Graduates gearing up for York Fashion Week runway show
York College University Centre graduates Hannah Miller and Elenor Houlgate will showcase their final-year collections this weekend as part of York Fashion Week.
Hannah and Elenor completed their BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Garment Technology studies in June and will now display their work during tomorrow (Saturday, September 30) night’s Student & Graduate Show at York Art Gallery in Exhibition Square.
The two-hour event starts at 8pm and Hannah and Elenor will be joined by current York College Higher Education and Further Education students, who will be modelling their clothes and working backstage.
Ahead of the show, Rebecca O’Leary, York College University Centre’s Fashion Design and Garment Technology Course Leader, said: “We’re incredibly proud that York College has worked with York Fashion Week since its inception back in 2018. It provides an invaluable platform for our students, not only in terms of showcasing their collections but they come away with first-hand experience of being a fundamental part of a major runway event as well as video content and professional images of their work being modelled on the runway in a stunning venue in front of a large audience.”
Hannah recently won the Most Determined Student Award at our 2023 Graduation Ceremony in York Minster.
She used the concept of personal journeys – both literal and metaphorical – to inspire her womenswear collection (modelled above and in the main image).
In her reimagining of a kinder fashion industry, she also embraced adaptable fashion to produce multi-seasonal, transitional garments that take the wearer from day to night across the seasons of the year.
She now intends to pursue a career in womenswear design and is currently undertaking a work placement for the Sunday Girl Magazine in Newcastle, having also served an internship with London-based menswear brand Orlebar Brown during her degree.
Hannah can be found on the following social media links:
Commenting on Hannah’s final collection and time at York College University Centre, Rebecca added: “Hannah has been an exceptionally hard-working student throughout her time on the programme. Sustainability underpins her creative practice and her final collection sees innovative solutions in adaptable designs using technical fabrics to support design longevity. She pays great attention to detail and has an acute awareness of the wider context within which fashion sits including global economical, environmental, political and social challenges.
“Hannah acknowledges the role she will play within the next generation of fashion professionals – developing solutions for a more sustainable and ethically motivated fashion industry. Inspired by the theme of ‘Personal Journeys’, Hannah has collaborated with photographers, make-up artists and models to produce the collection look book that will be handed out at the Student & Graduate Show.
“Using technical fabrics to enhance well-being and withstand ever-changing environmental conditions, many of the garments are adaptable, for example detachable sleeves and trouser legs to enhance multi-functionality across the seasons. The outcome is commercially viable yet innovative.
“Hannah has been a committed, dedicated and well-respected member of the ‘Fashion Family’ at York College and, with 100% attendance and a grade average of 85%, is an excellent role model. Her efforts were recognised with the prestigious ‘Most Dedicated Student’ award at the recent York College University Centre Graduation at York Minster.”
Elenor’s collection (pictured above and below) takes a deep dive into the complex world of mental health.
The psychology of colour informs the colour palette and the collection plays with scale in the embroidered self-portraits on oversized organza pocket bags.
Semi-opaque materials expose the inner workings of tailored pieces – a representation of the true, inner self.
Elenor is now progressing on to study the Master of Science degree in Luxury Fashion Management at Manchester Metropolitan University.
She can be found on the following social media links:
Commenting on Elenor’s collection and time at York College University Centre, Rebecca added: “Elenor is from York and her educational path saw her progress from Joseph Rowntree School on to the York College Access to Higher Education Diploma in Art & Design. In 2020, she then commenced study on the BA (Hons) in Fashion Design & Garment Technology course.
“Her semi-autobiographical Final Major Project explored mental health and well-being, documenting through self-portrait photography - better known as the selfie - the turbulent, often unanticipated emotions encountered when navigating life as a young person looking to find their way in the world. This echoes the global experiences of many young people, with 22% of young people aged 17 to 24 years having a mental disorder.
“Elenor has explored tailoring techniques in her womenswear collection and used free-hand embroidery to produce line drawings on the organza pocket bags. As Elenor’s time at York College University Centre has passed, so her confidence has grown.
“On an early course trip to London, she shook with anxiety at the thought of using the Tube. Now she regularly travels independently to London to source materials for projects.
“The day that Elenor was offered a place to study a Master’s in Luxury Fashion Management at Manchester Metropolitan University in September was a significant milestone.”
The Student & Graduate Show is one of a number of exciting York Fashion Week events that will be staged over five days from tomorrow.
For a full timetable and to buy tickets, please click here