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Talent scouts from Gossard, ASOS and M&S among packed crowd at DMU fashion shows

Three years dedicated to designing cutting edge collections in contour fashion came to a stunning climax in London today when 20 DMU students showed their work to some of the industry's biggest names.

Designs ranging from luxury lingerie to sporty swimwear were paraded down the catwalk in the opulent surroundings of the Freemasons' Hall in Covent Garden infront of an audience that included world famous Queen guitarist Brian May, his actress wife Anita Dobson and legendary fashion magazine publisher Terry Mansfield CBE.

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The students put on shows at 3pm and 7pm in front of talent spotters from companies such as Gap, Freya, ASOS, M&S, Gossard, Triumph and Fleur of England.

Each collection was paraded by models to soundtracks chosen by the students and were met with applause from the crowds.

DMU Contour Fashion graduates who have since gone on to make their mark in the world were excited by what they saw.

DMU graduate Becky Nebel, a chief lingerie designer for M&S, said: "I thought it was a fantastic show. It was great to see so many sports influences coming through on the catwalk. I think casualisation has hit DMU and there is less of a focus on traditional lingerie. It was also really interesting to see new technologies being incorporated into their work. But overall I think the leisure influences were really exciting."

Penny Newton-Norris, who graduated in Contour Fashion in 2010 is now a swimwear technologist for Internet fashion house ASOS.

She said: "The show was really, really good. The detail was amazing and we saw students pushing boundaries with panel working and embellishment. It made me really miss being part of the show with DMU - all the tears and the stress. I wish I could go back and do it again.

"The students did an amazing job. They are always pushing boundaries, those contour girls at DMU."

Actress Anita Dobson said:"I really loved the show. I think they’re so clever these kids! Growing up with a dress-cutter dad and a tailoress mum, I’ve always loved fashion and discovering anything new that breaks boundaries. That’s exactly what these DMU students are doing. Gillian’s (course leader Gillian Proctor) course is great for turning out new and exciting talent.”

 Mr Mansfield, a former CEO of the publishing giant Hearst Corporation, said: "I have always admired DMU as a university. Contour Fashion is a world class course and I am sure these students will go on to secure interesting jobs around the world. They have a great leader in Gillian Proctor. She is very enthusiastic in whatever she does and a credit to the university."

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Today’s catwalk show represented the culmination of months of hard work for the students, who graduate in July. Each had to come up with an idea and develop it into a collection, which was presented to judges including DMU lecturers and industry professionals. Just 20 were chosen to present their work today.

But the students were so busy dressing their models and making final alterations backstage they did not get to see the catwalk show themselves. They will get to see a video made of the event – but all were on cloud nine after the shows.

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Hannah Crawford is staying on to do an MA in Product Design. She said: “it has been a great three years but it’s hard work you grow throughout the three years and find out what your specialism is and what you are good at. 

“I came here thinking I would design pretty underwear and ended up designing sports wear.”

Helen Teiman’s collection, inspired by Venice, was designed in latex: “I like a challenge!,” she laughed.. “It’s been fun, this is the final hurdle for us as Contour Fashion students.”

Grace Garner said: “When I heard the music for my collection come on, I was nearly crying! It’s the end of an era. I’m proud but sad it’s ending, too.”

Megan Hall’s collection, Azure, was based on the Gaudi’scolourful work in Barcelona: “I can’t believe that three years has come to an end so quickly.”

The entire Contour Fashion students’ collection will be on display from Friday, at the annual degree show in Heritage House.

Posted on Monday 13th June 2016

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