DMU students take top prizes in Boux Avenue competition

Two Contour Fashion students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have walked away with top prizes in a competition run by lingerie company Boux Avenue.

BOUX Lucy Watkins

Lucy and her swimwear designs

The high street chain, founded by former Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, awarded Lucy Watkins, from Burbage, top prize for best swimwear during Graduate Fashion Week. 

While Charley Chiddle, from Buxton, Derbyshire, won the lingerie prize at the show, which is the biggest student fashion event in Europe.

BOUX charley chiddle MAIN

Charley with her lingerie designs


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It is the second year running that students on DMU’s Contour Fashion course have come away with Boux Avenue’s top prizes.

The two wins come as the DMU Contour Fashion course is celebrating its 70th anniversary. Charley and Lucy will receive £750 prize money and an award created by Swarovski.

Lucy, whose swimwear collection was inspired by Roman architecture, said: “It is really amazing that I have been recognised for my work. I am so overwhelmed.

“To say that I have ‘award-winning’ lingerie feels pretty special and I am so grateful.

“The course has been incredibly stressful but it’s been a lot of fun and every moment has been so worth it.

Gillian Proctor (head of the course) is really good at what she does and she knows who would fit into certain roles, so her industry contacts can almost set us up for a career once we’ve graduated. She’s brilliant and we’re so thankful for everything she’s done for us.

“We’re so lucky to be graduating in the 70th anniversary year of the course and have the opportunity to be part of such a fantastic occasion.”

Charley, whose work was inspired by the architecture of Angkor Wat in Cambodia and the Aspara dancers from the region, used 3D printing to create her work in biodegradable materials.

She said: “I was pretty shocked when I heard I had won and happy that they understood what I was trying to do with my collection and appreciated what I had done.

“The fashion industry is the second biggest pollutant in the world and it can take up to 40 years for items to biodegrade. So I made my collection out of PLA, which is a biodegradable plastic made from corn starch. Nobody has printed a collection in this way and I am looking to the future.”

A total of 13 of the Class-of-2017 from DMU’s Fashion Design course saw their full final year collections paraded in front of an audience of major influencers, including industry leaders, journalists and fashion bloggers, during Graduate Fashion Week, the world's biggest event of its kind for students.

While another 22 students from the DMU Contour Fashion course showed off their collections at a catwalk show in the stunning Freemasons’ Hall, Covent Garden, marking the 70th anniversary of a course which is the oldest of its kind in the world.

Posted on Wednesday 21st June 2017

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