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Final year Fashion Knitwear Design students make their mark at international design competition in Shanghai

Cat Brierley, Natalie McLaughlin and Jackie Francis were finalists amongst applications from 53 international institutions through the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI).

IFFTI competition finalists
L to R: Natalie McLaughlin, Jackie Francis and Cat Brierley

Donghua University, one of Nottingham Trent University’s (NTU) prestigious international partners in Shanghai, China hosted the 2018 IFFTI Student Design Competition, at their 20th Annual Conference.

The theme of the conference, ‘Fashion Futures’, was chosen to inspire delegates to think about the future of fashion across different sectors such as education, industry, culture, and more.

The competition theme ‘Fusion’ encouraged students to explore unique and futuristic styles, and discover traditional and modern designs in fashion.

IFFTI finalist knitwear designs
Designs by Jackie (far left), Cat (second from left) and Natalie

Final year BA (Hons) Fashion Knitwear Design and Knitted Textiles students, Cat Brierley, Natalie McLaughlin and Jackie Francis were funded to attend the fashion shows, design exhibition and conference, and their designs were exhibited and then showcased in the catwalk show.

Jackie told us: “IFFTI has been such a positive experience. I loved the global element of the competition and how I got to meet and speak with other fashion design students from all over the world.

“My collection, COCONUT focuses on my Tamil cultural heritage and my western upbringing, and how these two parts of my identity are sometimes conflicting. The collection essentially revolves around celebrating the fusion of cultures and aims to shed a positive light on the topic.”

Fellow classmate Cat remarked: “The IFFTI Fashion Futures Competition was a fantastic experience that allowed me to see my work exhibited alongside other contestants from universities around the world.

IFFTI winners in Shanghai
L to R: Cat, Natalie and Jackie in Shanghai

“It allowed me to network on a global scale with peers and industry professionals, therefore giving me contacts within the industry before graduation. Producing work for the competition was also part of our final year work and allowed me to develop skills that aided my final collection.”

Natalie added: “The competition was really exciting and valuable in terms of meeting industry professionals and making useful contacts. It was also really good in terms of making my name known and promoting myself.

“This experience was a really good confidence booster and gave me a platform to further develop my idea into my graduate collection.”

Jackie continued: “The catwalk was probably my favourite element of the whole thing. It's always so exciting to finally see your work presented on a body, and the fact that there were so many people within the industry at the show has definitely given us all a lot of exposure. I definitely left feeling inspired.”

Final year Fashion Knitwear Design students make their mark at international design competition in Shanghai

Published on 26 April 2018
  • Subject area: Art and design
  • Category: Culture; School of Art & Design

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