CONTOUR FASHION PART 1: DMU’s Bryony Bennett

De Montfort University Third Year Contour Fashion student Bryony Bennett talks to Lingerie Insight, in the first of a series of blogs, about the inspiration for her final year collection.

My name is Bryony Bennett and I am a final year lingerie design student at De Montfort University in Leicester. For my final major project I have been developing an original concept for bridal strapless and solution bra’s for DD+ Sizes. No mean feat, considering most people advised me it was ‘impossible’.

This year, for the first time in 65 years, the course offered a new route for final year students to take. You could either take the traditional aesthetic route of designing a six piece capsule collection to compete for a spot on the catwalk in Covent Garden this June, or you could take a challenging, new technical route, creating an innovative product to reveal to a panel of industry experts.

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From day one of university, I introduced myself as someone who wanted to ‘revolutionise’ the Plus Size lingerie world. It may have been a somewhat naive vision for an 18 year old to have, but it’s that unwavering passion teamed with grim determination that has kept me going through the years.

For me, underwear has always been more than just ‘cushion covers’. I am convinced that a gorgeous set of quality, fitting underwear can change someone’s life. I believe that because underwear lays closest to a woman’s skin, it shapes and forms the foundation of far more than just her body.

Developing a strapless bra that genuinely works for Plus Sizes hasn’t been easy. It required research, innovation and thinking outside the box to produce a garment that essentially defies gravity, which is a pretty tough force to contend with at the best of times.

The last four months have been an exhausting journey, surviving on two to four hours’ sleep most nights. It’s taken 13 different samples so far, that’s 390 pattern pieces individually and painstakingly re-measured in illustrator, labeled, cut, sewn and fit… all to just perfect ONE bra. In addition to the design development incorporating trend, market, primary research and sourcing, on top of developing the complimenting pieces for the rest of the collection….

There’s been more than a few drops of blood, sweat and tears shed along the way, and I can safely say that there is definitely a reason for this significant gap in the market. But ,with the invaluable support of everyone around me, as the last few weeks draw to a close, and things begin to take shape, I know it’ll all be worth it…

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