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Red carpet style

18 November 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Student has grand designs on new showroom

One lucky design student from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has seen her work of art on display in the new shop window of carpet and flooring company Gainsborough Flooring.

Second year textiles student Olivia Haile entered a competition set by the company for students from the School of Art, Design and Performance to design a dress made out of a red carpet to celebrate the shop’s relocation to Heatley Street.

The students only had three weeks to submit their outline sketches and nineteen-year-old Olivia’s design was chosen out of more than 30 entries. The final piece was showcased at the company’s launch party on 14 November.

"I’ve never done anything like this before but wanted to design a dress that I would actually wear. I’m really pleased with the dress and though my ambition is to teach textiles it’s certainly given me a taste for fashion design.”

Olivia, originally from Darlington, was presented with a £300 prize. She said: “I can’t believe I’ve won. I’ve never done anything like this before but wanted to design a dress that I would actually wear. I’m really pleased with the dress and though my ambition is to teach textiles it’s certainly given me a taste for fashion design.”

The dress is made from an 80/20 wool twist heavy domestic carpet and came from the floor of the company’s previous location. It will take pride of place in the shop’s window.

"The level of professionalism that Olivia has shown has been above and beyond what I expected. We’ve always been part of the local community so to run a competition with the local university seemed ideal.”

Vicky Keelan, who joint owns the family business with her brother Eddy, commented: “The dress is fantastic. The level of professionalism that Olivia has shown has been above and beyond what I expected. We’ve always been part of the local community so to run a competition with the local university seemed ideal.”

Beverley Lamey, Principal Lecturer at UCLan, added: “Live projects such as the one with Gainsborough Flooring provide our students with the opportunity to put theory into practice.”

Gainsborough Flooring was established by Sheila and Eddy Brown. Supplying both the commercial and domestic market, its customers include local schools, Lancashire County Council, Preston City Council, UCLan and Cardinal Newman College, to name a few. As a local business, it was also selected to supply the red carpet for the official launch of the Preston Guild 2012.