A design for life

Lecturer Rebecca Russell-Turner tells us about a recent event at the Birmingham Institute for Art & Design.

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The Vision for the Future fashion show was a sensational, atmospheric event with jaw-dropping show stopping outfits that were as far from ordinary as you can get.

120 guests arrived eagerly to see 15 post grad fashion designers showcase their work at Birmingham City University. The students created work under the concept of ‘Vision for the Future’ to raise funds for Cancer Research.

The concept celebrates optimism and progression in science design, techniques are traditional and there is a strong element craft enhanced by technology. The fashion collections and designers work is varied on the course and each student had their own signature, message and place in the fashion market. They are encouraged to be as bold and extravagant as possible.

On the syllabus this is a year when you are encouraged to be your most creative, live dreams and think outside of the box. Students are encouraged to work as a team and everyone was delighted with the outcome of the show. The overall message was one of optimism, sensation and ambition.

Sonia Pring from Cancer Research educated the audience in the importance of supporting their charity; with one in three people expected to get cancer, external fundraisers enable the research to go from strength to strength.

The tickets for the fashion show sold out on the day of release and together with a raffle £704 was raised. We could have sold time times the number we did and next year we will run the event twice due to its popularity.

I think the Birmingham Institute for Art & Design is becoming known for the standard of its course as it attracts dynamic, entrepreneurial students from around the world. They go out after graduating, aim high and aim high and achieve; we have an amazing international alumini, a good international reputation but I want national credit for our British students.

We have incredible links to industry from visiting Paul Smith’s studio in London to guided tours from the producers at Nike. Experts from industry lecture visit the university and they are impressed by the new building and quality of work. London is 1 hour 20 minutes on the train so we continually visit designers in their studios or fashion agencies.

There is a really happy, dynamic buzz on our course and the area is becoming a desirable place to study because of low cost living which allows students to spend more money on being creative. Shows such as Vision for the Future help spread the word.

Photos: Valentino Stephen