Fashion students and grads to show Hong Kong GREAT festival why DMU's a centre for cutting edge design

De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU’s) reputation as a global centre for cutting edge fashion is about to skyrocket in China.

The world-renowned Contour Fashion and Fashion Design courses will be showcasing student and graduate work at the Great Festival of Innovation in Hong Kong.


The festival is a celebration of all that is GREAT about British innovation. DMU is the only higher education partner for the GREAT Festival, which is led by the Department for International Trade. It aims to deepen trade and business relationships between China and the UK, and present opportunities for making new connections between Britain and the Far East.

Other partners lining-up alongside DMU include Jaguar Land Rover, PwC, BT and HSBC.


During the event, which runs from Wednesday 21 March to Saturday 25 March, student work by Fashion Design’s Raabia Arif and Abisola Akkani and Contour Fashion’s Carys Gill will be modelled in the main arena by models standing on plinths.

Then a catwalk show will take place in the festival arena at the end of the week featuring six graduates from Contour Fashion – Tara O’Donovan, Charlie Chiddle, Lucy Watkins, Ellie Beaumont, Jessie Drabble and Lauren Smith – and six graduates from Fashion Design - Abisola Akkana, Raabia Arif, Bethany Griffiths , Ahnees Butt, Hannah Barnett and Eleanor Bandey.

The work of DMU Fashion Design graduate Hazel Symons will also be on display. Hazel was the toast of the global fashion industry after winning the 25th Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award by Oracle.


The moment Hazel Symons won gold at Graduate Fashion Week 

Graduate Fashion Week hosts one of the world’s biggest student catwalk events.

Hazel’s innovative outfits have seams which are bolted together rather than sewn, meaning customers can buy different pieces and bolt them together ‘like Lego’.

Fashion Design course leader Della Swain said: “This is such a brilliant opportunity for our graduates and our students to be showing their work alongside huge names in British innovation.

“Fashion is all about innovation. Our students and graduates cannot afford not to innovate or, because of the nature of the industry, they would be left behind.

“We are proud that we will be representing British fashion at its best.”


Graduate Abisola Akanni's work will be on show at GREAT

DMU’s Contour Fashion course – which studies the design of intimates such as lingerie, nightwear, sportswear and corsetry - is the oldest of its kind in the world and last year celebrated its 70th anniversary.

Senior Lecturer Rachel Toner said: “GREAT is a highly regarded event and it is phenomenal that DMU is the Higher Education Partner and that Contour work will be shown in a global environment.

“It will offer us an opportunity to show the intricacies and complexities of truly innovative contour work that we create on our course. We can also let the world know that the graduates that come from DMU are second to none.”

Posted on: Thursday 08 March 2018

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