Isabelle Pennington-Edmead, who studied Art Foundation at Priestley College, has received one of this year’s Alexander McQueen Sarabande foundation scholarships.
“I feel thrilled and still in shock at the amazing opportunity I have been given,” said Isabelle, who is from Stretton.
Isabelle studied A-Levels in Fine Art, History and Textiles before completing an Art Foundation course at Priestley College.
After receiving unconditional offers from all of her university choices the former Bridgewater High School pupil decided to study BA hons Fashion at Nottingham Trent.
Priestley Tutor Christina Tyler said: “This opportunity is well deserved not only for Isabelle’s creative merits, but also because she continually worked hard and supported others and the college.
“She really embodied the Art Foundation ethos and it seems right that many doors are now opening for her.”
To secure her scholarship Isabelle met designer Todd Lynn – who counts Bono, Beyonce and Mick Jagger among his many world-famous clients – to discuss her portfolio and aspirations.
As the appointment was within the first few weeks of her degree she used work from her Priestley portfolio in her interview.
“I was really nervous and didn't think it had gone that well, but it obviously had,” said Isabelle.
“I was told by my tutors they picked me because they knew Lee would have chosen me. I can’t think of anything more flattering.”
Sarabande ensures the creative talent of gifted students can flourish regardless of financial status.
With the guidance of its patrons and industry professionals, it offers scholarships to creatives studying at Graduate level.
These include complete bursaries for both fees and subsistence and access to experts from creative industries as well as Sarabande patrons who include supermodel Naomi Campbell and film director Sam Taylor-Johnson.
After they have completed their course, scholars are also offered a studio space at Sarabande HQ to continue their work and relationship with creatives.
“The Sarabande studios offer stability to students and provide a place for artists from many different creative arts to work together,” says the company’s website.
“Lee witnessed the frustrations that can arise from being pigeon-holed even within the arts, where a dedication to a particular discipline such as fashion or sculpting can mean that only certain materials or techniques are available for experimentation.
“Kingsland Wharves is a space where the philosophy of Sarabande takes physical form – where students can experiment across the arts, develop their approaches to creativity and access a wide variety of influences.”
Lee Alexander McQueen CBE was a fashion designer and couturier who founded his own award-winning label after graduating from the MA course at Central St Martins where his final collection was bought in its entirety by Isabella Blow. During his career he also worked as Creative Director at Givenchy.
While on Savile Row, McQueen’s clients included Mikhail Gorbachev and Prince Charles.
Named after McQueen’s 2007 Spring/Summer collection, the Sarabande Foundation was established because Lee passionately believed young creative minds should be given the same opportunities he’d enjoyed.
Among the pieces Isabelle produced at Priestley College was a dress made from tampons, which she used to highlight the injustice she felt surrounded the tax that existed on these sanitary items.
“I want to use fashion as a medium to highlight the political and socio-economic issues that I believe in,” said Isabelle.