.
What is the best way to relax after finishing a collection?
Going holiday, I love to travel. I've got a holiday to Egypt booked in a couple of weeks, I can't wait. Also going home, I get to go home soon and see all my family and friends which I'm really looking forward to, it's nice to focus on something else.
Where is your favourite place in Manchester?
My favourite restaurant is Albert's Shed in Castlefield, I try to find local and interesting places. I love The Art of Tea for a cuppa. I'm not really an Oldham Street girl, but it's a great place to go for magazines. I'm a Topshop girl at heart really, the one in The Arndale is really good.
To contact Rebecca, email her on email@example.com