As Catherine from Kiss Me Deadly had a spare ticket, I was lucky enough to attend the London catwalk show for contour graduates from Leicester’s De Montfort University (DMU) this week, and it was worth braving the rain for.
Featuring designs by students who will be graduating from the BA Contour Fashion and BA Fashion and Contour Design courses this summer, the collections on show demonstrated why the university’s solid reputation in this area is well-deserved. Contour fashion has now been taught at DMU for 65 years – one of only two courses in the UK, with the other being at LCF – and the technical skill and creative vision of the students’ work was outstanding, with the only disappointment being that not all graduates from the course get to show on the catwalk.
However, here’s my pick of the designers I saw…
Beth Kendall, BA (Hons) Contour Fashion, opened the show with a striking lingerie collection combining bright floral prints with applique, embroidery and exaggerated shoulders and hips. Lyzzy Beswick, BA (Hons) Contour Fashion, showed a stunning collection of colourful lingerie in acid bright powermesh and hand embroidered satin (pictured above). The vintage shapes and modern palette really appealed to me, and I loved the way she has turned classic items into something worthy of a stage performance without becoming too outrageous for mainstream tastes.
Megan Ketterer, BA (Hons) Fashion and Contour Design, used mirrored digital prints reminiscent of Alexander McQueen’s SS10 collection to produce a striking collection of sportswear (pictured left). At a time when stores are awash with bland clothing that fits the current sports luxe trend, it is refreshing to see fashionable sportswear that stands out.
Sara Caspi, BA (Hons) Contour Fashion, gave her models 2012 glasses and accessorised with items that included a cape attached to wrist cuffs. Her vibrant sporty collection featured neon plastics, reflective, wet look and metallic fabrics. Very sci-fi movie meets club night. Stacey Hudson, BA(Hons) Fashion and Contour Design, also brought some colourful sportswear to the catwalk (pictured right) with swimwear, bodies and a wonderful detachable skirt that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a superhero movie. I thought it was a fantastic commercial collection with a fun twist. Some of the other collections also featured metres of flowing sheer fabrics which looked incredibly striking as the models strode down the catwalk in platform heels.
Ashleigh Smith, BA(Hons) Contour Fashion, gave us wisps of sheer fabric the colour of smoke, with embellished shoulders and also a high waisted thigh split sheer maxi skirt. Lindsay Nicholson, BA(Hons) Fashion and Contour Design, incorporated a simple print into some beautifully glamorous beachwear that included a stunning pair of high waisted palazzo trousers.
Overall there was clever use of fabrics and embellishments, plenty of exaggerations of form and movement, plus lots of strategically placed straps. The students all displayed a great understanding of the design elements of contour fashion, and the function of each piece they are designing. I look forward to seeing more from them in the future.
Images via Lingerie Buyer.