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Students mark 75th year of Contour Fashion at DMU by wowing industry with a 'bold, inspiring and innovative' catwalk show


For 75 years, Contour Fashion at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has had a reputation for blending creativity and innovation with technical brilliance.

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Behind the scenes

And the Class of 2022 did not disappoint as they put on a showstopping catwalk collection in front of some of the biggest companies in British fashion to mark the milestone occasion.

Lounge – a multi-million-pound underwear brand whose sales tripled during lockdown – were headline sponsors, alongside Stretchline, whose elasticated fabrics are used in sportswear and lingerie, as well as by medical and even aerospace companies.

Industry names such as Gossard, Sweaty Betty, Skims, George at Asda, Next, Panache, River Island, Sweaty Betty, and On running shoes took their seats in The Venue@DMU to see the creations which ranged from lingerie to sportswear, swimwear and intimate apparel.

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Louise Mawby's collection

“It was amazing,” said Shauna Wyatt, assistant lingerie technician at high street giant Next. “The quality, and creativity that the students have shown here is incredible, especially when you consider that for part of their course they have been at home because of Covid.”

Colleague Ellie Balwako, assistant lingerie manager at Next, said: “The pattern cutting, the execution of the garments, the innovation was amazing in terms of design. We had high hopes because it’s contour at DMU, and we were definitely not disappointed.”

For the first time, the Contour Fashion team held the show on campus instead of London. The Venue@DMU was transformed into a catwalk and the students had the chance to network with industry at a special gala reception on the sun-baked Vijay Patel Building terrace.

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Katie Downward's collection

The Lounge Underwear team spent time after the show meeting the students and chatting about their inspirations. Graduate Issy Priddey will be joining the team for six months on placement.

Georgia Perry, of Lounge said: “It was incredible, honestly we were wowed by the work we have seen today. It was bold, inspiring and innovative. The technical detail that they have shown was so impressive.”

Natasha Chung, who works for running shoe brand On, said: “There were a lot of interesting shapes and colours in the designs, and really strong technical work. I wish the graduates every success in the future, there is a lot of talent there.”

The students – many of whom had been up since dawn preparing for the show – said it was “the best experience.”

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DMU contour designers basking in the after-show limelight

Louise Mawby’s La Beaute Glaciale collection was inspired by ice and snow, featuring baby-blue lingerie with delicate lace.

She said: “I was so nervous because it’s like your whole university degree boils down to the few minutes when you see your designs go down the catwalk. After the show one of the guests said my collection was his absolute favourite, which was incredible.”

Katie Downward said: “It was surreal seeing my project come together like that on the catwalk, I was so overwhelmed. They looked brilliant, I could not have been happier with how the models looked, they were stunning. It’s such a buzz, I’m still overwhelmed with it all.”

Posted on Wednesday 22nd June 2022

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