Mother Nature will come to life in a colourful fashion show by students at York College this week. MAXINE GORDON goes behind the scenes for a preview

Pictures: Nick Hill

FLAMES and waves, the plight of the ocean, and fungi are some of varied inspirations behind fashion collections from students at York College which will go on parade at catwalk shows this week.

Students from the fashion department are working round the clock to get their garments finished in time for two shows on Wednesday at the Park Inn hotel, North Street, (not the Principal as previously advertised).

Many students designed their end-of-year pieces as part of a project on the theme of Mother Nature.

Among them is teenager Sophie Woodliffe, 17, from Kexby, near Dunnington, York.

Wearing a striking shirt jumpsuit in a dusty pink with a black fishnet overlay, the former All Saints RC School pupil said her outfit was a reaction to the plight of coral in the ocean.

"I was inspired by a trip to The Deep in Hull and looked into how ocean pollution is affecting coral," said Sophie. The washed-out salmon-pink of the garment represents the changing colour of the coral, added Sophie, who is going on to study design technology at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The amazing world of fungi sounds more appealing to fine chefs or biologists than fashion students, but Beth Fursman is an exception. Their shapes and colours have inspired her end-of-year collection and have set the 21-year-old from Huby on a path straight to Leeds Beckett University to study fashion design.

Waves and flames are not to be missed in the designs of Katie Wood, 18, from York. One piece shows a red PVC mini dress with cartoon-like flames in yellow and orange leaping from it like an overgrown corsage. Why flames? "I like fire - and with waves we have two opposites coming together," said Katie who is hoping for a career in fashion promotion and has a place to study at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Lucy Dowker from Pocklington channelled happy memories of crabbing at Whitby into her final collection. Bright yellow trousers represent the waterproof oilskins worn by fisherman at the North Yorkshire port, while her black bodice has intricate panels stitched into it to mimic that of a crab's body. The 23 year old said she hoped to continue making her own designs and sell them online through e commerce sites such as Etsy.

Mum-of-two Kym Sadler has been burning the candle at both ends to get her capsule collection ready which showcases cruise wear. Taking her cue from a recent exhibition at the V&A on ocean liners, Kym has designed very wearable separates with pleat details and a multi-coloured lining. Her dream job is to get into visual merchandising for a big name brand.

Rebecca O’Leary, course leader for the fashion BA degree course praised the students' hard work.

She said: “All the fashion students have produced creative and individual collections that are influenced by a variety of different sources of inspiration.

"We see unique fabric combinations and silhouettes, many of which are influenced by social concerns and developments such as sustainability and women’s rights.

"Outcomes are professional in their construction and innovative in their design, reflecting industry standards and preparing the students well for their next steps into industry or further study.”