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Mastectomy bras and glow-in-the-dark embroidery earn industry praise for DMU designers

Students on De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) world-famous Contour Fashion course have impressed their way to prizes during a competition with leading lingerie brand Lounge.

DMU Contour Fashion students enjoying a tour of Lounge HQ

The final years were set a live brief by Lounge to design a six-piece collection for spring/summer 2022 and construct one of their outfits. They had to consider sustainable design principles, new consumer trends and innovative fabrications.

Fifteen finalists were invited to the brand’s headquarters in Birmingham to present their collections and show their constructed outfits, as well as to enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour.

The overall winner was Issy Priddey, with second and third places awarded to Meg White and Min Kim respectively. Commendations also went to Sonica Signey and Disha Lulla.

Issy wowed the judges with a technically advanced and feminine mastectomy collection featuring two interchangeable bras, earning her a six-month internship at Lounge starting after she graduates this summer.

Issy's mastectomy collection won first place

Her moulded cup bra with internal pockets for prosthetics and her bandeau bra can be worn as is or can be joined in a half-and-half design to suit different needs. Inspired by orchids, her vibrant and burnt orange design is a hand-drawn and digitised floral print.

“I was inspired by Lounge’s own Feel Your Breast campaign and just saw mastectomy lingerie as a really big and obvious gap in the market,” said the 23-year-old from Brighton.

“As part of my market research I joined a mastectomy support group on Facebook and the feedback I received was so valuable in helping me to design something both comfortable and empowering.

“I limited seams and stitching to avoid skin irritation, added front fastenings for ease, and I also incorporated the Lounge branding within my print. The silhouettes themselves are super feminine, but simple enough to show off the print.”

With work placements at luxury latex clothing label House of Harlot and iconic womenswear brand The Vampire’s Wife already under her belt, Issy is looking forward to her Lounge internship.

She said: “I’ve experienced quite a few different industry areas during my placements, but this internship could solidify what position I may take on in future.

“Everyone was so amazing when we visited Lounge. It was a really positive experience making me realise my potential and pushing me into experimenting with wetsuit designs for my final degree collection. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do that without winning the Lounge competition.”

Issy’s feminine wetsuit collection, made from lace-like laser-cut panels that contour the body, hit the Fashanne catwalk last week and was shortlisted for the Athleisure Design Award.

Holiday-inspired designs earned Meg second place

Second place winner of the Lounge live brief Meg made waves with her holiday-inspired collection, evoking seashells and sandy beaches through her clever choice of colour and creation of textures.

The 20-year-old from Cornwall said: “I used the labs at DMU to dye all of my lace a champagne colour and I hand-pleated my skirt to look like sand dunes. I then included details like strapping and cut outs to give my collection a modern feel. Winning an award made all the hard work so worth it.

“The whole experience with Lounge was great. They came in during our development stage and it was helpful to get their industry perspective on things like construction. Also, visiting their HQ was surreal and amazing. Going into jobs now, I feel like I know what to expect of commercial brands.”

Disha hand embroidered her collection with glow-in-the-dark thread

Disha was commended for her collection’s bespoke glow-in-the-dark hand embroidery and sustainable approach.

“I had to experiment with lots of different threads to get the effect I wanted. Every piece was hand embroidered with hidden ‘L’s in the design and a big Lounge logo on the back of my robe, which took such a long time,” said the 23-year-old from India.

“I used tulle made from recycled plastics and I made all of my hardware using scraps from DMU’s metalwork workshops. As part of my collection, I also planted five trees and have made donations to various charities.

“It was a great experience and I enjoyed learning a lot from the Lounge designers who came to help us with the brief. They got to know us really well over the three months, so it’s a huge advantage for us when applying for jobs.”

Disha also made headlines during the pandemic for sewing thousands of reusable face masks for the people of her Indian hometown and using all the profits to fund charities and plant trees.

Posted on Tuesday 17th May 2022

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