A 17-year-old designer from Farndon has has been named Fashion Designer Of The Year at an international competition in Essex.

Lili Sipeki took first prize at the Libery Shopping Centre Fashion Design Competition in Romford, for her Anika Dress which was inspired by the net and mesh that she viewed at spring/summer fashion shows.

Judges deliberated for almost an hour following the catwalk show,which received entries from across the globe, including Japan, and saw Lili compete against 20 other finalists who had entered.

Lili, who originates from Hungary, was awarded a £1,000 injection into starting up a business or furthering her design career, a trophy and will also receive expert business advice from high street giant M&S.

The winning design by Lili Sipeki

She said: “I can’t believe that I am the winner of this year’s Liberty Fashion Design Competition. I’m thrilled! The money will go towards furthering my career in fashion”

Petronella Mahachi, 34, from Wallasey, proved most popular in the public vote, winning a £100 liberty gift card and a pair of golden tickets to London Fashion Weekend this September.

Related story: Young Chester designer is finalist in international competition

Centre manager Jonathan Poole said: “Once again we have been blown away by the talent and skill that has graced The Liberty Shopping Centre’s catwalk for this year’s fashion design competition.

“It’s a real honour to support grassroots fashion talent from across the UK and we are sure that all of the finalists have a fantastic career in fashion ahead of them.”

The winning design by Lili Sipeki

The competition’s 2015 winner, Alice Oluyitan, who this year formed part of the judging panel, said: “I would like to congratulate Lili on her well-deserved success. The standard of designs this year was absolutely phenomenal.

“After winning myself last year and knowing how much of a difference it has made to my career, it’s a pleasure for us to offer the same opportunity to another talented young designers and we wish Lili all the very best for the future.”