Jett flying high with fashion design prize

ONE of Scotland's rising fashion stars will soon have her collection hanging on the rails at Marks & Spencer stores across the country after she picked up a top design award.

Jett Sweeney won Fashion Graduate of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards this week for her sleek contemporary evening wear.

The 22-year-old, from Musselburgh, will now join the British retail giant's top design team in London to put the finishing touches to her cocktail dress, which will hit the shelves next Christmas.

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Jett said she was going to "shake up" the traditional M&S collections.

The Edinburgh College of Art graduate said: "We've always been encouraged to follow contemporary work and focus on designs that you could imagine actually getting on to the shelves.

"But at the same time I've been inspired by body modification, scarification – on the clothes, not on people – and clothes that enhance femininity.

"My style in particular would have to be dresses, using high-end materials. For the awards I designed a black 100 per cent silk cocktail dress with metal rivets for detail."

Jett said that far from looking to avant-garde fashionistas like Lady Gaga and mad-cap designers like Vivienne Westwood, she has been inspired by newcomer Mark Fast.

She said: "I admire him because of his very contemporary design and the way he has used plus-sized models recently caused quite a stir.

"He makes these very feminine shapes and has become instantly recognisable."

She added: "Perhaps I will shake things up a bit down there, but at the same time we'll be working on tweaking my design to fit in with the M&S winter evening wear for next Christmas.

"I don't know if the design will have my name or picture above it like some of the other M&S designers, but I'd just be happy to walk into a store and know that is my dress hanging on the rails."

Dominic Fry, director of communications at M&S, said that Jett had impressed the judges while making a dress that a traditional retailer could sell.

He said: "The dress Jett has created really captures the fashion-forward nature of the Scottish Fashion Awards, whilst being a commercially viable product for M&S. We're looking forward to Jett joining the team in London and are excited at the prospect of her design being available to our customers."

Tessa Hartmann, chair and founder of the Scottish Fashion Awards, added that Jett's design was "bang on".

She said: "There was, I felt, one clear winner who grasped the brief totally. In fact, it was an asset to the existing collection and something that I would wear in a second and feel fabulous in."