A HUDDERSFIELD student is getting ahead in her career.
Two hats designed by 38-year-old Sharon Bainbridge have been on display during Paris Fashion Week.
Ms Bainbridge, who lives in Halifax and studies at Huddersfield Technical College, was one of six designers displaying their hats, after making it to the final of the 2003 Hat Designer of the Year event in London.
The organiser had contacts with Paris Fashion Week and arranged for the hats, which had been on display in London and Sleaford, Lincolnshire, to be sent to France.
Ms Bainbridge, who lectures part-time in textiles at Calderdale College in Halifax, is in her final year of a three- year City and Guilds millinery course at Huddersfield Technical College.
Fashion is a complete career change for Ms Bainbridge, who has a law degree and used to be a headhunter for legal firms.
She gave this up when she had her children, now aged 10 and eight.
As a pastime, she enrolled on courses at the Huddersfield college.
After completing a textile course, she decided to take one in millinery.
She said: "I have always been fascinated by creative things. It is very, very exciting to have my work in Paris. I can't really believe it.
"You beaver away working with very little feedback. So for someone to notice your work and comment on it is really appreciated."
As well as the London and Paris contests, she has enjoyed several other major successes during her course.
In her first year, she won a competition run by fish firm Young's to design a hat for Ascot races.
She also entered a competition to have her work displayed in France.
Last year, she designed a hat for a woman to wear at the famous Prix de l'Arc du Triomphe race meeting at Longchamps, Paris.