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Leather designs land DMU students in final of national competition

On-trend leather jacket designs by two students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have made it into the final three of a national competition.

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Third year Fashion Design students Brogan Thomson-Woods and Hazel Symons were asked to design a summer leather jacket which was creative, on-trend and could be sold on the high street.

The winning entry will be decided by a public vote on Facebook, closing at midnight on 11 March.

The winner will gain an insight into the world of retail and fashion with the chance to get involved in the manufacturing process, from design to choice of leather type and order placement.

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The jacket will be sold as part of the summer collection at Lakeland Leather, a small independent retailer with outlets around the UK, with 10 per cent of the sales going to a charity of the winner’s choice.

Brogan, whose design was inspired by her research about the company and founder Jack Standring’s spirit of adventure, said: “If I win this competition the exposure to the industry and the experience of what it looks for in graduates will be priceless.

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“I wanted my design to capture a sense of adventure and exploration, just like the ethos behind Lakeland Leather. My step-dad is an avid climber himself so I paid close attention to his gear when I was designing my jacket.”

Having recently won £150 towards her final year project in the Roadley Awards – DMU’s annual awards to support innovation by students studying fashion and textiles - Hazel said: “Winning this as well would be an exciting opportunity to work in a real studio setting, meet industry experts and network.”

Hazel’s work is heavily influenced by tailoring and traditional sewing methods. She said: “People are obsessed with fast fashion and know very little about the art of producing good quality garments.

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“I’m fascinated by applying tailoring techniques to leatherwork, so for my design I chose to thong and lace my leather. It’s an ancient technique which is very versatile and resembles ‘basting’ - an important part of tailoring preparation.”

Brogan and Hazel were encouraged to enter the competition by their course tutors, who research and share competition briefs with students throughout the year.

Brogan said: “Our tutors are brilliant like that. They push us to enter competitions so that we can gain recognition before we graduate and so that we leave DMU with a strong CV and portfolio.

“The course is hard work, but so worth it. It covers really important aspects like pattern cutting and computer-aided design (CAD) software which are two things the industry really looks for.”

The winner of the Design a Lakeland Leather competition will also get to name their jacket and receive two finished versions, as well as enjoy a stay for two at the Langdale Chase Hotel, on the banks of Windermere.

Posted on Wednesday 2nd March 2016

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