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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
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
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

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
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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