A total of 20 students have been selected to show their work on the London catwalk in front of some of the biggest names in the industry after their designs impressed judges at a competition run by De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
The final year students on the world-renowned Contour Fashion course, which specialises in lingerie, corsetry, swimwear, sportswear and nightwear, worked through a rigorous selection event, in which they had to dress six models in ambitious designs and present them to a panel of top industry judges.
The judges selected 20 students, out of the 32 entries, who will now see their work paraded along the catwalk in Covent Garden’s Freemason’s Hall on Wednesday 3 June. Others who were not selected will show their work at stands during the event.
DMU’s annual Contour Fashion show is a golden opportunity for third year students to show off their work in front of an audience of industry heads and journalists, presenting the students with an incredible experience of working in one of the world’s fashion capitals while having the opportunity to impress potential employers.
During judging, the students showed a wide variety of work from lingerie and corsetry to maternity wear and swimwear.
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The catwalk show will be the icing on the cake for the students who during their time at DMU have entered numerous competitions run by top names including Triumph, Aubade, H&M, Courtaulds and Gap while enjoying life-changing work placements around the globe.
Contour Fashion Course Programme Leader Gillian Proctor, whose strong links with the contour industry has been built on a career working for huge fashion names such as Karl Lagerfeld and Armani, said: “Contour Fashion at DMU is an excellent showcase for the breadth of the intimate apparel industry globally. This industry has supported the course throughout and I am grateful for that.
“I personally am astounded by the ongoing development of creativity and technical excellence and am proud of the students’ achievements.”
Gillian sat on the judging panel alongside Mandy Ferrand, creative director for Courtaulds, fashion consultant Craig Spellar, David Finlayson, owner of the APM sales agency for lingerie and swimwear, Monica Harrington of world famous lingerie brand Triumph and Sarah Blackman, editor of Lingerie Insight magazine.
Students chosen for the catwalk show could not hide their excitement.
Poppy Spinks, of Milton Keynes, who produced sports-inspired lingerie and menswear influenced by the layout of formal French and Italian gardens, said: “We have heard about the catwalk show since we started the course and it is just surreal to have been chosen and have a dream realised. It's really going to kick-start my career in the best possible way after three years of such specialised study.”
Natasha Chung, from Hertfordshire, created a collection called “Qing” which incorporated traditional leatherwear techniques to produce modern lingerie designs. They were influenced by traditional and modern Chinese architecture in Hong Kong.
She said: “I am thrilled to have been chosen to show my work on the London catwalk. Everyone’s work was so strong. It is a great opportunity to show my work to some key industry people. I feel this course has been the perfect start to me forming a career in the intimate apparel industry.”
Emily Storor, from Coalville, in Leicestershire, produced sportswear with performance in mind, and her “powerdrive” collection bore the legend “feel the benefit not the bounce”.
Emily said: “We all lived and breathed our projects and when you get selected you know you have done something right. It has been so rewarding. To be showing my work in London at the age of 21 is incredible and it makes you really appreciate the course at DMU.”
Judges were impressed with the standard of the 32 collections they looked at during the judging process, which took place at DMU on Monday 18 May.
Mr Finlayson said: “There was a lot of great detail in the work and a lot of visual impact. Some of the students could sit alongside the people I work with. Overall I was really impressed.”
Ms Ferrand added: “The student’s work has gone way beyond the aesthetic values and there is still room for the fun elements and excitement you expect at a university.”
Ms Harrington said: “It is so important to keep supporting young designers like this. I think the standard has been very high. This has not been all about the traditional lingerie pieces. There is some dynamic work that could be used in other areas of design too.”
Gillian Proctor extended an invitation to the industry and members of the public to attend the catwalk show on June 3.
Established in 1947 to support the local corset industry, DMU Contour Fashion is the oldest and most successful degree-level course in intimate apparel and is widely regarded by industry experts as one of the best in the world.
Posted on Wednesday 20th May 2015