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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 14:25 GMT
Student wows Zandra Rhodes
Ceri Evans and Zandra Rhodes
Ceri Evans(r) was praised by Zandra Rhodes
A fashion student from Wrexham will work with celebrated designer Zandra Rhodes after being named the UK's best Young Designer of the Year.

At 18, Yale college student Ceri Evans was the youngest designer in the competition, beating 19 other hopefuls to the accolade.

"I really didn't expect to win. I thought 'I'm at such a low position'," she said.

"My designs were different to everyone else's though, mine were all handmade.

"I even made my own shoes and my own parasol," she added.

The title of the competition was from Monarchy to Mogul, and fashion designers had to draw comparisons between British and Indian cultures.

We don't have much access to Indian culture so I struggled to get fabric
Ceri Evans

"I was looking at the jewellery from their monarchy and ours," said Ceri.

"I saw a lot of butterflies in the Indian jewellery and I decided to incorporate it.

"I made a gold corset and I handmade 50 butterflies - they were a nightmare to make and took ages."

Ceri, who lives in Wrexham, said she had difficulty finding fabric for her ethnic designs.

"We don't have much access to Indian culture so I struggled to get fabric," she said.

Ceri Evans and model
Ceri said she was "delighted" to win

After searching Manchester, the teenager managed to find fabric from a wedding design company in Wrexham who donated the material free of charge.

All 20 finalists had their entries shown on a catwalk in Wembley and Zandra Rhodes, with her bright pink hair and theatrical make-up, declared Ceri the overall winner.

She will now work with Ms Rhodes for two weeks in December before finishing her Fashion Diploma at Yale College, Wrexham and applying for university courses.

It has even been suggested that Ceri Evans could do for north Wales what famous designer Julien Macdonald has done for the south.

"That would be my dream," she said excitedly.

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