Unveiling original designs at Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) has earned two De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students sought-after internships with a luxury fashion and perfume house.
Dimitri with one of his designs at GFW
Footwear Design’s Dimitri Gabellier and Fashion Design’s Tara Dickson - who both graduate tomorrow - have secured six-month positions at Givenchy’s headquarters in Paris.
During GFW last month, they impressed representatives from the brand, which had more than 250 student portfolios submitted to them over the week.
Dimitri caught their attention with a number of innovative designs, including one which won the YKK Accessories Award and was inspired by Hojojutsu, the traditional Japanese martial art of restraining a person using cord or rope.
His futuristic sports shoe incorporating a self-designed BOA lacing system and springs in the sole to imitate a hydraulic system was shortlisted for the Clarks Footwear Award.
The design that earned Dimitri the YKK award
Tara’s innovation in menswear athleisure is what captured the brand’s imagination. Developed with help from a £2,500 bursary from The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, her designs were also shortlisted for the Tessuti Sportswear and Leisurewear Award.
They use patchwork and colour blocking to mirror the lines on sports courts and she collaborated on a key feature of her collection with Product Design student Thomas Lane - a set of motivational words which are 3D printed in Filaflex filament.
Just two weeks into his internship at Givenchy, Dimitri is already involved in designing new shoes, putting together factory tech packs and reviewing ideas with senior designers and factory staff.
“So far it's been amazing and really far from what I expected,” said the 24-year-old from Montpellier, France.
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Students walk off with top prizes for their shoe designs at Graduate Fashion Week
Students realise long-held ambitions seeing their fashion designs hit the London catwalk
Tara with her collection in the development stage
“I was scared that being an intern would mean just doing coffee runs and organising stuff, but from day one they have given me real jobs. On day two I had to send my first design to the factory.
“In my final year I was really worried about finding employment, so getting a job before graduating was a massive relief, especially with a big brand that fits my working process so well.”
Dimitri described the opportunity to show his work on DMU’s stand every day at GFW as ‘exhausting but valuable’. He said: “I learned so much about how to present my work and approach people.
“I went there without any real expectations and left with a few job offers and lots of contacts.”
GFW catwalk spotlight for Tara's collection
Starting in September as a knitwear and jersey designer for Givenchy’s MRTW label, 22-year-old Tara from Belfast said: “It’s a dream come true as it’s exactly what I want to do in my career. I feel honoured that I get to do it for one of the biggest brands in the world.
“It also proves that you don’t need to have your whole collection on the catwalk to be successful. Only two of my outfits made the cut, but it shows how important your portfolio is, along with your personality and how you present yourself as a designer.”
During her time at DMU, Tara completed a placement year split between Hugo Boss in Germany and high-end fashion label Peter Pilotto in London.
“I definitely feel like having a bit more experience helped me to get the job at Givenchy. Working in industry is so different to studying at university and I had a lot of experiences I could draw on,” she said.
Posted on Friday 19th July 2019