TOUR DE FORCE: Fashion Fringe, the London-based initiative that searches for new design talent, is aiming to forge links with fashion students across the U.K.. In March, Fashion Fringe’s founder and creative director Colin McDowell will together with a series of designers make appearances at a number of U.K. fashion schools, in order to “connect the U.K. regions with the London fashion scene,” McDowell said. A spokeswoman for Fashion Fringe said the aim of the tour is both to encourage design students from across the U.K. to apply for the program and to act as a networking event for students hoping to break into any aspect of the fashion industry.

From March 12 through March 20, McDowell will visit the University of Edinburgh with Christopher Kane, Northumbria University with Gareth Pugh, Manchester Metropolitan University with Matthew Williamson, Nottingham Trent University with Giles Deacon, the University of Brighton with Julien Macdonald and London’s Royal College of Art with Erdem Moralioglu. McDowell has also invited young fashion professionals from each of the cities to join him and the designers at their appearances, when they will share their career experiences and offer advice on entering the industry.

The tour coincides with the call for applications for the 2012 Fashion Fringe award, which open on March 12. McDowell stated: In recognizing that not all fashion industry professionals and students can be based in London, we hope that our tour of the country will help to further connect the U.K. regions with the London fashion scene,” he said. “Fashion Fringe designers come to us from a huge range of countries and we want to ensure this level of diversity is reflected within our own borders as well.”



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