Fashion students are putting the finishing touches to their drawings and ideas with the aim of competing in an X-Factor-style contest to find Swindon’s brightest young designer.
First and Second Year textile course students at New College have been challenged by the managers of Swindon’s Parade shopping centre to come up with innovative and stylish designs.
The three whose work is adjudged the most fresh and original will then compete against each other in a colourful finale in front of hundreds of spectators under the Parade’s canopied thoroughfare.
In what promises to be a spectacular fashion show with a difference, they will each be given the task of transforming a little black dress – worn by a model – with garments and accessories bought with an allotted amount of £100 from the Parade’s shops.
“It will be really interesting to see what they come up with – the sky’s the limit really,” said Karen Pau, section leader for arts and design at New College.
“For example, they could buy some paper clips and weave them into the little black dress as part of the transformation. In fact, they could buy anything they like from the Parade shops.
“It will involve a lot of thought and imagination. It will certainly test them to see what they can conjure up. It will also be a lot of fun.
“I think it’s a great idea and a wonderful opportunity for our students. I’m anticipating designs that are theatrical and wacky” she said.
The Passion for Fashion initiative is the brainchild of the Parade’s management team who are keen to stage an exciting catwalk extravaganza for town centre shoppers.
They say it will highlight the variety of shops situated in The Parade as well as give design and textile students the chance to create something completely different while seeing their designs modelled in a fashion show setting.
The first stage of Passion for Fashion has been progressing over the past few weeks after students, aged between 16 and 19, were asked to produce designs based on theme of a celebration.
Karen, who runs the New College textiles course with Kate Gale, said: “It could mean anything from a wedding to attending a rock concert. I’ve had a peep at some of the drawings and they’re pretty good. There’s a definite sparkle about them.”
She said some of the students – the majority of whom are girls – were keeping their drawings and descriptions firmly under wraps. “They don’t want their ideas pinched,” she said.
One New College student, Katherine Rockett, 18, revealed that she was basing her design on a bonfire night party. She said: “It’s been really interesting. There’s quite lot of scope involved.
“I’ve come up with my own ideas and even my mum is making a few suggestions. I think my design is coming along quite well. It’s been a lot of fun, too.”
First Year textile student Katherine hoped she was in with a fighting chance of making the final three and will dress the models at the eye catching finale in The Parade on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 21.
Parade Manager Brian Morris said that Swindon shoppers were in for a treat when the three finalists used their ideas and imagination to dress the models in their own creations.
He said: “It’s going to be a fantastic afternoon. There will be a lot of excitement and tension, along with all the colour and spectacle of the catwalk.
“It’s going to be really interesting to see what garments and accessories the finalists will buy from The Parade shops. They will certainly have a lot to choose from.”
The three finalists have been chosen by a panel of judges and will have a week to comb the Parade shops for suitable items to embellish and enhance the models’ black dresses.
The spectator fun will begin in the Parade at 1.30pm on Wednesday, October 21 with the live fashion challenge starting at 2pm.
Swindon Web presenter Kirsty Heber-Smith will compere the event which will include dancers, a DJ and mannequins.