A fashion design student from Sheffield Hallam University has won an award for her striking clothing collection inspired by a trip to the Vatican. Student Helen McClafferty was given the ‘Brightest Spark’ award by Panache Lingerie‘s lead designer Debbie Morley and head of marketing Jennie Field. The pair judged Helen’s work ‘best in category’ out of 21 student collections, at the student fashion show at the University’s Creative Spark exhibition opening night.
Head of marketing at Panache, Jennie Field, said: “The quality of the fashion students’ work was really good and it was a tough decision, but we felt that Helen had really used the opportunity to showcase her technical ability through photorealistic print and complicated styling. She demonstrated her creative flair with the successful use of colour and shape. This and Helen’s eye to detail, including the use of print as a lining and extremely neat finishing, meant we had to award her first prize.”
Helen, 22, from Consett in County Durham, said: “My collection, titled Dante’s Inferno, is themed around the 14th Century book The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri. I took inspiration from the first section of the book where Dante explores the layers of Hell. The book has a lot of religious references and Italian influences, so I went to the Vatican for inspiration and used religious iconography as a basis for my designs. I really enjoyed showing off my work on the catwalk at Creative Spark – it’s great to have the opportunity to exhibit my work to fashion industry professionals.
“I’m really pleased to be selected by the judges from Panache. It means a lot to know my hard work and dedication was recognised, especially for an industry professional to notice it amongst such strong competition. It has given me a massive confidence boost and the motivation to continue to pursue my career as a fashion designer.”