For the second year running, one of our talented Fashion students has beaten off stiff competition from university-level students across the region to win the midlands heat of the SDC (Society of Dyers and Colourists) International Design Competition.
Fashion and textile design undergraduates from across the world were invited to enter the competition, which this year is themed on ‘Colour and The Universe’.
Lieselotte Akers, 23, who commutes from Sheffield to study the BA (Hons) Art & Design course at the College, produced a creative textile concept for the competition which she then used to design and manufacture a mini dress with matching coat, inspired by the 1960s space race designers, such as Pierre Cardin and Paco Rabanne. Her concept impressed the judges and she will now progress to the national stage of the competition in York*. If successful, Lieselotte will go on to compete in the global grand final, with finalists from around the world.
She said: “I went into the competition with no expectations whatsoever, I just thought it would be a great experience to be interviewed by industry professionals and I was eager to show my enthusiasm for my project.
“When they called my name as the winner, I went completely blank; I couldn’t believe that I had been chosen to represent the midlands in the final. It’s been a real confidence boost and I’m really excited to progress to the next stage of the competition.”
Lieselotte’s concept came from her passion for sustainable fashion and eco-friendly products, and so the textile she made was based on the use of sustainable dyes and fabric. Also, interpreting the SDC brief with a focus on the theme of space, her idea was to expand the galaxy and create a new planet made entirely out of eco-friendly products.
Reflecting on the current state of our planet, I wanted to look at things we can change to make us more sustainable, like, for example, using natural products.- Lieselotte
Lieselotte researched natural dyeing of fabrics and how easily it can be done. She explained:
You can use leftover food scraps such as beetroot, avocado and onion skins to get strong colours, or you can even forage in your garden and use the leaves that have fallen from the trees. Natural dyes have always been a huge interest to me and go hand-in-hand with learning how to become a sustainable designer, as it’s now more significant than ever.- Lieselotte
Fashion Design Tutor, Alex Barnes, said: “This is the second year in a row that one of our students has won the regional heat, in fact last year, our student Sarah Gotheridge, made it all the way to the international final in China! To triumph again at this stage is so exciting and I’m absolutely thrilled for Liesel. She worked so hard during the two-month project and her finished garment is stunning. I’m so proud of her achievement and I’m looking forward to seeing how far she can go in the competition.”
*Due to the current coronavirus pandemic, the national stage of the competition has been postponed until next year.