Bianca's dress is inspired by Marie Antoinette
A textiles student with a passion for fashion has reimagined the clothing worn by a famous historical figure through the creation of a sweet design.
Bianca McHugh, 23, will graduate from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) next month with a foundation degree in the subject.
As part of her final project, the former Norden High School student from Great Harwood has created a cake themed wedding dress for Marie Antoinette, who ruled France in the 18th Century.
The dress has been made out of a range of materials designed to give the appearance of a cake, in reference to the phrase ‘let them eat cake’ which is synonymous with the French figure, although many believe to have been misquoted.
“The dresses worn by Marie Antoinette are some of the most iconic silhouettes in fashion history, so I thought it would be interesting to redesign one of her most famous, her wedding dress,” says Bianca.
“Although it’s unlikely Marie Antoinette said the phrase ‘let them eat cake’ it’s something she’s always been associated which is why the cake element was the main theme of the dress. It’s a project that combined two of my interests, fashion and history, so was ideal.
“There was quite a process involved, I had to build the tiers to support the dress, then upholster the base with fabric, and make little cakes to adorn the dress.
“The head and hair is actually made from plaster of Paris and then I added to it to give the appearance of icing.”
"I loved the social aspect of the course and meeting new people, and everyone at UCLan has been really helpful too, especially my tutor Andrew McDonald. Being a working mum and studying has its challenges but I’ve been able to get through it."
In addition to balancing her studies with a part-time job at Almarcia Interiors in Padiham, Bianca has also had her five-year-old son Lucas to look after, though credits her mum Lisa for strong support which helped her through.
“After leaving school at 16 I went straight into work but I’m a firm believer in the benefits of higher education so coming to UCLan is something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I loved the social aspect of the course and meeting new people, and everyone at UCLan has been really helpful too, especially my tutor Andrew McDonald. Being a working mum and studying has its challenges but I’ve been able to get through it.”
Bianca won’t be staying away from UCLan for too long, as she’s planning on enrolling onto a course in Fashion Design at the University in September 2017.
“I’m looking forward to getting back into studying and I’ve already got the sewing skills so the design element is something I’m really going to relish. My ultimate goal is to become a fashion designer.”
Bianca’s designs will be on display at UCLan’s Preston Campus from 9-16 June as part of the Lancashire Arts Festival Degree Show. For more information visit https://lancashireartsfestival.co.uk/