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Technical skills of Contour Fashion students praised by leading brands

The innovative ideas and technical skills of Contour Fashion students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been praised by a panel of industry experts representing world-leading brands.

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Tamsin Fryer's collection will offer pain relief through mild electrical currents

The 13 third year students who chose to take a technical route have worked to identify and develop a niche or existing idea covering a broad range of areas from mastectomy lingerie and adjustable bras to plus-size lingerie and medical compression wear.

The students impressed four industry experts including DMU alumni Lorna Drew, MD of award-winning Lorna Drew Maternity, Charlie Austin, Head of Design at Fantasie Lingerie and Swimwear, and industry specialist Patrick Stacey, as well as Ellie Bates, Product Developer at Speedo.

Charlie Austin said: “Given the technical direction of these collections, I was very impressed by the creativity the students expressed.”

The levels of research and diverse range of ideas are what captured Ellie Bates’ attention, who also said: “Fantastic technical skills aside, it was heart-warming to hear the personal reasons behind some of the students’ inspirations as well.”

Lorna Drew described the work on show as “impressive and eye-opening” and Patrick Stacey said: “By nature, students are limited in what they can physically produce, but this didn’t stop any of them today from being extremely thorough in their research and making the most of the tools they have.”

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Rachael Watson's beetle-inspired swimwear for petite builds

The students’ forward-thinking designs were developed through a combination of extensive research and by exploring emerging materials and technological advancements.

They also had the benefit of an informative session with Nick Ibery, an advisor to the British government on bespoke fashion for medical uses.

Moved by her sister’s work in neurological rehabilitation, Tamsin Fryer researched transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), a method of pain relief involving the use of a mild electrical current.

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Tamsin hopes that her ground-breaking idea to incorporate conductive press studs into garments, using conductive thread and fabric, will enhance the lives of individuals affected by a stroke, multiple sclerosis (MS) or sciatica.

She said: “I’ve been there with my sister and witnessed people's rehabilitation process first-hand, so to make a difference to their lives would be incredible.

“My collection is as much a ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ to my sister as well."

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Hannah Millward's performace wetsuits celebrate active women

Rachel Watson, whose designs earned her a top H&M prize earlier this year, impressed with her collection of petite swimwear, designed in mind with people both petite in height and in the bust department.

She said: “As a petite woman myself, I can really relate to the issues faced by others of a similar build. My extensive research shows a big gap in the market, which I feel my collection could help to close.”

Inspired by insects, and beetles in particular, Rachael’s petite swimwear collection is on trend with a shiny metallic look.

To encourage and celebrate active women, Hannah Millward designed a collection of performance wetsuits.

Inspired by her kayaking days and research into the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), Hannah said: “I’ve come up with a mix and match collection which doesn’t compromise movement and is still aesthetically pleasing.

“I’ve gone for bright colours and a fun geometric print inspired by the RNLI’s lifeboat station set on pillars, which I visited as part of my research.”

Posted on Tuesday 17th May 2016

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