A collection called "White Irises" brought victory to Yelena Venediktova of Omsk at the Russian finals of the Smirnoff International Fashion Awards 2001. Now she will represent Russia at the international finals to be held in Toronto this November.
"I'll try hard to win in Toronto," Venediktova said, "because it's difficult to imagine anything a young fashion designer could want more than a scholarship to the famous St. Martin's College of Art & Design in London."
Forty-three students of design schools from 13 cities in Russia took part in the event, which was held in the concert hall of the business center at Prospekt Mira on Oct. 18. They presented a total of 38 collections before a jury made up of designers Andrei Sharov and Igor Chapurin and Vice President of the Russian High Fashion Association Natalia Zhuravlyova.
Eager to get a ticket to Toronto, the young designers spared no effort in demonstrating their inventiveness and skills. Some were apparently inspired by Jean-Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen, particularly the one who presented enormously appealing men's underpants consisting of nothing but flower-shaped spangles.
The Smirnoff International Fashion Awards were founded in Great Britain in 1984. Since then it has been the only international competition offering designer students an opportunity to express themselves and to win the prize, which is a $75,000 scholarship at the St. Martin's College of Art & Design in London.