Former Newham College Students Attend Evening Reception at Buckingham Palace

Two former students, who completed courses in Fashion and Tailoring at Newham College, attended an event hosted by the Duchess of Cambridge and the Countess of Wessex at Buckingham Palace.

The evening reception, which was arranged in recognition of creative enterprise and productivity from the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange, took place on Monday 19th February.

Gillian Jones, the Head of Fashion & Tailoring at Newham College, was notified about the event in October 2017 and was invited to nominate two deserving individuals for the opportunity to attend. The College selected previous students Neil Baulita and Laura Gromova, who both attended the event, which showcased and celebrated achievements within the Commonwealth Fashion Exchange.

Neil Baulita began a fashion course at Newham College in 2013 before enrolling on one of the College’s bespoke tailoring programmes. Three years later, he successfully launched his own fashion collection which went on to be featured in British Vogue magazine.  Neil also participated in the launch of Newham College’s Fashion and Tailoring Centre of Excellence in 2016.

Laura Gromova completed a Bespoke Tailoring course at Newham College in 2016. She now works in Saville Row and recently launched her own coat making company. In 2017 Laura’s work featured as part of Deaf International Fashion Week in Paris, a global event which is open to deaf models and designers with the skills to showcase their abilities at an international level.

Laura Gromova holding her invitation to the evening reception at Buckingham Palace


The Commonwealth Fashion Exchange is an initiative which partners designers, craftspeople and manufacturers across all 52 Commonwealth countries. The Exchange uses fashion as a common language to illustrate and celebrate creativity, sustainability, trade links and ethical supply chains across the modern Commonwealth.

I was so surprised to receive my invitation to Buckingham Palace I couldn’t believe it! At first I was nervous about being the only deaf person there, but a member of Newham College’s Sensory Support team joined me and this put me at ease. I saw some amazing fashion designs on display from around the world, they were very beautiful and unlike anything I’ve seen
Laura Gromova


Senior Communicator & Allocation Officer at Newham College, Beau Dean interpreted for Laura using British Sign Language and represented the College. Laura also said:

“I really want to show young Deaf adults that anything is possible, we can overcome any barriers and achieve anything. I want to be a strong Deaf role model for them. There aren’t any famous Deaf people in fashion and I want to show them there can be”.

I was deeply honoured to be at this one in a lifetime event, sharing ideas with the Duchess of Cambridge on some of the brightest designers and shakers in fashion from Great Britain and the world – like Livia Firth, Anna Wintour, Stella Mcartney, Chistopher Kane, Erden Peter Piloto, Princess Eugene, Naomi Campbell, Erin O’Connor to name a few.”
Neil Baulita Former Newham College Student




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