Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
On a fashion passport
York fashion students travelled as far as India to help create end-of-year collections that look out of this world.
PASSPORTS were as important as pins for fashion students at York College who visited India and Italy looking for inspiration for their designs.
The fruits of their travels will be revealed at a glamorous fashion show at York Racecourse on Thursday.
Anneka Rogers, 21, of Malton, was one of the foundation degree students who took part in an academic exchange to India – a first for the college.
The students stayed for three weeks, said Helen Ventress, head of art, design and craft at York College. “They went out to source fabrics, trims and beads. They went to markets and specialist craft areas, visited manufacturers and small factories and dusty street stalls,” said Helen.
Anneka said she was knocked out by the culture shock and has called her final collection, Indescribable India. “You can hardly describe what it’s like,” she says. “You just can’t take everything in.”
The peacock is the national bird of India, explains Anneka, who used this in her designs. She bought ready-made embroidered peacocks at a street market and incorporated them into her garments back in York. In one dress, featuring a deep purple skirt with an upper body displaying a feather print, a large peacock is stitched across the front.
It was the Duomo in Italy that struck a chord with 21 year old Alix Shaw, from Norton, near Malton. “We went on a college trip to Florence last term,” says Alix. “I loved the structure of the Duomo and even used the colours inside the cathedral in my designs.”
The visit has resulted in an eye-catching collection, with large coloured hoops on the neckline reflecting the shapes Alix found so striking in Italy.
Closer to home, a class trip to the new Hepworth sculpture gallery at Wakefield paid dividends for final year BA fashion student Georgina Laverack.
The 22-year-old from York has called her collection Sculpted In White. She particularly wanted to show off her skill in design and pattern cutting.
“I got the idea of translating the sculptures into fashion and have used string and holes in the pockets and in the garments so you can see through it,” says Georgina.
Like many of the fashion students, Georgina will be looking for a job now her course is finished. “I love the technical side and want to be a pattern cutter,” she said.
As ever, students found their inspiration from a surprising array of subjects.
For Robyn Shackleton, 21, from York, it was the shapes of mushrooms in the countryside that led her to create her voluminous tailoring in woodland colours; Olivia Barningham, 18, from Helmsley, took her skeleton theme to its creative zenith, crafting a bodice out of pieces of metal; vintage circuses led Aimee Sullivan, 19, of York, to conjur a collection featuring tailored hotpants in rusted bronze and golds while the work of Art Nouveau spurred Chelcie Curtis, 18, from Kirkbymoorside, to create a pretty pleated pink dress echoing the shape of shells.
Viennese artist Gustav Klimt inspired Ruby Kinch, 18, from Scarborough, to design her own creation for a nymph: her floral and gold dress with see-through skirt was as ethereal as anything from a Klimt painting.
Boldness in colour and design were the factors at play in Charlotte Douthwaite’s work for her final BA collection.
“I’ve called it Ori-Tropicana because it is inspired by origami and sculpture and the brights of colour blocking that are a trend in fashion,” she said.
Charlotte, 23, from York, said she would love to set up her own label.
Work by the fashion students will be on parade at two catwalk shows on Thursday; a matinee at 1.30pm and an evening performance at 7.30pm. Tickets, priced £5 for the matinee and £8 for the evening show, are available from the York College Finance Office.