Fashion student Scarlett goes through to Royal Opera House Design Challenge final

Fashion student Scarlett goes through to Royal Opera House Design Challenge final

Congratulations to Art & Design student Scarlett Kent who was chosen as New City College’s winner of the Royal Opera House Design Challenge 2022, with a stunning creation.

The 18-year-old, who studies Fashion at the Ardleigh Green campus in Hornchurch, designed a dramatic red and black tailored ensemble with extravagant statement shoulder pieces, which caught the eye of the judges.

Five students had made it through to the college final of the competition which is run annually by the Royal Opera House to inspire the next generation of costume and set designers.

Mikala Cornish, Tayla Fairey, Lucy Llewellyn, Faridat Mojeed and Scarlett were all challenged to create stage costumes for a range of characters from the production of Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, and then present their work to the panel of experts.

They were judged on their interpretation of the director’s vision and were asked to use the director’s notes as an influence in their design processes. Their entry had to include their research and planning, along with the final garment they had created.

Scarlett, who only began sewing when she started college, was awarded first place with her beautiful ensemble, taking inspiration from the character The Niece. She will now go on to represent New City College at The Royal Opera House final stages, competing against hundreds of entries from other colleges.

The panel of judges included creatives Lisa Brennan and Majida Burch, who run their own interiors brand company, Brennan and Burch. They were joined by Deputy Prinicpal Ian Budge and Natalie Bays, a Creative Arts Alumni of Havering College, who is now the Centre Manager of the Mercury Mall in Romford.

They marked the students’ work on creativity, practicality, interpretation of director’s vision, processes used and overall ‘wow factor’.

Lisa said: “Scarlett’s piece jumped out at me, especially the dramatic shoulders, and I was impressed as soon as I walked into the workroom and saw it.

Majida added: “Scarlett had really thought about the material and the practicality – how the performer would need to change into the outfit. It is technically very well executed and I am amazed that she has only been sewing since coming to college!”

Natalie said: “It was so nice to be back at the college and looking at creative responses. I hope all of the students feel proud of what they achieved. They were all very impressive designs.”

Deputy Principal Ian Budge said: “They were all simply fantastic and demonstrated an incredible amount of preparation and research. We had a difficult job, with very close scores, to decide the winner.”

Scarlett’s winning piece will now go on to the next stage of the competition where a distinguished panel from the Royal Opera House will announce a winner on April 22nd.