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Who is Esme Young? Meet the Great British Sewing Bee judge

sewing bee esme judge
Eve Crosbie
Eve CrosbieTV & Film Writer
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The latest series of The Great British Sewing Bee is well underway with the remaining contestants hoping to impress the judges and earn a place in the semi-final.

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But what do you know about judge Esme Young? Find out all about the diminutive and darling fashion designer here…

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Esme has been a judge on the beloved BBC programme since 2016 but when she's not presenting the show, the 73-year-old is a teacher at prestigious London art school, Central Saint Martins - which is where she learnt the ropes of fashion design herself.

Esme Young is a judge on The Great British Sewing Bee © James Stack
Esme Young is a beloved judge on The Great British Sewing Bee

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She began her career back in the 1970s, launching the designer collective Swanky Mode with three of her female friends, Judy Dewsbery, Melanie Langer and Jeanette Beckham, shortly after she graduated. 

sewing bee esme© Photo: BBC
Esme has featured on the show since 2016

The label quickly rose to prominence thanks to superstars Grace Jones and Cher favouring their designs, which included raunchy body-con dresses. Thanks to its A-list clientele, their clothes appeared in fashion bibles Vogue and The Face, as well as the V&A Little Black Dress Book.

The TV star recently took to her Instagram account @miss_esme_young to share an incredible throwback photo of herself back in the '70s with her fellow founders wearing an incredible 80s get-up of a hot pink dress, a pair of gold sparkly tights, metallic heels and matching pink socks.

esme young insta© Photo: Instagram
Esme recently shared this incredible throwback snap with her followers

Viewers will be interested to learn that Esme has also made costumes for many films, including The Beach, Romeo & Juliet, Trainspotting and Bridget Jones' Diary. She revealed in a recent interview that Renee Zellweger's iconic Tarts and Vicars party bunny costume was one of her creations.

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Explaining the thought process behind the incredibly skimpy outfit, she told RTE: "Renee wanted the bunny outfit to be tighter because her character wasn't skinny. She really wanted a cleavage, so the costume pushed her breasts up. She could hardly sit down in it because it was so tight."

Esme Young and Patrick Grant are the show's judges © James Stack
Esme Young and Patrick Grant are the show's judges

More recently, Esme has released a memoir titled Behind the Seams: My Life in Creativity, Friendship and Adventure.

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