Dressing Dame Helen Mirren for the BAFTAs was a ''celebration'' for Nicholas Oakwell.

The British designer was over the moon when the award-winning actress wore his floor length off-white gown to the ceremony in February - where she debuted her then-pink hair - and is grateful for the attention raised by her modelling one of his pieces, despite knowing it will never be purchased.

He said: ''Dressing Helen Mirren at the BAFTAs was a real celebration for all of us. it was fantastic media exposure, but you have to remember that if a gown is worn by someone famous, it won't ever get bought - these women are never going to spend thousands of pounds on a gown and have people say, 'Oh it's the dress Helen Mirren wore.'

''So sometimes I have to weigh up whether to lend a gown for an event or actually sell it.''

Nicholas launched his couture line in 2011 after beginning his fashion career in millinery and the designer is impressed by how many young people are picking up essential craft skills.

He added to Britain's InStyle magazine: ''For me, it's all about how the clothes are made - seeing how they're stitched, how we get round a problem in the design.

''I love the technical side of it, and there are a lot of young British students around - people in their twenties who want to learn to be a crafts person. It's interesting, this new generation learning the skill sets of a draper, or a beader or an embroiderer.

''It's wonderful that learning a craft is coming back.''