Religious themes lead student to victory

Sheffield Hallam University student Helen McClafferty has won an award for a clothing collection inspired by the Vatican.

McClafferty received the Brightest Spark award, given to her by Panache Lingerie’s lead designer Debbie Morley and head of marketing Jennie Field. The team deemed McClafferty’s creations Best in Category out of 21 entries at a fashion show held on the opening night of the school’s Creative Spark exhibition.

Competition was stiff, with Field stating: “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. 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.”

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Speaking about her win, McClafferty 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.”

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