Design competition winner inspires jewellery to raise money for mental health

16 May 2019

Fashion design student Tabassum Dasu wins industry prize

The winner of this year’s Peter Jackson the Jeweller competition has inspired the luxury retailer to recreate the winning design to raise money for mental health.

The winning entry of the Peter Jackson the Jeweller Student Designer 2019 competition, which was announced this week, came from University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Tabassum Dasu and was based on symbols that represent mental health.

Part of the prize for winning saw Tabassum’s design created in solid silver for her to keep and wear. But competition head judge Peter Jackson, founder and Managing Director of the retailer, was so impressed with the design that he has decided to have his business make a necklace to raise money for a mental health charity. He is now looking to speak to a number of charities about his plans. 

Peter said: “It’s a fantastic design. I loved the story behind it and what it represented, but it was also commercial and wearable, which was part of the competition brief we set. We are going to make a scaled down version of the necklace in gold for our customers to buy to raise funds for a mental health charity.”

"I’m so overwhelmed. I can’t believe it. It’s amazing seeing the design brought to life. It looks so much better than I could have imagined."

The 21-year-old saw her created design unveiled at the flagship store, in St George’s Shopping Centre, Preston. The student, who will also receive a Peter Jackson the Jeweller voucher for £250, said: “I’m so overwhelmed. I can’t believe it. It’s amazing seeing the design brought to life. It looks so much better than I could have imagined.”

The necklace includes a lotus flower, encasing a semi colon, which is a symbol used worldwide to encourage people to keep going in life, who are struggling with conditions like depression. In her written statement about the necklace, which was part of the competition brief, Tabassum said that the necklace represents mental health and (like the lotus) finding the will power to rise from darkness and radiate into the world.

“I feel a lot of people don’t take mental health seriously,” she said. “If someone has a panic attack, sometimes, others don’t think anything of it. I hope this necklace can act as guidance and support and give hope to anybody who is struggling with mental health.”

Tabassum is in the final year of studying a degree in fashion design at UCLan’s Preston Campus. Christopher Molly, Senior Lecturer in BA Hons Fashion Design, was one tutor who encouraged her to enter the competition. He said of her winning the competition: “She’s amazing; so innovative. I loved her concept. It was so clever and there so much thought behind it.”

The student was the chosen winner of the competition, selected from three other finalists. These were Melanie Eccleson and Megan Jackson, both UCLan students studying degrees in fashion design, and Kate Webster, studying costume design at Salford University.

Amanda Odlin-Bates, Senior Fashion Lecturer and Course Leader at UCLan, added: “I’m so proud of them all. They came up with some great concepts and they’ve all worked really hard.”

Peter Jackson and Tabassum Dasu
Peter Jackson and Tabassum Dasu