De Montfort University Third Year Contour Fashion student Bryony Bennett talks to Lingerie Insight, in the second of a series of blogs, about the trials and tribulations of developing her plus size collection.

As the countdown begins in earnest for the catalogue photo-shoot, it is amazing how months of research and development, start to take shape.

Having scoured the stands at Interfiliere for new technology for three years running, designed surveys that reached hundreds of plus sized ladies from all over the world, interviewed architects, plastic surgeons and sports science researchers, alongside my in-depth research on the cultural difference in breast shapes from the darkest depths of our library, I finally started developing my theories and ideas in my quest to straplessly support plus size breasts.

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I even traded in my Cath Kidson tape measure and sewing machine, to wield a beaten-up hammer and an electromagnetic machine for a couple of weeks to complete the unique innovation within my product, ready for the shoot.

Although I chose the technical root, the tutors always push us to think outside the box when it comes to collection inspiration. Their focus is on primary research, if you can see it, feel it, touch it- you can draw it and draw inspiration from it.
In Paris, whilst visiting Interfilière and Moda, I was drawn to the beautiful lights of the city: from the candles full of memories flickering inside the Sacre Coeur, to the art nouveau lampposts along the river Seine. I visited lantern exhibitions in Manchester; drew Gothic lampposts on the streets of London; dug out photographs of Chinese lanterns from my travels.

The more I looked into them, the more I realised the concept of ‘Lights’ complimented the ‘lightness’ technical aspect of my project.

Preparations for the photo-shoot means that Easter passes me by completely. Instead of Spring or eggs, I am enveloped in a thick coating of Lace Appliqué. I cannot so much as move the mouse on my mac for fear of knocking a little rosebud off into the fifth dimension. As the invisible thread reel disappears, a sick and unfriendly knot grows inside my stomach, an unbearable concoction of curiosity, excitement and foreboding. Is there enough time? Will it fit? Will it look good? Will it photograph? What if the shoes don’t fit…

The photo-shoot passed in a heady, surreal daze, as if the sound was turned down and all I could focus on was, if the garment was sitting right, suspenders matched up ok, and waist band in line?…it just about registered that, amazingly, despite rushing around on the day and the demand of poses, the strapless bra, on the 30GG model, stayed up. Perfectly.





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