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Calling all young fashion designers! Fulham Road trader sets an evening dress challenge

Know your chiffon from your tulle? Dream of a future in the world of fashion?

That dream could become reality for one budding designer, aged 10-17, with the help of Fulham haute-couture designer Antonia Pugh-Thomas.

The high-end couturier – who has designed bespoke womenswear for the British and European aristocracy, diplomats and the Queen’s representatives – is on a talent search.

Antonia wants a young person to design a stunning evening dress that will be part of her Fulham Road shop window display in December, with the winner’s name on show for all to see.

Will the dress be structured or fluid, cut in panels or on the bias? Will it be made from satin, silk, beaded tulle, lace or velvet?

Whatever the design, Antonia has one overriding theme: “You need to create a design that is elegant, discreetly sexy and timeless: think about details that will set your dress apart from all the others.”

The entries will be judged on their style as well as their ability to be made into a wearable dress.

The winning young designer will not only have their creation made into reality by Antonia’s team, but will have chance to see the haute couture process first hand with a week’s work experience.

“It’s the first time we’ve done the competition and it’s partly inspired by a young girl who lives in my street and is always doing little sketches of dress designs,” explained Antonia. “There are a lot of children interested in what we do, and I think it will be quite a thrill for someone to see their winning design made up, especially as we are in such a prominent position opposite Fulham Police Station.”

And on top of that, the winning design will be auctioned via eBay at the end of December, with all proceeds donated to charity Glass Door, which provides shelter for homeless people living in west London.

“I worked for the homeless charity Crisis for eight years and have lived in London all my life, so I wanted the competition to give something back,” added Antonia.

To be in with a chance of starting a journey to becoming the next Elie Saab or Karl Lagerfeld, entrants must submit a hand drawn A4 size sketch of their design showing both the front view and the back by October 31.

A technical sketch of the design (front and back) showing the intended construction, together with a brief outline explaining the inspiration behind the design and how the 2D design will be fashioned into a 3D garment must also be included.

To find out more visit the ‘Design a Dress’ page on the Antonia Pugh-Thomas website.