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Students enter the Cabinet of Curiosities with boundary-pushing designs


Second year Contour Fashion students were encouraged to let their imaginations go wild for a competition called The Cabinet of Curiosities, which culminated in  a special catwalk show in front of judges from major companies.

The students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) were told by the judges to push the boundaries with their designs.

CABINET winner main

Rosie Freestone and model (Pic: Antony Woolmer) 

The men and women from Tutti Rouge, Femina Lace, Denza International, Concept Paris and Curvy Kate were certainly impressed by what they saw.

In fact the judges, led by Mark Pine from Tutti Rouge, were hard pushed to pick out some winners. But in the end they plumped for first, second and third prizes.


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First prize went to Rosie Freestone, second prize went to Maria Paver and third prize went to Laura Persichillo.

Rosie said: “I am a bit overwhelmed. I can’t quite believe it that I won. I need to pinch myself a bit, I think. My main influence was skeletons. I was looking to use distinctive shapes and unique textures. I wanted to push the boat out and create different shapes.

“It’s the first time I’ve won anything at DMU. I want to work hard to get a first in my degree and then eventually run my own business.”

CABINET second MARIA charlie

Maria Paver and model (Pic: Charlie Firth)   

Maria added: “I feel really privileged. I wasn’t expecting this. My theme was politics and drag queens which involved creating femme sportswear that can be worn by cisgender and transgender people.

“I don’t like labels for male and female clothing. If I see something, I buy it because I like it, not because it is for a male or female.”

CABINET Laura charlie

Laura Persichillo with her model (Pic: Charlie Firth)

Laura said: “I feel really happy to have been awarded a prize. My design was initially influenced by jellyfish and how they light up. So I used transparent, opaque and sheer structures. I really loved taking part. I liked the remit of pushing boundaries.

“You are not always going to have that freedom in industry so it has been a chance at uni to be a bit different.”

What head judge Mark Pine said about the winning designs:

Rosie Freestone:

“You always hope there is one garment that captures the spirit of Cabinet of Curiosities. This garment did that. There was innovative, intelligent design and great detailing.”

Maria Paver:

“This really jumped out to us due to the fabrics used. The layering of the textiles and the fresh styling was excellent and there was the wow factor, which all designers want to see.”

Laura Persichillo:

“This outfit was well considered, beautifully executed and the attention to detail was spectacular. There was great synergy.”

CABINET catwalk 2 Antony

The catwalk show (Pic: Antony Woolmer)
Posted on Monday 13th May 2019

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