Student designs shine at Leathersellers competition
The intricate and durable leather creations of students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) have been hailed by one of the world’s oldest craft companies.
Students at the School of Fashion and Textiles drew inspiration from sources as diverse as quantum mathematics, military aviation and Bible stories to create designs for a competition judged by the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers.
The winner Rachel Revell with her collection of clothes that combine fine mesh and leather
Students on the shortlist were invited to showcase their work and explain the inspiration behind their designs in a special competition held at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
“The standard of everything here is the best we have ever seen,” said Alistair Tusting, a member of the yard of the livery company, which dates back to the 14th century. “They all brought different ideas and approaches and demonstrated the full potential of what leather can do.”
Fashion and textile student Rachel Revell’s work, which combined knitwear with leather to create structured garments, was deemed a winner. She received a scholarship of £1,000.
She said: “It’s amazing to win. It was a great competition, everyone’s work is so different and there is so much talent here.
“Working with leather is technically challenging and I’m so proud of how my creations have turned out. I was lucky enough to experience the leather school in September last year (sponsored by the Leathersellers Company) which gave me a good insight into the handling of leather and tools. I was really intrigued by what happens when you mix very fine mesh with leather and the different textures and weights.
Mr Tusting said it was difficult to choose the winner. He said: “The combination of Rachel’s designs to bring knitting and the use of leather to create a really interesting and innovative texture and structure, and really well executed. She had taken it so that they were almost finished, you could see them worn.
First place went to Rachel, runners-up of £500 each went to Olivia Bodak (Contour Fashion) and Seanitta Jones (Fashion Design). Third prizes of £200 each went to Charlie Jones (Textile Design), Maja Sharratt (Shoe Design) and Eva Clark (Contour Fashion). Leyla Kuman (Fashion Textiles) and Alice Dymond (Contour Fashion) received high praise.
DMU’s Fashion School focuses on technical expertise and offers scholarships to help students learn traditional craftsmanship. He is a longtime partner and supporter of the Worshipful Company of Leathersellers and students from various creative courses participated in this year’s competition, including Contour Fashion, Footwear Design, Textile Design, Product Design and Fashion and Textiles.
Olivia Bodak, a student of Contour Fashion, based her designs on the Fibonacci sequence by designing a geometric work 3D printed on leather. “This competition was a lot of fun and I learned a lot,” she said.
Gillian Proctor, Head of Faculty Enterprise, said: “We are very fortunate in our associations with the company, who are generous and enthusiastic supporters of leatherworking across the diversity of our course applications.
“Leather is a fabulous and directional material to work with, malleable and responsive and without the continued support of scholarships some of our most disadvantaged students may have had to give up this opportunity. Since leather is such a durable material, it also underlines the university’s SDGs. “We look forward to the launch of the Leather School in September and encourage more students to tap into its potential. We would like to thank Tustings Ltd for their kind support in finding leather.
Posted on Friday, July 15, 2022