If any more proof were needed about the high regard that the Contour Fashion course at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is held in, just look at the major brands that are sponsoring its annual catwalk show in London this week.
One of Georgina Honour's pieces
Every year, selected final year students head to the lavish surroundings of Freemason’s Hall, Covent Garden, to see their collections walked down the runway by professional models in front of leaders of some of the UK’s biggest brands.
And each year, brands representing the contour industry – including lingerie, swimwear, leisurewear and textiles companies – put their names to the event that has become a must see for forecasters of future trends and talent spotters.
This year’s platinum sponsors are one of the world’s hottest fitness wear brands, Gymshark, and elastics company Stretchline.
Part of the collection by Hannah Barratt
F&F at Tesco are gold sponsors, while silver sponsors are UK lingerie chain Boux Avenue, lingerie and swimwear store Figleaves, which won online retailer of the year at the UK Lingerie Awards, online company Loungeunderwear and Italian fabric manufacturer Carvico.
Other firms backing the show are long-term supporters Next, whose headquarters are in Blaby, Tommy Hilfiger, Wacoal and Coco De Mer, as well as German lingerie brand Naturana, swimwear brand Pistol Panties, maternity and post-surgery lingerie firm Royce and Sue and Malcolm Vagg, formerly of Triumph.
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Trade association UKFT, which represents 2,500 fashion designers, manufacturers, agents and retailers to promote their industry globally, has also given the show its backing.
An item of Jessica Basey's sportswear
Gillian Proctor, Associate Professor of Contour Fashion at DMU, makes it her task each year to sign up sponsors and other supporters to help fund the catwalk show.
She said: “The support we have from industry is phenomenal and I am constantly humbled by the consistent backing we receive from many fashion sectors.
“People like Stretchline, Next and Wacoal are key players and they always offer support and encouragement for the creative development of our students.
“Without the support of all of our backers and the exposure and opportunities they have offered our students – to collaborate with big brands and explore new avenues for technical development – the industry would grind to a halt.
One of Roshni Desai's pieces
“The support we have also shows the relevance of our course in a global context."
Hannah Barratt, from Leicester, has been selected to show her full collection on the catwalk.
She said: “I am really excited about next week. I cried when I was told I had been selected. I was shocked as I was just not expecting it. When you start the Contour Fashion course this is what you dream of – to see your collection on the runway in London.”
Hannah’s lingerie collection was inspired by both the physical and mental meaning of the word reflection. It includes delicate, hand embroidered details.
Oddie Szabo's work will also be on the runway
Gillian also thanked all the heads of brands who sat on selection panels and set competitions for the students throughout the year.
“It is a big ask for them to give up their time in a changing economic environment and I am really grateful,” she added.
The Contour Fashion Catwalk Show takes place in Freemason’s Hall, Covent Garden on Thursday 6 June.
There are more collections on the catwalk than ever before in 2019, with 30 students showing four pieces each and a further 18 students showing one piece each.
You can see coverage of the Contour Fashion catwalk show on the @dmuleicester Twitter and Instagram accounts from 3pm next Thursday.
Posted on Monday 3rd June 2019