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Unusual collaboration lands student's glass work on Graduate Fashion Week catwalk


A budding friendship between two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students has resulted in the unusual combination of high-end fashion with stunning glass detail on the Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) catwalk.


Alice Heaton (left) and Raquel Sutherland at Graduate Fashion Week

Final year Fashion Design student, Raquel Sutherland, opened DMU’s show-stopping catwalk at GFW, the world’s biggest showcase for new talent, in front of fashion leaders and industry press.

Inspired by ‘happy’ accidents like spilling water on hand-scribbled notes, Raquel’s breath-taking collection is rounded off by carefully-balanced glass pieces, beautifully designed and made in collaboration with final year Design Crafts student, Alice Heaton.

Alice said: “It all feels quite surreal really. I never expected to do anything related to fashion, but it was really nice seeing my pieces worn by models and in motion.”

The duo have been good friends ever since being paired up as flatmates during their first year at DMU.

“We’ve always wanted to work together and our final major project was the perfect chance to do so”, said Raquel.


One of DMU’s 17 finalists at GFW, Raquel described what she had in mind for her collection and mocked up two-dimensional drawings for Alice. Many samples later, the pair finally perfected the shape, size and colour of the pieces.

Alice said: “With hot glass, you have an idea of what you want to make, but the glass leads you in a way, which fits in perfectly with Raquel’s concept of ‘happy’ accidents.

“To create the pieces I had to get the glass red hot and draw out the shapes from a height. I then added colour during the third gather so it would spread out nice and evenly.”

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Both Alice and Raquel will be showing their work at DMU's Art and Design Degree Show from 17 June. Alice has also been selected to show her glass work at New Designers at the end of June, the UK’s most important exhibition for emerging design, bringing together the very best in graduate talent.

Following DMU’s long history of winning prizes and gaining work from the show, Alice said: “I want to carry on making so I really hope I can get some commissions and support out of it.”

Another consideration for Alice is becoming an artist in residence at DMU. This would give her an extra year’s access to DMU’s leading facilities, enabling her to develop her craft, while supporting other students in the studio. Her position will be determined after an interview in July.


Posted on Thursday 9th June 2016

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