It’s that time of year when fashion and design students complete their final collections. The work will be seen in shows attended by industry representatives, family and friends. Hilarie Stelfox previews the University of Huddersfield’s graduate fashion show
INSPIRED by everything from natural disasters and animal markings to cloudy skies, the final collections of Huddersfield University’s fashion students prove that imagination is the key to creative design.
According to Kathryn Brennand, senior lecturer in fashion, this year’s crop of graduates – 31 in total – have also shown themselves to be diverse.
“The collections are all very different,” says Kathryn. “I think this is because of the diversity of the placement year that the students have had.
“One of our strengths is the fact that we have had 15-plus years with a good bank of companies offering all sorts of opportunities to our students. It shows in their work.”
For the students the final year collections and show are important – not just for passing their degrees but also for attracting attention from prospective employers.
Kathryn added: “They work very hard at this time of year, sometimes all night in order to get their collections finished.”
A number of the students we spoke to said they’d made Huddersfield their first choice when looking for a fashion degree because it offers a range of courses incorporating design with textiles, marketing and promotion.
The university boasts that 95% of graduates on fashion, art, design and architecture courses find work in the creative sector after leaving university.
“They go into design, buying, PR, events management – many different areas,” explained Kathryn.
Such is the reputation of the university’s fashion department that next year’s hike in tuition fees has not affected student applications.
“Fortunately we have got a really healthy recruitment for the next year,’’ said Kathryn. “I think that’s also due to the really strong placement programme we have. We put a lot of emphasis on it.”
Because the university fashion show on June 19 will feature all 31 final year students – including scenes from second year undergraduates – we can only give a taster of what’s in store.
I spoke to five students whose work is shown here.