Fashion students showcase their collections at The Great Yorkshire Show

02 July 2019

Recent graduates and second year students from Leeds Arts University’s BA (Hons) Fashion degree will be showing their designs on the catwalk at this year’s Great Yorkshire Show.

Graduating student Kaytii Matthews will show her collection of aesthetic-led solutions for people with disabilities, especially women with colostomy or ostomy bags. The pieces help to ease discomfort and provide functional solutions including adjustable waists to allow bloating and abdominal distension, and pouches to place colostomy bags. Kaytii said:

“The desire to make a collection specifically for women with bowel disease and colostomy bags came from seeing strong women in my family be affected by bowel disease and having their clothing options reduced as a result; it is my ambition that women do not face such restriction with my collection.”

Image: Kaytii Matthews pictures with her designs. Photographs by Charlotte Graham for the Great Yorkshire Show.

Rebecca Brett Reynolds, another final year student, has created a high end luxury lifestyle brand inspired by global travel and exploring unique places off the beaten track. Rebecca told us:

“The ‘Hermosa Cosmos’ collection is inspired by my personal experiences and appreciation for the indigenous communities in South America and Africa. This collection celebrates the variety and diversity of female forms in order to empower women by celebrating what is naturally theirs. The collection’s underlying principles are influenced by the beauty found in these cultures and the unique hand craftsmanship they use.”

Image: Rebecca Reynolds pictured with her collection. Photographs by Charlotte Graham for the Great Yorkshire Show.

Second year students who have been working with fabric from Alfred Brown Ltd. to design a range of cutting-edge menswear will also see some of their pieces on the catwalk.

Image: Left: Jacket designed by Jess Morley; right: Jacket and trousers designed by Tasala Lagan. Photographs by Charlotte Graham for the Great Yorkshire Show.

Also appearing at the show is fashion designer and Leeds Arts University alumna Mary Benson, who studied the Foundation Diploma at the University and was invited to take part in her first ever fashion show at the Great Yorkshire Show after completing her course.

Mary’s break came after appearing on Mary Queen of Shops with presenter Mary Portas, showcasing her designs on national television. They caught the eye of many celebrities and have since been worn by singers such as Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, Paloma Faith and Little Mix. Last year she launched a new fashion label, Mary Benson World and set up a new company, Mary, a lifestyle brand which includes soft furnishings and home ware.

Sam Hudson-Miles, BA (Hons) Fashion Design Course Leader, said:

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to see their work on the catwalk; for some it will be for the first time. I know they are excited to meet Mary and hear about her experiences as they start their careers in fashion.”

The 161st Great Yorkshire Show will be held on Tuesday 9 to Thursday 11 July 2019 at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate. The Kuoni Catwalk will take place each day at 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4pm, with a one-off celebrity special on Tuesday 9 July at 2:30pm. Find out more here.