Student lingerie designers at DMU take the top prizes in national Boux Avenue competition.

The superb talent coming out of the prestigious Contour Fashion course at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has delivered another success story – with students taking first and second prizes in a national competition run by burgeoning lingerie brand Boux Avenue.


The awards one-two was announced during Graduate Fashion Week after Boux Avenue had invited all 40 universities at the event to enter the lingerie and swimwear award.

First prize went to final year Contour Fashion student Betsan Evans who impressed judges with lingerie inspired by scaffolding and the industrial landscape, paired with the concept of finding beauty in mundane and everyday objects.

Second prize went to fellow final year student Katherine Blake, whose work was inspired by the natural landscape, particularly in the Peak District where she lives.


Boux Avenue, a high street lingerie company run by former Dragon’s Den businessman Theo Paphitis, launched the competition for the first time this year and is offering winner Betsan a six week placement.

GFW is the largest student fashion show in Europe and recognised as one of the world's most important sources of new talent for the global design industry. It has launched the careers of celebrity designers such as Stella McCartney and Julien Macdonald.


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Betsan said: “It was so unexpected when they announced my name and I really did not know what to say or do. I was so, so happy. Boux Avenue said they were really impressed by the attention to detail and the combination of different fabrics.

“Studying Contour Fashion at DMU has been the best decision I have made in my life so far. It is amazing how it prepares you for industry. To look at the improvements I have made from first year to now is incredible. I love Gillian (Proctor, Contour Fashion Course Leader). She works so hard to get us to the point we are at today.”

Katherine said: “I am very proud as I have worked so hard on these garments. I live around the Peak District so it was good to visit the area and take pictures and take that as inspiration for my work.

“I have loved the Contour Fashion course. I definitely picked the right subject. It has been amazing.”

Alex Paphitis, Boux Avenue COO, said: “We’d like to congratulate all the graduates that showcased their work at Graduate Fashion Week, the ranges produced for the Lingerie and Swimwear Award were of an exceptionally high standard, so choosing a winner was a real challenge! However, we were so impressed by Betsan Evans’ collection. Her innovative designs and use of unique fabrications were completely inspiring and demonstrated such talent. Betsan has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and we are very excited to have her join the Boux Avenue team for her six week placement. A huge well done also to Kathryn Blake from De Montfort and Holly Anderson from Bournemouth University, who were runners-up for the category.”

Betsan and Katherine are now preparing to join 18 other final year students to put on their own catwalk fashion show on Monday in Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden, in front of some of the biggest names in the contour industry.

Betsan said: “I am so excited about the catwalk show. It will be so good to see all our work on professional models and presented all together with the music and lights.”

DMU’s Contour Fashion course was established in 1947 by Fred Berlei, founder of Gossard Berlei, to support the local corset industry. It is the oldest and most successful degree-level course in intimate apparel and is widely regarded by industry experts as one of the best in the world.

Posted on Wednesday 8th June 2016

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