Student uprising

Curvy Kate’s annual competition for second-year students on De Montfort University’s contour degree inspired some highly creative, considered designs, this time concentrating on swimwear. We met the top three entrants.


Charlotte Jane Watson, 20, The Wirral, Merseyside

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Twenty-year-old Charlotte Jane Watson, from The Wirral, was picked as winner from more than 50 students for her Italian-inspired swimwear designs. She will now see her collection exhibited at the International Salon de la Lingerie in Paris this summer, with the Curvy Kate collections, and will also working with them to develop the collection for autumn/winter 2014.

"I wanted to study Contour Fashion at DMU as it is a well-established degree course that offers huge opportunities and gives us a fantastic skill base. My Art Foundation developed my creativity and knowledge through experimentation, but I wanted to study with in this specialised area of the industry as I love working close to the body, embracing the human form. I have a wide range of interests, such as contour design, pattern-drafting, print development and embellishment, so I wanted a degree that allowed me to study both the technical and design aspects, as well gaining skills in intimate apparel. Swimwear is definitely a sector of the industry that I am keen to work in after graduating from DMU.

"I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to take part in this fantastic competition ‘Create a Curvy Kate’, let alone be placed as the winner. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have been selected; I was shocked and overwhelmed, but overall, I feel extremely happy. Curvy Kate is a brand I have always admired due to its ability to accommodate many different shapes and sizes of women along with creating beautiful and feminine lingerie. It’s great to be involved with the new swimwear division of the company since I am really passionate about this area of the industry.

"I was inspired by the exquisite architecture surrounding the quaint streets of Italy. I wanted to replicate the chic ambience of the Italian locality using of the vibrant but delicate shades of the traditional pistaccio Gelato ice-cream. I strived to create a timeless collection with designs that achieve contouring lines and sleek shapes along with pistachio shades, which prove almost universally flattering.

2nd place

Emma Stubbs, 20, Stratford Upon Avon

"When I was at Debenhams working as a bra fitter, my boss showed me the course and told me about its history and from then on it was all I wanted to do. Contour at DMU was always discussed as the best course around for this field of design and now I’m part of it I completely understand why: I couldn’t even use a sewing machine before and now I’m achieving things I would have never dreamed of.
"When I finish my degree I would like to be involved in a design team where I have the opportunity to work my way up.

"The inspiration for my project was derived from afternoons spent in the summer garden surrounded by loved ones; the reminiscent theme takes us back to memories that last a life time and are made of sentimental substance."

3rd place

Emma Lander, 21, Letchworth, Hertfordshire

"I chose to do contour because i used to be a competitive swimmer, so was very interested in the swimwear industry. I also worked at a La Senza store for two years and can see how much a properly fitting set of lingerie can change a women’s figure and confidence, and I believe all women should feel great about themselves. Because of this I would love to work in the future in a high-street brand, to get all women feeling great in affordable, sexy, comfortable lingerie or swimwear.

"For my Curvy Kate project, I chose to study Africa after watching David Attenborough’s amazing programme on the BBC. I studied the many different prints found in Africa, such as the tribal prints and the animal prints. I then spent a lot of time developing a colourful print combining the two. I chose to adapt the colourways to less traditional tribal colours, such as earthy tones, so it wasn’t predictable, adding pinks, purples and blue tones to do this. Alongside developing my print I did a survey of women asking various questions to find out what women really want when they buy swimwear, and the answers I got really helped determine my design style."



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