3rd May 2016
An innovative project will see cutting edge fashion from York College students on the catwalk alongside internationally acclaimed brands at the Great Yorkshire Show – and give a boost to Saint Leonard's Hospice in York.
Inspiration for the garments being designed by first year Extended Diploma Fashion and Clothing students (aged 16 and 17) has come from men’s suits donated to the city’s St Leonard's Hospice shops. The students have up-cycled the suits - de-constructing them, then re-working the fabric into women’s wear, adding quirky touches and splashes of vibrant coloured fabrics.
A selection of garments will be modelled on the catwalk at England's premier agricultural extravaganza which this year runs from Tuesday 12th – Thursday 14th July at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. The catwalk shows are an important and popular attraction at the event and the students' designs will feature along with collections from such illustrious names as Max Mara and Cordings of Piccadilly. And when the show is over, some of the garments will be auctioned to raise money for the hospice, whilst others will feature in student portfolios.
This major British Heritage project was the brainchild of John Warburton who, until he retired, spent 45 years in the fashion and textile industry. He is now a volunteer at the hospice's Selby branch and he is also Chief Steward in the Great Yorkshire Fashion Shows. John commented: “It is wonderful to see this hugely exciting initiative taking shape. It works on so many levels - bringing together the creativity of the students, the prestige of the Great Yorkshire Show and the platform it gives, as well as highlighting the work of the Hospice. The catwalk shows are always immensely popular, attracting around 6,000 plus visitors - I can't wait to see the students' work featured there.”
A key benefit for the real-time project is that the students have been able to work to an external brief, said York College fashion tutor, Tara Berridge: “The work produced by our students is insightful and innovative. Their individual garments reflect a range of skills learnt on the course such as research, moulage modelling on mannequins, pattern cutting and garment manufacturing. This live project provides students with a fantastic opportunity to work in the wider community, on a live brief, for a real client, as would be the case in industry.”
Photography: Duncan Lomax, York
The fashion shows take place four times daily in the Skipton Building Fashion Pavilion. They are organised by Morton Gledhill – The Fashion Team. This will be the 158th Great Yorkshire Show and it will highlight the best of British farming and the countryside with thousands of animals in the competitive classes. The showground’s new £10m exhibition hall will make its debut as a food emporium and elsewhere attractions include displays by the motorcycle display team, Bolddog Lings, as well as international show jumping, a Garden Show, Art Show, and more than 1,300 stands with everything from jacuzzis to combine harvesters on display.