DMU designers praised for 'challenging the status quo'

Contour Fashion students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have impressed a panel of industry experts with their innovative ideas and technical skills.

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Five final-year students who chose to take a technical route have worked to identify and develop niche areas, such as adventure-wear, petit lingerie, amputee sportswear, lingerie for fuller cup sizes and performance sportswear.

Karen Adams, Shauna Wyatt, Jesca Rowstron, Dhilany Arulananthan and Katia Tastagh each presented a collection of six outfits, backed-up by their research and market insights.

Panellists Damien Graham, graphic designer for Pentland, and Claire O’Neill, marketing manager for Lycra, were impressed by the standard of work and level of professionalism presented by the students.

They were particularly complimentary about Katia Tastagh's adventure-wear, inspired by a four-day circumnavigation around the Isle of Man by kayak.

The 21-year-old said: "The challenge really pushed me to my limits and taught me a lot about what’s missing in activewear."

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One of Katia's six adventure-wear outfits

Made with running, cycling, swimming and kayaking in mind, Katia's collection incorporates cutting-edge properties such as temperature control, odour-neutralising and self-cleaning. Her range includes leggings, sports bra, jacket, base layers, recovery thermals, shorts and a bodysuit.

"I've really loved this project and I’m hoping my designs will make people want to get outdoors and get involved in sport," she said.

“The panellists’ interest in my project, followed by such positive feedback, was really encouraging. After working so hard on this collection it was fantastic to hear about future opportunities as well.”

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Damien said: "I was very impressed by the students' level of professionalism and knowledge of their subjects and markets. They are all ready to go out in the world and work for both large and small brands.

"Product design is more challenging now than ever. What I would expect is for DMU graduates to challenge the status quo and some of them did just that today."

Claire added: "Being caught up in corporate world, it’s very inspiring getting out and seeing what new talent is coming through.

"I was expecting a level of repetition, but the five students we saw presented such different concepts and approaches, coming up with new types of innovation to solve different problems.

"They showed a level of curiosity which will stand them in good stead and will push the industry forward."

DMU’s Contour Fashion BA (Hons) celebrated its 70th anniversary last year. Graduates continue to be employed by leading international brands including Stretchline, Coco de Mer, Curvy Kate, H&M, Calvin Klein and Bravissimo, as well as establishing their own successful labels such as Nichole de Carle, Tattoo, Nicole Gill, Reckless Wolf, Betty Blue, Lorna Drew, Karolina Laskowska and Elissa Poppy.

Posted on Monday 21st May 2018

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