KINGSGATE is hosting an exhibition of cutting-edge, contemporary fashion designs created by students from Huddersfield University.
As well as showcasing the work of six final year fashion students, the aim of the event, which ends on May 10, is to choose a winner who will be awarded the title Fashion Star 09 and a £500 prize.
The competition has been organised by Basilica Marketing on behalf of Kingsgate and while the first of its kind in Huddersfield it has been tried out in other shopping centres.
“It has been very successful in every place where we’ve run it, but Kingsgate is pretty ideal because it is so fashion based, with lots of retailers aiming at 18 to 30 (aged) shoppers,’’ said Mark Lewis from Basilica.
Huddersfield University’s fashion department was asked to select the work of 18 final year fashion degree students who are currently working on their final collections. A judging panel from Basilica and Kingsgate management then chose the six finalists whose work is being displayed in the shopping centre.
“We were looking for the sort of clothes that shoppers can’t buy - fashion led, artistic and contemporary,’’ said fashion tutor Claire Evans.
“The competition is an opportunity for us to show the general public what we do and for the winning student to get enough money to finance their final collection,’’ she added.
All the garments on show are taken from the final year collections of the students: collections that will be seen at the university’s fashion show in the early summer. Such collections are not just an important part of a student’s degree course work, they also act as a ‘shop window’ for the young designers. Prospective employers are invited to the graduate show to spot new talent.
The winner of Fashion Star 09, however, will be chosen by members of the public, who are being invited to vote for their favourite design and designer.
The six finalists whose work will appear in Kingsgate are:
P Keri Cowdell (22), a fashion design with textiles student, whose final collection, entitled ‘Strung Up’ was inspired by tented architectural forms and uses waxed cotton.
P Tina Li (22), with a dress from her ‘Deforming Identity is Purity’ collection, which she describes as “conceptual’. “I have taken my inspiration from how Siamese twins are joined and connected,’’ she said. Tina is a fashion design with textiles student.
P Rachel Vickers (21) was inspired by dance and the structural elements of dancers’ bodies to create her collection, ‘Formational Freedom’. She is studying fashion design with manufacturing.
P Suzanne Yip-Sou (22) used menswear garments to create womenswear for her collection ‘Trail Blazing’. A fashion with manufacture student, she says her garments have taken on “a school uniform kind of thing.’’
P Hannah Custance (21), also studying fashion design with manufacturing, created ‘Sheer Genius’, inspired by modern chandelier design. Using transparent fabrics her collection reveals the natural human form.
P Emma Kibble (21), was inspired by the 1950s for her ‘Bow Down to the Fifties’ collection of figure-hugging dresses and wide-collared coats. She is a fashion with manufacturing student.
All the designs are highly creative; quirky and the sort of garments normally only seen in designer catwalk shows.