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News: Fash­ion com­pe­ti­tion triumph

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Lieselotte and her winning garment
Lieselotte and her winning garment

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
Liesel's design board

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.

Published on:
  • 1st May 2020 (1:06 PM)
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