LIFT graduate selected once again to showcase at London GFW
Friday, 20 June 2014 00:00
Yet again, a graduate of the Lanka Institute of Fashion Technology (LIFT) has brought pride to the country by being a participant at the prestigious London Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) 2014, one of the world’s most prominent events for fashion graduates.
Proving the prowess of Sri Lankan students, Ridma Samaranayake was selected for the group of 17 finalists – out of 55 students – who showcased their work at GFW representing the Northampton University. This is the second time where a LIFT graduate was able to score such a remarkable achievement, since 2009 when the designs of Nilupul Malinga, also a graduate of LIFT, were featured in GFW.
The London Graduate Fashion Week brings together best fashion graduates from the most influential and inspiring universities to display their designs. It represents the future of creative design talent and bridges the gap between graduation and employment, since many career opportunities await fashion graduates who participate at this international event.
The second Sri Lankan student to participate in GFW, Ridma graduated from LIFT in 2008 after the successful completion of the two and a half year Advanced Diploma in Fashion Design. She then rejoined LIFT to be employed as a Trainee where she had the opportunity of broadening her knowledge on the industry practices. Ridma then opted to complete her Honours Degree in Fashion in the UK, where she was granted direct admission to the final year of a three year course at the University of Northampton in the UK, on the basis of completing the Advanced Diploma at LIFT.
Commenting on the challenging yet valuable experience, Ridma Samaranayake said, “It was quite challenging to adjust to new culture, weather and people. But with time I got accustomed to the new environment. Throughout this whole new experience I gained a vast knowledge of design development, professional presentations and understood my potentials. I managed to enhance my skills, especially in pattern cutting, design development and other design elements. We also got the opportunity of working with well-known designers such as Lee Cook and Leigh Cousins.”
She further added, “Graduate Fashion Week is a dream for all fashion students as it is the world’s biggest fashion event for such graduates. I was lucky enough to be one of the 17 students who got selected out of 55 students in my batch. It was one of the best moments in my life, as I got the opportunity to showcase my work at one of the best fashion shows in the world. It was a great experience to work with the best fashion show producers in UK and professional models. I was really happy and excited to see my collection featured on the Vogue magazine, UK and on a number of online articles. I believe it was a great opportunity to exhibit my skills. I should thank my parents and Andree for their tremendous support and encouragement. And LIFT for giving me the opportunity to study in University of Northampton as a third year direct entry student.”
Such outstanding achievements of students are a testament to the standard of academic courses offered at LIFT. It is no doubt that the solid foundation laid down by LIFT in nurturing students to harness global opportunities has majorly contributed in this victory. Affirming this, LIFT Managing Director Niroshani Leanage said, “As the first fashion school in the country, we at LIFT always believe that we should create opportunities for students internationally, not just locally. In fact we encourage students to take part in a lot of international activities. LIFT has always given students very good knowledge on the basics and laid a solid foundation so that wherever in the world they chose to work, they will be able to stand on their own and build a name.”
It is the homely yet disciplined environment at LIFT that encourages students to explore their creative abilities and express those in their own media. With over a decade of experience in the industry, LIFT has guided thousands of students to define and reach their goals. It is the Vision of LIFT to give the right education to the right people at the right time, ensuring that students leave the institution with portfolios that are strong enough to be showcased on any international platform. LIFT’s partnership with the Northampton University is a result of the long standing relationship the two institutions share for over 10 years. According to the Guardian University Ratings of 2014, The University of Northampton is one of the top 20 universities for the disciplines of Art and Design. The university also boasts of an employability of 96% (according to Hesa Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey 2011/12), ensuring an outstanding learning experience followed by promising career opportunities.
As the Founder of LIFT, Niroshani Leanage is humbly proud of the achievements of her students. As she shared yet another success story of LIFT, she added, “I am very happy about Ridma’s achievement. I am always proud when our students are reaching towards higher standards because I know that it is due to the foundation laid by our staff and our management. LIFT has always done the best for students. And our students in return have made us proud.”