The world’s largest graduate fashion show, Graduate Fashion Week, this year welcomes the University of Northampton which is sending its strongest line up of student designers, encompassing the leather heritage that has made Northampton world famous. On Tuesday 4 June at Earl’s Court 2, the University of Northampton students who have been working all year to complete collections will underline the importance the rich history of Northampton’s leather industry has played in the minds of many of the student’s new concepts in shoe design and leather designs.
Graduates from the University of Northampton have routinely been recruited by the largest brands in the shoe industry with alumni working for brand names like Church’s, Jimmy Choo, Prada and Clarks.
One of the student designers Mia Felce and winner of the JU JU and William Lamb printed textile design for Wellington boots Award. Mia Felce's collection is a playful, fun, and eclectic mix of colour and pattern, focused on layering textures and combining prints. Her final major project is based on lace, doilies and small, intricate details and embellishments. Mia's use of colour has evolved to feature bright, bold colours such as red, cobalt blue and pink with playful, fun patterns, and she uses a variety of printing techniques and fabrics such as PVC, silk, and lycra. Her plastic raincoats are printed with colourful vinyl. She uses her own kind of lace made from laser cut leather.
Another student Charlotte Peacock has been working with Dr Martens who sponsored her final project. Her final major project (see image) revolves around the concepts of Inuits from the north-west coast of America and the footwear heritage of Northamptonshire. This combines her own American heritage with the heritage of the region she has studied in and been inspired by for the past three years. Charlotte's bold, graphic shoes present Inuit art, which grabs the attention while maintaining the classic Dr. Martens, no nonsense attitude and industrial heritage.
Emma Chilver was awarded sponsorship for her final major project by the prestigious brand Church's Shoes, where she built on her knowledge of footwear construction and design. At Church's she was able to follow her designs through the development and manufacturing process, her ideas and work ethic, professionalism and bubbly personality have enabled her to impress her colleagues. She has produced a commendable collection including a range of styles. For her final major project Emma explored the structural aspect of bones, focusing on the natural formation of intersecting shapes. She used her research to create classic shoe designs with contemporary twists, for example using her own punch design based on structural bone shapes to create an alternative to traditional brogue detailing.
Jessica Rouse collection 'Internal Structures' has been informed by her travels around Paris and London. The individual pieces are named after Parisian bridges which fascinated her with their elaborate layers and forms. Jessica was Company of Cordwainers, and worked alongside industry specialists to realise her designs. The focus of her collection is on the creation of intricate layers within the pieces through the juxtaposition of materials and forms, using combinations of fur, metal, and leather.
Graduate Fashion Week 2-5 June 2013 – London Earls Court 2
The University of Northampton’s catwalk is on Tuesday 4 June at 12:30pm