Elyse Durr, a fashion graduate at the University of Derby said she was “overwhelmed” after her womenswear collection was selected by Roberta Marcolin, Head Designer for women’s knitwear at Prada, as Best Fashion Collection 2015. “I am absolutely delighted to have been honoured with the award and overwhelmed by all
the positive feedback, comments and support I have received during my time at University,” said Durr on her winning. “It is a fantastic feeling to know that a head designer from such a prestigious fashion house as that of Prada has not only seen my work but has felt it worthy of an award.”
Durr, who is currently studying BA Fashion, created four outfits for her collection, Complex Purity, which were based on her interpretation of the arts and crafts movement and contained pieces of chunky knitwear, crochet and disproportional lines. During the University’s Big Fashion Show held at Derby Theater, Durr was awarded the accolade, after being selected by a panel of judges including Marcolin, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, Professor John Coyne and Head of Art and Design, David McGravie.
“It’s such a strange but amazing feeling seeing your collection all come together on the runway. My collection reflects a sense of relaxed and timeless appeal, with a real focus of fine fabrics and creating comfortable staples that have a directional twist. It’s about creating exquisitely crafted pieces, inspired by the nature of fabrics, the process of ageing and the intricacies of different cultures,” explained Durr.
“My concept developed from my interpretation of the arts and crafts movement, which incorporates two contrasting factors. These factors being that, handcrafting an object is a very complex process within itself and yet the movement was directed towards ‘simplicity of living.’”Fellow fashion graduate Nichole Wells was named runner-up in the Best Fashion Collection category at the Show, and was also the recipient of the Best Portfolio award. Her menswear collection, named Shuheh, featured jumpsuits, pleated trousers and a lambswool blend jumper. “I really was not expecting to win, I’m so surprised. I don’t think you realise how much hard work has gone in to your collection until you see it come together,” said Wells.
The graduate fashion show also saw Textile Design student Emily Cornthwaite win a prestigious David Nieper scholarship. The award, called the David Nieper Level 5 Scholarship Prize, was presented by Managing Director of the Derbyshire-based fashion house, Christopher Nieper. Cornthwaite was presented with a cheque for one thousand pounds as well as a scholarship trophy for her Made in Britain clothing collection for working women.
Colin Thompson, programme leader for the BA (Hons) Fashion at the University of Derby, said: “The whole team are happy to be working with a body of work that is stronger than ever, showcasing a seamless integration between fashion and textile design. We value this as a significant part of our unique selling point. “All the collections feel modern and relevant and work creatively with original concepts, where the students’ passion shines through.”