Third-year BA Contour Fashion students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) were given the chance to participate in a competition for lingerie design. Elise Recour, general manager of lingerie brand Gossard Berlei, asked the students to come up with designs that were based on the concept of “glamourzonian”: a phrase which the designer coined herself. Glamourzonian, according to Recour, refers to “the strength of women and the empowered woman back on the catwalk, as it is a mixture of the fragile, the feminine and the strong”.
Of all entries, Recour handpicked four finalists whose designs she thought best fitted the brief while also keeping in mind Gossard’s own aesthetic. As all designs met the competition’s requirements equally well, each student was awarded a prize. Indiana Maslin and Becky Harkins both received the ‘Gossard Glamourzonian Prize’, while their class mates Eliza McCann and Betsan Evans were given the ‘Gossard Commercial Prize’.
”I think the work was outstanding – really creative,” commented Recour on the finalists’ designs. “Overall what was really interesting was way the students put their personality into their finished pieces which meant all of the work explored feminine aspects in very different ways and made picking a winner difficult.” The winning designs included a matching bra and brief made out of red lace and a lingerie set adorned with black embroideries. "It took weeks to do these embroideries and it was the main point of my work," explained McCann. According to Recour, being able to work with DMU’s students is a unique opportunity for Gossard, as it allows the brand to interact with young talented designers.
Harkins, one of the four finalists, was inspired by the Gothic Quarter in Barcelona. She created a three-piece lingerie set which combined dark and pale blue. “I am really excited,” the aspiring lingerie designer stated. I did not expect to be picked. It is great to have someone from the industry recognise your work.” The other finalists agreed with Harkins that their participation in the competition was both interesting as well as educative. “It has given me a taste of what it is like to work in the industry,” concluded Betsan. During the competition, all students were offered advice by Gillian Proctor, head of the Contour Fashion course.
The four winners of the competition that Gossard hosted will be featured on the company’s website. “We want to be a part of the next generation of talent and support them in the best way we can, so it is a win-win for us and DMU to have a competition like this,” explained Recour.
Image credit: De Montfort University