Luxury lingerie featuring innovative latex lace fabric has earned a De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate the Young Designer Award in the famous St Andrews Charity Fashion Show.
The use of her pioneering Latex Lace, which combines the two fabrics for a unique aesthetic, earned Elissa Poppy the sought-after award and a £1,000 cash prize to boot.
Along with four other finalists, the 2015 DMU Contour Fashion graduate had just 10 weeks to create a five-piece collection to impress a panel of industry experts and fashion journalists.
The panel included representatives from world famous brands Fendi and Harris Tweed.
Her luxury collection – a wedding dress, corset dress, lingerie set with fringing, lingerie set with lace-up stockings and matching coat, and nude lingerie set - was shown on the catwalk in front of international press such as Vogue, Tatler and The New York Times.
The 21-year old said: “The feedback from the panel of expert judges and the insight into what the industry looks for was priceless.
“Even if I hadn’t won the award the experience would have been worth it just for the chance to interact with the judges.”
In its 24th year, the St Andrews Charity Fashion Show is the largest student-run organisation in the UK searching for the brightest up and coming British designers and raising thousands of pounds for charity.
It was made famous in 2002 when Prince William reportedly fell for his future wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, after she modelled a see-through dress on the catwalk.
This year, the show partnered with the mental health charity, SANE. Finalists worked to the creative theme ‘BARE’, to unveil their raw talent to the fashion world while helping to strip mental health bare of stigma.
Elissa said: “I really embraced the creative theme with my collection. It plays with the notion of exposed skin to convey how mental health struggles can leave people feeling vulnerable.”
Bespoke Elissa Poppy pieces are currently for sale on Kim West’s website, the prolific designer who revolutionised latex in the 1980s and whose designs are still worn by icons such as Madonna, Kylie, and Rita Ora.
With a newly launched website and a new collection on the way, Elissa is also in the process of launching her latex lingerie business.
Her work with stylists on different shoots has resulted in a strong look-book for her website and features in high-profile magazines like Vogue and Off the Rails.
Elissa said: “I love working creatively with other people and my ambition is to introduce latex more widely to the high street.
“House of Harlot is doing a bit with ASOS, which is cool because I did some work experience with House of Harlot. These are exactly the kinds of places I’d love to see my brand in.”
Elissa puts her success down to her time at DMU, saying: “Contour Fashion has great links with industry and equips you with the skills employers are looking for, like pattern cutting.
“I got to work with lots of different brands and had the chance to make contact with industry experts in both professional and relaxed environments.
“The course tutors really get behind you and help you get lots of publicity. They really instilled a strong sense of professionalism in us and made sure our CVs and portfolios were as strong as possible.”
Posted on Friday 4th March 2016