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WM "we dressed kylie in string vests - I bought them from the market for pounds 1".


IThe London College of Fashion graduate from Aberdovey whose recession-inspired, all-black gothica collection has seen him being lauded as the toast of Graduate Fashion Week.

Tim sent his models down a runway at the V&A Museum in London in Elizabethan-style collars, lace and an homage to power dressing, in front of a star-studded front row - and now the decision makers in the fashion world have him firmly on their radar.

"It's been a whirlwind," Tim told WM.

"I've been doing interviews all week, answering e-mails and hearing from people telling me I've been written about on so-and-so blog. It's surreal. I feel like things are really taking off."

Tim, whose parents had no particular interest in fashion and used to own a hotel in Aberdovey, attended Ysgol Uwchradd Tywyn in Gwynedd before going on to study Art and Design at Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor in Dolgellau.

"I've been flicking through fashion magazines since I was a child," he said.

"But I really got into it at college where I had an amazing art teacher."

From there he completed a degree in Fashion Design at Manchester School of Art - Elle magazine featured his BA collection which won the British Fashion Council Creative Cutting Award at Graduate Fashion Week in 2008.

Tim enrolled at the London College of Fashion to study for a MA in Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear after gaining a prestigious Harold Tillman scholarship.

"After that, things calmed down a bit and I just got on with my MA," he said.

Then in 2007, he interned with acclaimed experimental British designer Gareth Pugh, an experience that gave him the chance to dress the Princess of Pop, Kylie Minogue.

"Gareth had no money, just like me now," said Tim, who has also worked as a pattern cutter for high street label Jaeger.

"It was back when he first started and he was working from this old, really rundown studio in Dalston with no heating. There were mini fan heaters everywhere and it was freezing.

"It all really started happening for him but he was still skint while he was having orders from Madonna and Kylie Minogue so he had to do things really cheaply. One time, we were working on a dress for Kylie and he sent me around the corner to the market to buy eight string vests for pounds 1 each. She ended up wearing the dress on The Kylie Show on TV."

For his latest collection, Tim turned to the bleak global financial situation, mixing Elizabethan silhouettes with fierce collaring and demure lace.

"I wanted to make it relevant," he said.

"And I looked at what was happening around me and the recession in particular and how that's affecting people.

"People want escapism and fantasy and that's what my collection's about."

And celebrities like Jo Wood, Lulu Guinness, Grayson Perry and Jodie Harsh joined hundreds of fashion industry insiders at the event renowned for discovering new talent.

And Welsh-born singer Marina of Marina and the Diamonds fame, a keen supporter of young designers, is already a fan.

"I met Marina at the after-show party and she was really complimentary," he said.

"She told me she loved my collection and there's talk of her hopefully wearing one of my designs which would be amazing."

Tim is now looking for financial backing to set up his own label and is hoping to make the most of the 'hype' surrounding his work - Harper's Bazaar have named the 29-year-old one to watch and some of the 4,500 people watching the show online from all over the world have praised the 'graceful, 'artistic', and 'wearable' collection.

"I need to keep on it now," he said, adding he's now hoping for a break like his mentor, Pugh.

"I've already got lots of ideas for my next collection and hopefully I'll be showing at London Fashion Week by September." Catwalk photos by Mitchell Sams


Above, catwalk designs from Tim Rhys Evans, pictured below Kylie Minogue in the string vest dress, left, Tim worked on with celebrated designer Gareth Pugh
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 8, 2011
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