End of year fashion show puts Lincoln on the style radar

Since 2008, the University’s fashion department have been successfully hosting their “Coming into fashion” event in the Engine Shed, with third year students demonstrating Lincoln’s rightful place on the fashion radar.

Last year’s 3rd annual catwalk show saw ‘contemporary, wearable trends’ hit the runway, but this year’s collections were louder, brighter and more edgy than ever before.

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— Photos by Anneka James

Student Zoe Simpkins kick started the show with her collection Wintry Escape, the audience transcended back to memories of the December chill and heavy snowfall as Simpkins paraded her winter prints with frosty detail down the runway.

Wintry Escape is a collection of men and womenswear involving heavy knitted garments for both sexes, fur head wear and trimmings, a cape and the first of an assortment of jumpsuits to come later in the show.

The third collection of the night came from student Philippa Goodchild who transformed the contemporary atmosphere on the runway with her futuristic designs, combining sharp structures and soft, printed fabrics.

Goodchild’s Reptilian collection was introduced on stage by a fluorescent green light show emphasising her edgy designs, she incorporated pleated, printed fabrics and a deep V neck jumpsuit with fringing on the legs to echo reptile skin.

A large, frilled collar sharpened at the edges was similarly used to resemble that of a frilled-neck lizard.

The first floor-length dress of the evening came from Soraya Ojaghy with her wearable collection Aphrodite inspired by the Greek goddess of love, beauty and sexuality.

Ojaghy’s designs were on-trend with current high street must-haves, incorporating a mixture of jumpsuits, maxi dresses and loose chiffon blouses.

The first of Soraya’s dresses was pea green with a side leg split, followed by a black empire line dress with intricate detailing.

Victoria Skerrow, the 14th student to hit the catwalk upped the tempo with her collection Buttons and Bows ‘a kitsch clash of polka dots and gingham’ paying ‘humorous homage to the 1950’s’.

Skerrow’s designs were fun, feminine and flaunty, with a mixture of red and black polka dots, checks and heart designs.

She integrated different aspects of the 1950’s into her collection from a prom-style, knee length dress to a pair of high-waist hot pants typical of a 50’s pin-up girl.

Chelsea Handleigh was 24th in the line-up when she took to the runway with her collection Ba-rock, combining the baroque style of 17th and 18th century Europe, her garments were characterized by their ornate detail and added leather features.

Handleigh’s phonetically named collection saw a combination of black materials and neutral colours, such as an on-trend chiffon blouse with front zip and strong black collar.

The stud detailing on a pair of trousers and a black, leather belt in the shape of two hands used to synch in the waist gave an edgy vibe to her collection.

Last to grace the runway was Rebecca Budby and her collection Enlightened, inspired by the delicacy of oriental lanterns her designs were soft, transparent and feminine, finishing the night off on a much warmer note than it had began with Wintry Escape.

Budby’s garments included a translucent, striped box skirt and a ruched puffball skirt to mimic the soft structures of oriental lanterns, and added to the oriental theme with an orange pastel parasol and accompanying music.

To finish off the night and three years of hard graft by the students, four different prizes were awarded to those who showed “passion about British design” and “an incredibly high level of craftsmanship” in their collections.

First was the Debenhams’ award for professionalism which went to Helen Barran and her collection Age of the Empire.

Age of the Empire was a “modern interpretation of Victorian elegance” with intricate detailing and structured hemlines.

“It was a range for the over 50’s so you had to be really respectful to the wearer,” says designer Helen on her collection.

Helen designed a wide range of womenswear from white printed blouses and cuffed, wide leg trousers to a floor length dress gathered at the front revealing the knee.

“I’ve done quite a lot of market research to know that you need to have it calf length, three-quarter length but … it wasn’t ‘old fogey’ because it was still quite new and fresh,” says Helen.

Next was the award for fashion design innovation awarded by The Hub, centre of craft and design in Sleaford.

Janie Lismore, head of learning at The Hub presented the award to Jemma Handford for her collection Internal Structure which she says was “inspired by the human anatomy.”

“Inspiration came from the muscle lines, I’ve done a lot of quilting… a lot of fabric manipulation, like taking inspiration from the brain… and I’ve taken inspiration from the veins,” explains Jemma.

Lismore praised Handford’s “incredibly high level of craftsmanship” and said “she was the most ideal candidate” for the award because “she had so clearly thought out her work and done so much incredibly good research to back up her thoughts and ideas.”

In addition, The Hub awarded a second prize for highly commended student to Louise Burnett and her collection Chocolat.

“Louise was a bit of a fast ball for us … we meet the students very early on in the year and we get to see them roughly every six weeks, but we hadn’t seen any of her work until the very last day,” says Lismore.

“When she showed us all of her garments we were just absolutely amazed, they were just so beautiful. It was really bizarre really because she came in so late in the day, we’d never met her before and when she showed us her designs we were just astounded, they were fantastic,” she says.

Louise’s sophisticated collection was inspired by European chocolate shops and movie star glamour, she elaborated on classic ideas such as knee length dresses and wide leg trousers with quilted fabrics in the style of aprons.

The final and most sought-after award of the night came from fashion designer David Nieper, along with a £250 cheque.

Managing director of the Alfreton fashion business, Christopher Nieper awarded the prize money to Carly Squire for her collection Balletic Drama.

“It’s been a fantastic evening… we’re very passionate about British design and manufacture,” says Nieper.

Balletic Drama was a sophisticated collection evoking the darker side of theatrical ballet, although the students began designing their collections last September Squire’s garments were extremely up-to-date with the latest ballet-trend inspired by the release of Black Swan starring Natalie Portman.

The evening was a huge success with an eccentric atmosphere as students cheered each other’s collections as they appeared on stage, praising their peers hard work and design.

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