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Students briefed on ‘Fashion Through the Ages’ competition


Our second-year art and design students were visited by staff from The Costume Project at Enginuity, an engineering museum in Coalbrookdale and part of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

Rhi Woodward, senior costume interpreter, and Andrea Nelson, community engagement manager, visited to set the directions for the next instalment of the museums ‘Fashion Through the Ages’ catwalk competition, which was won last year by Telford College student Carl Davies.

The competition is an opportunity for our students to display their talents, creating costumes representing the local area. The winning student gets the opportunity to turn their design into a real costume, with assistance from the team at the Costume Project to bring the design to life, before modelling it on the catwalk in front of the public.

Rhi Woodward said “The Costume Project makes costumes commissioned from other museums. Usually it’ll be an unusual item, exact replicas or try-on outfits, we then recreate them to the closest possible match using traditional techniques. If an original piece was handstitched, we’ll hand-stitch it.

Rhi and Andrea discuss Tiffany's design
Rhi and Andrea discuss Tiffany’s design

“The theme for the next edition is period costume from between 1750s and 1900s. As well as designing and creating the costume, the competition also helps standout on any student’s university application.”

Anna Dowdall, creative lecturer at Telford College, said: “It’s important for students to realise that companies want to work with them, it gives them a real confidence boost. It gives them a real-life situation and scenario instead of making up a brief for a pretend client.

“Students get the opportunity to improve their communication skills by networking with external clients, giving them the opportunities to get prizes and its fantastic experience that looks outstanding on a CV. It’s really important that they’re trying new things and pushing themselves out of their comfort zones.

“Its amazing to have a former Telford College student winner. We can tell current students that somebody has won it, we can show them pictures in lessons and on our screen in the creative foyer. It helps set a standard for what students should be creating in their current projects and better that to ensure they win.”