Graduate Fashion Week line-up revealed by DMU

De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students are showing their trend-setting collections on the coveted Graduate Fashion Week (GFW) catwalk.


Unconventionally layered outerwear by Emily

Six students have been shortlisted for GFW awards across four categories, ahead of the highly anticipated event and following a rigorous selection process at DMU, 21 final-year Fashion Design students have been selected to show four-piece collections on the catwalk in front of industry talent spotters, leading fashion houses, journalists and social media influencers.

Emily Vernum, who is in the running for the Fashion Design Portfolio Award, is showing a colourful outerwear collection for women. Her outfits comprise wool felt with cut-out details, paired with patent leather and upcycled denim donated by Levi’s, where she works part-time as a stylist.

The 21-year-old from Kibworth Harcourt in Leicestershire said: “It’s amazing to be shortlisted for an award, I really wasn’t expecting it at all.

“I’m excited about seeing my collection on the catwalk. It’s taken a lot of hard work over three years and it feels very surreal. I’m so grateful to Levi’s for their generous donation to my collection.”


Mariah used 5,000 labels to create each outfit in her collection

Also showing four outfits on the catwalk is Mariah Esa, who was shortlisted for two industry accolades earlier this year – the PCA Vision 2019 and Golden Shears awards.

Mariah’s GFW collection tackles fast fashion waste by making use of clothing labels destined for landfills. Each one of her outfits is made of approximately 5,000 labels, painstakingly stitched together with a one millimetre seam allowance.

“I approached a local manufacturer about using their discarded labels and even though I took thousands away with me, it was just the tip of the iceberg. My parents work in fashion, so I’ve always been aware of the issue, but this was so eye-opening,” said the 22-year-old from Leicester.

“I can’t put into words how it feels to be chosen for the GFW catwalk. It’s something I’ve been working towards since my first year and it feels like a massive achievement and celebration.”


Striking athleisure knitwear by Tara

DMU’s catwalk will open with a run of single outfits by a number of students, followed by two outfits by Tara Dickson, whose designs are shortlisted for the Sportswear and Leisurewear Award.

Tara’s menswear athleisure makes clever use of patchwork and colour blocking to resemble the lines on sports courts, which she developed with help from a £2,500 bursary from The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.

She also collaborated with her boyfriend and Product Design student Thomas Lane on a key feature of her collection - a set of motivational words which are 3D printed in Filaflex filament. 

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Dimitri's intricate rope design is shortlisted for the Accessories Award

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland said: "I feel so blessed to have come this far in the awards shortlist and it would be amazing to win.

"The real reward will be seeing my work on the catwalk though. During my work placement with Peter Pilotto I got to experience backstage at London Fashion Week, so I can't wait to have that feeling at GFW with my very own collection."

Footwear Design student Dimitri Gabellier has been shortlisted for two GFW awards. He captured the attention of YKK, sponsors of the Accessories Award, with a shoe inspired by Hojojutsu, the traditional Japanese martial art of restraining a person using cord or rope.

A futuristic sports shoe earned Dimitri a place on the shortlist for the Clarks Footwear Award. He designed his own BOA lacing system from scratch and incorporated springs in the sole, to imitate a hydraulic system. He also collaborated with Sheima Seiki, a leader in computerised flat knitting technology, to design the shoe's upper component.


Futuristic lines earned Dimitri a second award nomination

"I was really happy to work with an industry specialist on this design. I learned so much about the machines and the process involved, which was a really valuable experience,” said the 24-year-old from Montpellier in France.

"Being shortlisted for two awards is cool and also stressful. Whatever the outcome, I'm really looking forward to being at GFW and talking to as many people in industry as possible."

The 21 students who will show their full collections on the catwalk are: Georgia Jackson, Edyta Kalisz, Shari Lesmes Contreras, Phoebe Lister, Hollie Mobbs, Zainab Patel, Lauren Real, Chantice Sharp, Gemma Abbott, Georgia Ainley, Gianna Di Salvo, Mariah Esa, Megan Farmer, Siobhan Farrel, Achaia Gay, Eleftheria Stylianou, Katie Tyler, Emily Vernum, Shihua Ou, Hannah Payne and Jean-Clemintina Zirpolo.

DMU joins more than 40 universities at London’s Truman Brewery for GFW (2-5 June), the leading international event for fashion graduates, highlighting the very best young designers and attracting in excess of 30,000 guests each year.

Posted on Friday 31 May 2019

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