Throughout the week, the corridors and walkways of the GREAT Festival of Innovation have been packed with entrepreneurs, business leaders and CEOs – until De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) Fashion students arrived.
Models wearing designs which have graced the catwalks of African Fashion Week and London’s Graduate Fashion Week were part of a pop-up salon showcase held in the Asia Society, which has hosted the GREAT Festival last week.
The four-day event aimed to imagine the future by championing innovations and focusing on how technology and new ideas in the fields of work, live, play and learn. DMU is the lead education partner at GREAT and showcased the work of students, graduates and academics in VR, Game Art, Fashion, Architecture and Cyber Security.
Fashion Design graduate Abisola Akanni and Master’s student Raabia Arif brought their stylish, colourful collections to Hong Kong. Hair and make-up was arranged and the models were made up at the British Consulate before heading for the venue, where their walk-through turned heads throughout the venue. Contour Fashion student Carys Gill was also on hand to help organise and co-ordinate the pop-up fashion salon, and helped show the work of DMU knitwear designer Bethany Griffiths to the audience. The next day, she got her own catwalk moment when her lingerie designs were featured in a catwalk show to a packed audience.
Raabia, who plans to work in high-end design, said: “Opportunities like this are so important for young designers. It’s our platform to show industry and the general public what we can do on an international stage.”
Abisola has showed her collection in Abu Dhabi, said: “To have the chance to show my designs here and to have such great feedback – it’s amazing.”
Raabia said: “Coming to Hong Kong and having this experience has definitely made me think of working overseas. You talk to people who have moved away to work and it makes you think, ‘I could do this’.”
Hong Kong is a major hub for the fashion industry, with a booming design focus and many international brands have bases here. As part of their #DMUglobal experience, Fashion students have visited lingerie company Clover and Royal Spirit, which produce garments for high end and mass market names.
DMU’s fashion showcase was just one of the events happening at the GREAT festival. DMU Game Art’s VR display allowed visitors to imagine themselves within a virtual world in Amsterdam. It was created for BMW as part of its work to examine ways to improve customer experience.
And it earned praise from one person who should know - Eiji Uda, chief tech innovation officer for the Toyko 2020 organisers. After trying the headset, he said: “I have seen virtual reality many times, but this must be the best one. I was confused – I thought it was real when I tried it!”
Also on display were DMU’s sector-leading international experience programme #DMUglobal and #DMUworks, our employability initiative which aims to create more opportunities for businesses to work with students.
Helping out throughout the festival have been 12 #GREATAmbassadors – students working with the festival. PhD student Nabeelah Omarjee said: “This has been the best #DMUglobal experience I have ever had. Being part of the #GREATInnovation festival has been an incredible opportunity, and Hong Kong is the best city.”
Posted on Monday 26th March 2018