DMU students picked for first ever East Midlands Fashion Awards

Five fashion students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been picked to show their collections at an exclusive awards night billed as ‘one of the most stylish and glamorous events ever held in the East Midlands’.

Organised by the BBC East Midlands Today news anchor Anne Davies, The Fashanne Awards will be staged in North Leicestershire’s Neo-Gothic Belvoir Castle on Thursday, which is home to the Duke and Duchess of Rutland.


Layers of sheer fabric and lace characterise Gemma's collection

They are the first ever East Midlands fashion awards and will be competed for between De Montfort, Nottingham Trent, Derby, Northampton, Loughborough and Lincoln universities to celebrate the next generation of designers.

Five students have been shortlisted from each university and their designs are on show at Belvoir Castle for members of the public to view from today, running up to the awards night on Thursday.

DMU’s five finalists are Gemma Weston and Raquel Sutherland studying Fashion Design, Kathryn Pomfret and Louisa Haywood from Contour Fashion, and Megan McAllister, a Fashion Textiles and Accessories students.

Earlier this month, Gemma and Raquel caused a stir on the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) catwalk with their cutting-edge designs.

Inspired by childhood nostalgia, Gemma's collection features oversized silhouettes and layers of sheer fabrics, as well as lace sponsored by the renowned House of Sophie Hallette and Gemma's own signature corded decoration.


Raquel's designs are offset by distinctive glass pieces

Raquel’s designs are inspired by ‘happy’ accidents like spilling water on hand-scribbled notes and incorporate carefully-balanced glass accessories, which were designed and made in collaboration with Alice Heaton, a final year Design Crafts student.

Hot from DMU’s annual contour show last week, Kathryn and Louisa’s innovative collections were both shortlisted in a national competition run by burgeoning lingerie brand Boux Avenue at GFW.

Kathryn’s mesh and satin fabrics in black evoke the harsh architecture of a cityscape, with laser-cut and engraved leather pieces in floral shapes to illustrate the greenery growing over buildings.


Kathryn juxtaposes harsh fabrics with pretty floral shapes

Kathryn, whose work has also featured in a photoshoot for Barrie Stephens hair salon for the Schwarzkopf Hair Awards, said: “I’m really excited and flattered to have been picked for yet another opportunity like this.

“With this being such a diverse awards show, I’m really looking forward to seeing the collections of all the other designers from local universities.”

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Leather laser-cut crinolines are Louisa's signature designs

Louisa's luxurious après skiwear includes statement leather laser-cut crinolines, which were included as part of rock legend Brian May’s latest book tour at both the Oscar-winning Sands Film Studios and the world-renowned V&A museum.

Her designs have also been put into production by luxury lingerie brand Lascivious after winning their national competition.

Talented accessories designer Megan is showcasing a collection of bags which are inspired by her research into the ways in which animals protect themselves against predators.

She said: “I dyed plastics, fur and leather a midnight-blue and shaped them to mimic the hard protective shells that animals like armadillos have to protect themselves.

“I’m really excited to see my stuff on the catwalk and it gives me confidence knowing that it was good enough to be picked for this event in the first place.”


Megan's nested accessories mimic protection against predators 

Awards judges will include Anne, who also has her own fashion and accessories TV channel, designer Susi Henson, who has created work for Kylie Minogue and Britney Spears, fashion blogger Becky Sheeran, of TalkBeckyTalk, and Susannah Constantine, one half of TV makeover queens Trinny and Susannah.

Posted on Tuesday 21st June 2016

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