SHE was once living in the grip of an eating disorder and told she had only two days to live.

Now fashion designer Nicole Christie is celebrating the culmination of five years of hard work that have led to her being named Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year.

Ms Christie was a dancer before turning her talents to her other passion, a love of clothes, and graduating with a first class degree in Fashion Design and Production.

The 27-year-old was then accepted to the inaugural The Prince’s Foundation’s Modern Artisan programme, a designer fashion training scheme at Dumfries House in Ayrshire.

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Inspired by the sustainability element of the programme, she set up her own brand, Ellipsis, and, thanks to royal backing, is now shipping her creations worldwide.

Ms Christie said: "I've been extremely lucky with the opportunities I've had. It's been brilliant, I've just been so lucky and have been on an incredible journey over the past five years."

Last year, Ms Christie, from East Kilbride, had the opportunity to present her brand to the then-Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cambridge and the then-Duchess of Cornwall at The Prince’s Foundation training site at Trinity Buoy Wharf, a centre for arts in West London.

The Herald: Nicole working on a fashion project

The world's media very quickly cottoned on to Kate Middleton's interest in Ellipsis and suddenly Ms Christie found herself and her clothes the subject of international headlines.

She said: "I was honestly petrified and I didn't appreciate the impact it would have. It was an honour but so surreal to have King Charles recognise me and ask how I was getting on and then introduce me to Queen Camilla.

"There was no reception in the venue so I went outside to phone my mum and dad and they said there were already news articles about Ellipsis and the fact the Duchess of Cambridge was looking at my dresses.

"I had to open international shipping for the first time to accommodate all these orders that were suddenly coming in from overseas.

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"I had given the Duchess a gift bag with a hair band for Princess Charlotte and one woman phoned me up to ask for one in the same colour for her daughter.

"This is not the sort of exposure you would get this early on in your career so my involvement with the Modern Artisan programme has really opened doors for me."

Ms Christie's route to being named Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Association Awards was not an easy one, however.

At the age of 16 she was diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified), a diagnosis often given when a patient meets many, but not all, of the criteria for anorexia or bulimia.

She spent two months in hospital and, at one point, doctors told her parents she had two days to live.

Ms Christie says her eating disorder was caused by stress and the pressure she placed on herself but it wasn't until speaking to another woman living with the illness that she realised she could recover.

She said: "I call it my lightbulb moment and I want to give that to other people so it's very important to me to talk about what happened - if we don't talk about mental health then nobody learns."

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As well as running Ellipsis, Nicole is also now an ambassador for the eating disorder charity Beat.

She also takes on students from her alma mater, Glasgow Caledonian University, for training and experience, being well aware of the difficulties of breaking in to the fashion industry.

Modern Artisan, the internationally renowned collaboration between The Prince’s Foundation and YOOX Net-a-Porter, aims to slow the trend of fast fashion and champion the skills that are required to make high-quality, timeless and sustainable garments.

In response, Ms Christie's elegant dresses, tops and trousers are made from 100 per cent silk sourced from within the UK and pieces from first collection can be worn with the second collection so nothing is disposable.

The brand also features hairbands made from leftover material, in line with the brand’s commitment to sustainability.

Her plans now are to create a basics line so that women who can't afford to buy designer fashion

She said: "I couldn't afford to buy clothes from my collection if I wasn't making them myself - I know how important accessibility is to women who want to buy sustainable fashion.

"I don't want Ellipsis to be exclusive.

"It's really important to me to give back, which is why I focus on helping students and giving them support and experience too."

Jacqueline Farrell, education director for The Prince’s Foundation, said the team at The Modern Artisan programme are all "incredibly proud" of Ms Christie.

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She added: "We’re not surprised Nicole has been crowned Scottish Fashion Designer of the Year and look forward to watching what she does with Ellipsis next.

Ms Christie's time on the Modern Artisan programme culminated with the launch of YOOX NET-A-PORTER for The Prince’s Foundation, a luxury capsule collection of sustainable garments which were designed by trainee artisans in Italy and manufactured by Nicole and her three fellow UK artisans at Dumfries House