Material world students team up with Derian House in bid to raise £10,000

18 October 2017

‘Upcycling’ project to result in spectacular fashion show

Budding fashion designers at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and its partner colleges have teamed up with Derian House to transform cast-off clothing into desirable fashionwear.

Six of the University’s recent fashion design graduates will mentor the work of 10 students from Cardinal Newman College, Hugh Baird College and St Helens College as they create new fashion garment concepts from design through to final pieces.

Aiming to raise £10,000 for Derian House, the ‘upcycled’ garments will be displayed at a special fashion show, due to take place at Barton Grange Hotel on 16 November.

Representatives from Derian House travelled to UCLan to drop off a huge pile of material for the project and to meet with the students and University staff.

Susie Poppitt, Head of Fundraising for Derian House, said: “We were looking for a way of showing how with a bit of imagination and time some of the items that we receive from public collection bags can be transformed into stylish ready to wear pieces.  The idea of a fashion show was suggested to us by the former Miss England, Elizabeth Grant, who also happens to be one of our Derian Ambassadors, so that’s when we contacted the University to see if they would work with us.

“We think clothing can be timeless and wanted to show how garments can  be refashioned into something completely different. Some of the items from the fashion show will be available to take home by lucky fashionistas either as prizes or purchases on the night and some of them will be displayed in our shops so customers can see the unlimited possibilities that upcycling presents.”

"Derian House has supplied us with a huge range of material, ideal for the project, and I know the students can’t wait to start turning their ideas into reality."

UCLan’s Steve Brindle, Senior Lecturer in fashion and textiles, added: “Upcycling is a significant part of the reinvention of the fashion industry so this represents a fantastic opportunity for our students to put the knowledge they’ve gained over the last four years into practice. At the same time they’re adding another string to their bow through a rare opportunity to mentor our partner college students.

“Derian House has supplied us with a huge range of material, ideal for the project, and I know the students can’t wait to start turning their ideas into reality.”

The students aim to produce a collection of 30 outfits based around themes such as ‘biker chic’, ‘military/utility’, ‘Japanese’ and ‘hipster/indie’.

UCLan’s Amy McCarthy graduated this summer from the fashion design course and is looking to start her own business. She commented: “I want to keep learning so it’s exciting to be a mentor on this project and pass on my knowledge to the next generation of fashion students.”

Quotes from participants

Preston-based Emma Brady, studying for a BTEC Extended Diploma at Cardinal Newman College, said: “I’m really excited by the whole idea. It’ll be great to work alongside such a worthwhile charity and I’m looking forward to turning my oriental-themed collection ideas into reality. Ultimately I’d like to work in fashion design so this collaboration with my local University on a live project will give me a real taster of what to expect.”

St Helen’s-based Carol Hattersley, studying at St Helens College, said: “I’m really looking forward to this challenge. Not only will it give me a taste of University life but it’ll also provide me with an opportunity to work on a live brief. I’m hoping to produce something inspired by Japanese culture but with a commercial twist.”

West Derby-based Diane Murphy is a mature student at Hugh Baird University Centre who said: “This is a really invaluable learning opportunity which ultimately will benefit sick children when they need it most. My designs will be planned around an elegance theme for eveningwear incorporating floral patterns and denim.”