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News: Sewing bee bridal chal­lenge for students

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Fashion students at Nottingham College have been working on a design challenge set by a specialist wedding boutique in Chilwell. Mary Jeremiah from The Wedding Room donated three wedding dresses to the Level 3 Fashion & Textiles students, then set them the challenge to transform them into something new and exciting.

The project takes inspi­ra­tion from TV shows such as The Great British Sewing Bee. Mary will choose her favourite after they are show­cased at the annu­al Not­ting­ham Col­lege Cat­walk Fash­ion Show on Mon­day 17 June.

Students walking down a fashion runway modelling outfits in front of lots of people
Last year's catwalk fashion show

Over the course of a month, the stu­dents have under­tak­en a full trans­for­ma­tion challenge. 

They have drawn upon skills learned on their course, includ­ing: decon­struc­tion and re-con­struc­tion, pat­tern cut­ting, embell­ish­ment, and fab­ric dying. The wed­ding dress­es have been upcy­cled to either meet cur­rent on-trend wed­ding styles or become some­thing com­plete­ly new.

Fash­ion stu­dent Sarah Kirk is work­ing in a group to rework a wed­ding dress while chal­leng­ing tra­di­tion­al gen­der stereotypes. 

We want­ed to make a gar­ment that shows you don’t have to stick to tra­di­tion­al ideas of what makes some­thing bridal. So we’ve made part of the top of the dress more like a smart suit, as well as the more tra­di­tion­al parts. 

I’ve loved the project and I’m real­ly excit­ed about the fash­ion show. I love alter­ing clothes any­way as I do this myself when I’m not at College. 

 — Sarah Kirk
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Sarah Kirk will be wearing her team's creation on the catwalk on 17 June.

Niah Thomas is inter­est­ed in hav­ing her own cloth­ing line one day, but first she’s plan­ning on going to university. 

Mary knows a lot about the fash­ion indus­try. She’s helped me fig­ure out what I would like to do in the future. 

The Lec­tur­ers on the course are very help­ful too, and they also have a lot of indus­try knowledge. 

 — Niah Thomas
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l-r Students Niah Thomas and Ernest Mason

Giv­ing us the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work under a tight time frame, and to be less guid­ed in our learn­ing, meant we need­ed to be more intu­itive and learn prob­lem-solv­ing and var­ied skills. 

I thought it was real­ly good oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak to Mary about her career and find out about a suc­cess­ful local business. 

 — Ernest Mason
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Before!

Mary worked in the fash­ion and tex­tiles indus­try for 20 years before set­ting up The Wed­ding Room in 2012

The stu­dents have embraced this project with enthu­si­asm and cre­ativ­i­ty. It was good to see their ini­tial design ideas car­ried through to trans­form­ing the dress­es into excit­ing new pieces. I can’t wait to see how the gar­ments move on the catwalk. 

These are the design­ers of tomor­row and so it’s great to give them an oppor­tu­ni­ty to see what careers are avail­able to them in the future. 

 — Mary Jere­mi­ah
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l-r Tutor Deirdre Robbins and Mary Jeremiah examining the construction of one of the dresses, worn by student Sarah Kirk
Published on:
  • 12th June 2019 (3:15 PM)
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