A WALLASEY woman is celebrating after winning a prestigious award at an international fashion design competition.

Petronella Mahachi, 34 secured the ‘People’s choice award’ after a panel of industry experts agreed she was a worthy winner.

The competition, held at The Liberty, Romford received a lot of entries from across the globe, including Japan and Turkey and saw local designer Petronella compete against 20 other finalists.

Petronella said: “I’m so excited and grateful to all of my friends and family who voted for me. It feels amazing that my dress is the people’s choice!”

Petronella was given the award for her ‘3-in-1 Dress’ which was inspired by geometrical prints and includes a long, mesh detachable skirt, which is attached at the waistline by large press studs.

The ‘People’s Choice Award’ winner was selected via an online vote in the run up to the event.

Petronella Mahachi, 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.

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.”

It wasn’t just Petronella who walked away with an award, Chester women Lili Sipeki took first prize.

Lili, 17 won for her ‘Anika Dress’, which was inspired by the net and mesh that she viewed at Spring/Summer fashion shows.

The young designer 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 M&S.

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."