Rebecca Thomson of Manchester University’s School of Art was awarded the top prize at Graduate Fashion Week, June 6-10, held at Earls Court 2 in London. The River Island Gold Award, with a prize amount of £20,000, recognizes designers with an exceptional ability in design, cut and construction, as well as for their use of color and fabric.

“We have all agreed on the winner because of her good sense of proportions, the unusual and interesting combination of fabric and for the contemporary feeling of her collection. She proved to be a complete designer, with creativity and strong knowledge of tailoring. This is the strength of British colleges; they manage to teach their student to be complete,” said Italian designer Alberta Ferretti, one of five judges that included Dunhill’s Kim Jones, River Island’s womenswear design director Naomi Dominique, Elle editor Lorraine Candy, and GQ editor Dylan Jones.

Other big winners included Rhea Field from Northbrook College, who won for best womenswear, and Ravenbourne’s Thomas Crisp for menswear. This year’s Zandra Rhodes Catwalk Textiles Award was given to Anna Lee of De Montfort University, while the BHM Visionary Knitwear Award went to Ledina Zhang of Northumbria. The Hammerson Fashion Innovation Award was presented to Katie Burkes and Susie O’Brien of UCA Epsom. Kitty Keay from Colchester School of Art took home the Mulberry Accessories Award, while best textiles went to Natalie Murray, also of Northumbria.

Rounding the winners' list:

The Hachette Filipaachi Media and Design Award – Alice Barnes, Northumbria University

Lyle & Scott Strategic Marketing Award – Amy Quickfall, Northumbria University

Per Aquum Creative Marketing Award – Jessica Dance, Arts University at Bournemouth

Stand Design Award – Arts University College at Bournemouth by Ashley Banjo and Amelle Berrabah

Jon Adam Fashion Portfolio Award – Ellie Mountford, Arts University College at Bournemouth

“First Word” Journalism Award – Ellen Devall, Colchester School of Art