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Fairfax June 15

University Centre fashion students to exhibit at finest Georgian townhouse in England

The finest Georgian townhouse in England is to exhibit work by York College University Centre fashion degree students that it has helped inspire.

In the second year of our collaboration with Fairfax House, garments made by our BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Garment Technology students will be showcased in the historic York building renowned for transporting visitors back to 18th-century city living with its impressive collection of furniture, clocks, paintings and decorative arts.

The Castlegate venue will host the exhibition from June 21 to June 28.

Our students, who initially paid a visit to the house at the start of their “Product Innovation” module, were given the opportunity to explore the Georgian property and give their own interpretation on the period features and interiors.

On her visit to Fairfax House, fashion student Eve Wood was inspired by the swirling patterns which feature throughout the house, and in particular on the ceilings. Part of the project focus was also to bring aspects of themselves into the designs.

Eve chose to incorporate a corset into her garment to symbolise the restrictions having Coeliac Disease has on her life. The corset element, whilst being relevant to Eve’s personal experiences, also gives a nod to the garments worn by women in the 18th century.

Keen gardener and fashion student Danielle Sampler, on exploring Fairfax House, naturally gravitated to the floral designs seen within the furnishings and tableware displayed throughout the Georgian house.

Choosing to focus on the delicate floral designs shown on the plates, Danielle said she “enjoys the shape of roses and took inspiration from no two being the same”.

Having an interest in natural dyes, which were prominent in the 18th century, Danielle used flowers from her garden to press onto the fabric she used to create the top half of her garment and the overall palette for her design.

Part way through the project the fashion students returned to Fairfax House to present the progress of their designs and enjoyed discussions with Fairfax House curator, Dr Sarah Burnage on how the garments could be further developed.

Programme lead of York College University Centre’s BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Garment Technology course, Rebecca O’Leary, said she was “thrilled with the platform the collaboration has given her students” and described the experience as “a golden opportunity for the budding fashion designers to exhibit at Fairfax House in the heart of the city”.

On the collaboration between Fairfax House and York College University Centre, Dr Sarah Burnage said:

“My visit today is the first time I’ve seen the students’ finished garments. I think they’re brilliant – they’re all so original and it’s always such a surprise to see how unique each design is.

“It’s really interesting because each year we have seen something totally different from the students. It could be a part of the house that we maybe haven’t noticed before.

“This year has not disappointed! The students have taken inspiration from the decorative details in the ceiling and the furnishings, and you can see this pulled through into the final pieces they are sharing today.

“We are excited to share the garments with our visitors, who will go through the historic rooms before arriving in the final room where they see the students’ final pieces.

“There can be a misconception that 18th century houses can be quite boring and dry. Our collaboration with the students at York College & University Centre brings something quite special. It’s not often we get the chance to showcase this level of creativity and we love it!”

View the students work at Fairfax House

The work of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design & Garment Technology students will be on display at Fairfax House in York from June 21 to June 28.

Book your tickets here.