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Young Ulster Designers in Catwalk Extravaganza

A new generation of emerging young talent will unveil their stunning catwalk creations at the University of Ulster’s end of year fashion show next week.

From elegant and elaborate to big and bold, from fluid sophistication to funky, chunky knits, their unique new trends reflect the high quality workmanship and skills of our top textile and fashion design students.

And industry leaders will eagerly be awaiting the extravaganza, which gives experts in the trade a first glimpse of Northern Ireland’s best up and coming young talent.

The foyer of the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus will be transformed into an elevated catwalk for the gala show which is taking place at 8pm next Wednesday June 6.

First and second year students have been given the opportunity to showcase a diverse and exciting range of eclectic garments, working on several themes.

The first years have three areas to choose from: ‘High Class Kitsch’ is a retrospective look at the fifties, with its sugary-sweet palette; ‘Distinction’ focuses on men’s wear for women, with a nod to work wear; ‘Overtone’ has an ethereal feel, incorporating jewel-inspired colouring.

Second year students will turn their attention to the concept of ‘Third World, Second Hand, Third Time Around’ and have produced innovative and individual designs which they have developed into knits, prints and embroideries.

And for the final year students, poised for a career in fashion, next Wednesday is the perfect shop window to exhibit their collections to the public and influential names in this highly competitive industry.

Alison Gault, Ulster’s Course Director, Textiles and Fashion Design, said: “This year’s catwalk show includes garments by first, second and third year students as well as hand-woven garments created by our textile weave students.

“We have a really strong team of graduate designers including Laura Abraham, who recently took the All-Ireland Student Designer of the Year title in the prestigious Golden Egg Fashion Innovations Awards.

“She impressed the judges with her stunning red carpet collection, ‘Ravenna’, inspired by birds and feathers.”

“The collections cover a fabulous range of work, from the totally outrageous to elegant glamour and street chic.

“There is everything from sunbathing suits, knitted with cotton and bamboo, to original conceptual clothing, a type of ‘wearable art’.”

Janet Coulter, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Design, added: “Once again the wealth of creativity on display is outstanding.

“Our show offers an important platform for first, second and final year students to showcase the diversity of their talents.

"For first years it is their initial exposure to public display. Significantly for secondyears it provides a working CV which employers can use to offer industrial placements and for final years it is a glittering launch pad into the industry.

“The unique selling point of fashion at Ulster is our students’ ability to create textiles through print, knit, weave, digital surface decoration and embellishment and translate these into innovative and highly creative end products with commercial value.”

During the fashion show, the winner of the Travelwise NI design competition will also be unveiled.

Each year Travelwise NI,a team withinthe Department for Regional Development, promotes Bike Week which runs from June 16 to 24, to raise awareness of the benefits of cycling.

First year students at Ulster were asked to submit a design concept for Bike Week 2012 which reflects the aims of the initiative and the winning entry will be reproduced onto t-shirts.

Tickets for Wednesday’s Fashion Show cost £12 and are available by contacting https://getinvited.to/ulsterfestival/the-ulster-fashion-show-/

Caption: Thandi Dube models a colourful knitted jumper and silk twill trousers by fashion student Maria-Christina McPadden to launch the University of Ulster Fashion Show at the Belfast campus on June 6