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University partnership is fashioning futures

19 October 2015

UCLan students are working with the Fishergate Shopping Centre to gain invaluable industry insight

A pioneering partnership between The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and the Fishergate Shopping Centre is kicking off with a glamorous fashion show and a search for Preston’s next top models.

Third year fashion promotion with styling students at UCLan have been given a live brief by the Fishergate Shopping Centre to create and deliver all aspects of the ‘Fishergate Face Off’ fashion show, from styling and production through to finance and marketing.

It’s part of an ongoing link-up between the University and the shopping centre which will see undergraduates on fashion promotion with styling and retail management courses work on real-life projects and gain valuable industry insight.

The fashion students have been given eight weeks to make their vision a reality and have full control of the event, supported by weekly planning meetings with the Fishergate team.

In addition to their chosen roles within the project – which range from stylist to show producer – students have been scouting the streets of Preston and holding casting sessions to find their models, in conjunction with Manchester-based Boss Model Management.

Of the models selected to take part, three will be chosen to be the new ‘faces of Fishergate’, winning a £100 shopping spree, eligibility to be represented by Boss Model Management, and will feature in the Fishergate Shopping Centre’s Spring brochure. A panel of judges will pick one male and one female winner, while a third ‘people’s choice’ model will be chosen from an online vote.

“The partnership with Fishergate is providing first-hand, working industry experience and a chance to collaborate with influential people and brands.”

Amanda Odlin-Bates, senior fashion lecturer at UCLan, said: “Working to a live brief, with the challenges and constraints that comes with it, is invaluable to our students. The partnership with Fishergate is providing first-hand, working industry experience and a chance to collaborate with influential people and brands. It’s also an opportunity for the Fishergate Shopping Centre to harness the knowledge, ideas and creativity of our talented undergraduates.

“The students are being assessed as part of the project and we’re looking for them to be proactive and professional, creative within the brief, and to demonstrate the ways in which they can add real value to the shopping centre.”

Keith Mitchell, Fishergate Shopping Centre manager, said: “We’re all really looking forward to the link up and we’re excited by the possibilities that the partnership offers, both to the centre and the fashion promotion and styling course.

“This is a great way to harness and use the ideas and the enthusiasm of the students and bring youthful fashion ideas to the centre.

“We get some real creativity and glamour and in return the students on the course get to work in the real world and see first-hand how the retail sector works.

“The experience of our team at the Fishergate Shopping Centre will also be valuable to the undergraduates, helping them when it comes to problem solving and turning vision and creativity into fashion promotion that works.”

“I think this is a great project because we’re getting the chance to see what putting on a fashion show is really like.”

Student Michael Rathbone is head of backstage for the show and will be drawing on experience he gained while on work placement at world-renowned fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar through his course. As well as spending time in the magazine’s wardrobe department he was involved with various high-profile events, such as the Harper’s Bazaar summer party at the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington, London.

Michael said: “My role in the fashion show is to make sure it all runs smoothly behind the scenes, keeping an eye on things like clothes, hair and make-up and making sure everything happens when and where it should. It’s going to be quite intense but my placement at Harper’s Bazaar has helped prepare me because I’ve experienced working in a busy, high pressure environment with tight deadlines. I also learnt lots about communication and presenting myself professionally and those are skills I can put into practise here.

“I think this is a great project because we’re getting the chance to see what putting on a fashion show is really like. It might look glamorous when you see the finished product but there’s so much planning and hard work in the lead up, and so many things to be responsible for and consider. This is a real experience of what the future might hold and it’s really valuable.”

The Fishergate Face Off will take place on Thursday 19 November from 7.00pm at Fishergate Shopping Centre.