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Student creates uniform to be worn by the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire

A ceremonial uniform to be worn by the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire has been created by a Nottingham Trent University (NTU) student.

NTU student Ilektra-Maria Charalampopoulou and the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire discuss the uniform that has been created

Ilektra-Maria Charalampopoulou, 26, based her design on a traditional, classical and elegant outerwear coat.

A large amount of the uniform was sewn by hand and the lead colour is synonymous with Nottinghamshire – a rich, dark green.

The garment will be worn by Professor Veronica Pickering, the first ever black female High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire. The High Sheriff plays an important role in supporting the crown, maintaining law and order and the administration of justice.

Professor Pickering gave a project brief to design a ceremonial robe that would both reflect her African heritage and also her love for Nottinghamshire.

The lining of the fabric is inspired by a traditional African wax pattern, in a bright yellow colour featuring birds, a reference not only to Africa but also to Veronica’s ongoing work with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Ilektra first fell in love with costume design at the age of four when she asked her grandmother to teach her how to sew her own dress.

“When I saw that one of the options for the industry project on my course was designing a garment for the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, I really wanted to be involved. The idea of designing and producing an outfit that would be worn by an important public figure was really exciting to me,” said Ilektra from Athens, Greece but currently living in Carlton, Nottinghamshire.

The High Sheriff robe also features a 3D printed ‘Acorn Lace’ based on an antique lace sample from the Nottingham Lace Archive, which is based in the Bonington building at NTU. The lace features an acorn pattern symbolising the famous Great Oak tree in Sherwood Forest.

Other elements the garment also needed to feature were a ‘Jabot’, which is an ornamental frill displayed at the front, cuffs and silver buttons which were sourced from a previous High Sheriff uniform. As a further link to Nottinghamshire, the shoes that go with the outfit were created by Nottingham textiles firm ‘Footfalls and Heartbeats’.

“It was amazing to have the chance to collaborate with both staff and students on the project, a textiles student made the lining, another Costume Design student designed a hat to go with the outfit and a member of staff helped with laser-cutting the lace,” said Ilektra, who is studying BA (Hons) Costume Design and Construction in the Nottingham School of Art & Design.

Sharing her thoughts on her High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire outfit, Professor Veronica Pickering said: “I’m absolutely delighted how Ilektra, along with the help of some other talented individuals have incorporated both my African heritage as a woman from Kenya and my love of Nottinghamshire.

“The different stylistic elements of the gown have been real conversation openers when I have been at events and the feedback it has received is terrific. I am looking forward to wearing the uniform at all of my upcoming events over the next year.”

Sharon Bainbridge, Senior Lecturer on BA (Hons) Costume Design & Making, said: “The final costume that Ilektra has created is fantastic and a real example of what good research, technical skills and collaboration can create. She should be proud that her work will be seen by so many different people across the next year.”

For the future, Ilektra wants to stay in Nottingham as she really enjoys living in the city. She hopes to have a career in making costumes for film and TV and to continue turning her ideas into reality.

More information about the ‘Made it’ Student Showcase 2023 can be found here.

  • Notes for editors

    About Nottingham Trent University

    Nottingham Trent University (NTU) received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2021 for cultural heritage science research. It is the second time that NTU has been bestowed the honour of receiving a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for its research, the first being in 2015 for leading-edge research on the safety and security of global citizens.

    The Research Excellence Framework (2021) classed 83% of NTU’s research activity as either world-leading or internationally excellent. 86% of NTU’s research impact was assessed to be either world-leading or internationally excellent.

    NTU was awarded The Times and The Sunday Times Modern University of the Year 2023 and ranked second best university in the UK in the Uni Compare Top 100 rankings (2021/2022). It was awarded Outstanding Support for Students 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards), University of the Year 2019 (Guardian University Awards, UK Social Mobility Awards), Modern University of the Year 2018 (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide) and University of the Year 2017 (Times Higher Education Awards).

    NTU is the 5th largest UK institution by student numbers, with nearly 39,000 students and more than 4,400 staff located across five campuses. It has an international student population of 7,000 and an NTU community representing over 160 countries.

    Since 2000, NTU has invested £570 million in tools, technology, buildings and facilities.

    NTU is in the UK’s top 10 for number of applications and ranked first for accepted offers (2021 UCAS UG acceptance data). It is also among the UK’s top five recruiters of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and was the first UK university to sign the Social Mobility Pledge.

    NTU is ranked 2nd most sustainable university in the world in the 2022 UI Green Metric University World Rankings (out of more than 900 participating universities).

Published on 7 June 2023
  • Category: Press office