FASHION & CONTOUR PART 1: DMU’s Danielle Casey

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

My Barbie dolls were the best dressed I had ever seen, they had style and wore the most contemporary fabrics (these actually came from a remnant basket in a furnishing shop!)

When I was 8 years old, I made a bikini and matching skirt for one of my dolls and from then on my love for fashion only grew. I went to sewing classes after school and by the time our year 11 prom came round, I had designed and made my own dress.

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When the opportunity to do lingerie as well as outerwear came up at DMU, I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do more. The lead up to the third year was exciting and I learnt so much but somehow I just didn’t think the day of making my final collection would ever come. It felt like waiting at a bus stop, staring down the road, knowing at some point the bus has to arrive but feeling as if it may never come at all. Of course, it did come and as promised the third year has gone faster than any year in my life so far.

I have always been inspired by the natural world and so, last summer, I went to the Chelsea Flower Show, and was a child at Disneyland, loving everything I saw and eager to get closer to each garden and flower. There was movement from swaying seas of purples, pinks and long, untamed grasses and colours so vivid they stole your breath.

I loved the petals boasting brilliant white which blushed into powerful, intense colour. I was captivated by the theme of layers and repetition, both of the natural and manmade forms; the same shapes were rotated and repeated. At Chatsworth, I visited a sculpture exhibition and was struck by the beautiful silhouettes created against the wash of sky behind them, this contrast has greatly inspired me.

Coming from a textile background, I like to create samples to express my ideas and interpretations, and then use these to inform my designs. I had so many ideas….and editing them down into just six garments was so difficult! There were cut throat decisions that had to be made, and secretly I still wonder if I should have even further simplified my line up, but without the heart to edit any more away, I just hope that everything will get together and work as a collection.

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