The Nicole Abbott Award with Sir Paul Smith

Nicole Abbott was a former students who graduated from Colchester institute who worked for Sir Paul for many years as an assistant but Unfortunately, in 2013 she passed away after the long battle with breast cancer. In memory of talented Nicole, our tutor Val Jacobs asked Nicole’s parents if they could create a design award to honour Nicole’s life and I have been so lucky to be apart it  as I have one of the selected few from Colchester school of arts to present their pre-collection in the Nicole Abbott award Exhibition that will be narrowed down to 3 students to show case and present their work to sir Paul smith with a chance of winning an internship beside him .

I felt so privileged that I was one of the selected students as it was such an amazing opportunity and experience, even though I didn’t get to meet Sir Paul I was happy to meet some of his design team who I had to present my work to as well as Nicole’s mum Suzanne who is such a brave and inspirational lady.

For the exhibition I started to do a lot of research into different ways I could represent my work – ideas in ways I could hang my prints to get the  real effect of my designs which I presented on white professional headers -laid out flat to the wall so you could see the full print in detail -along side my portfolio which you can check out on

I wanted my work especially my prints to be the focal point to my display in the exhibition so I kept my space quite minimalistic as for me personally white space in a exhibition is so important – the space around your work is just as important in the way you display your work – keep it simplistic

the three judges to the  competition visited us on 27th of January, 2017, therefore, we had to set up our exhibition in a Hay Gallery a week early as it would allow other fellow students to see the ‘Work in progress’.

we were given a designated space and we had to come up with a  plan in how we would represent our pre-collections  which Is why I think its always great to research in ways I could set up my exhibition space successfully and it gave me an understanding on how I can set my  work up in  New Designer .

Once the exhibition was completed, we were delighted to see a variety of textile and fashion work from everyone. As everyone had their own choice of theme, different levels of work  For instance: Fashion garments, both Digital and Hand printed work along with various textile techniques.

On the day of the exhibition we were called in one by one to talk about our work and to present ourselves . I felt very confident in talking about my work and the inspiration behind it as its a subject that’s very close to my heart and they were very friendly.

I showed the judges – Nicole’s mum and Sir Pauls design team my exhibited work followed by my sketchbook and explained what my work meant and where my inspiration came from, my challenges and the end product.

I was put down to be one of the 3 students to be selected as they said they loved my work  but unfortunately I wasn’t selected as there so many amazing briefs and pre-collections being presented and in fact there were so much amazing work from all the students there were four finalists this time because the judges said they really liked everyone’s work. Surprisingly all textiles outcomes from the room were selected along with one fashion outcome, who I believe were equally deserving. Although I didn’t get selected, I was happy to learn and experience this journey.


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