Fashion students showcase work at 'Tailored' exhibition in Leeds

10 November 2015

‘Tailored: A Very British Fashion’ celebrates the art and heritage of tailoring from the eighteenth century to the present day.

This unique exhibition at Leeds City Museum brings together a wide range of examples of British tailoring and explores the development of tailoring as a renowned British skill from Savile Row in London to the Leeds' tailoring industry.  

Eight of our second year BA (Hons) Fashion students have been selected to exhibit some of their tailoring work as part of the exhibition. Their tailored garments are detailed below.

Highlights at the exhibition also include a jacket worn by Ringo Starr, made by Leeds-trained tailor to the stars Dougie Millings on loan from the V&A, and a specially commissioned suit, made by acclaimed Leeds-born Savile Row tailor, Kathryn Sargent.  The suit is further complimented with work by contemporary fashion designers Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen and Roger Saul for Mulberry. 

The Tailored exhibition is on until 3 January 2016 at Leeds City Museum.

If you're inspired by the exhibition then why not try your hand at tailoring, we are running a ten week tailoring course 'An Introduction to tailoring techniques' starting in January. For more information click here 

Garments made by our BA (Hons) Fashion students, exhibited as part of the exhibition include:-

Charlotte Craythorn

My tailored piece was inspired by historical British military wear, brought to the present by combining bold military features with modern asymmetry. I enjoyed juxtaposing historical and contemporary to create a striking garment in unconventional tailoring fabrics - cotton drill and rip-stop nylon – helping to broaden my skills in creating unique, vegan fashion.  

Tailored Charlotte CraythornAll images by Enya Arton, BA (Hons) Photography graduate 

Amy Garth

WW11 military uniform has been the inspiration for my coat, specifically the uniforms of the Russian army, which feature fur as protection against the cold climate. Through the making process, my coat developed into something rather theatrical, which I love.

The fit is oversized, and the most important feature is the faux fur removable storm flaps and large lapels with a low break. The fabrics include 100% wool, and 100% cotton.

I learned a lot whilst making this coat; it was my first time experiencing tailoring and I think the skills required are incredible, I am proud to say I have made a tailored garment.

Tailored Amy Garth 

Sophie Smith

This oversized military styled parka, with a nod to the outdoor explorer, was inspired by the history of men’s tailored military uniforms, particular during the Regency period and WW11. Waxed linen and cotton moleskin are contrasted against brass buttons and zips and were chosen for their durability and warmth, to withstand mild weather elements. 

Tailored Sophie Smith

Tiar Johnston

Innovative materials meets traditional tailoring- the look I wanted to achieve in this piece. Using scuba and reflective piping gave a classic shape a futuristic edge. I thoroughly enjoyed combining contradicting parts of fashion into one garment. I feel I've learned a lot about tailoring through this jacket, and I look forward to taking these skills further into my fashion career.

Tiar Johnston

Emma Brown

Inspiration for this tailored coat has been taken from a WW11 sheepskin flying jacket; the key features being the detachable fur collar, contrasting bellows pocket and eyelets. The fabrics I selected are cotton moleskin, corduroy, wool broadcloth, and waxed cotton. I gained valuable tailoring construction skills and enjoyed the challenge of working with a variety of fabrics.

Tailored Emma Brown 

Samantha Fenwick

The inspiration for my tailored jacket came to me whilst at work at the restaurant, Greens of Whitby.  We had just had a new set of bar stools delivered that were upholstered in a beautiful ram’s head patterned wool, in striking two-tone shades of turquoise and jade.  I contacted the company who had supplied the stools, Bute Fabrics to request sponsorship, which they very generously offered!

The design of the coat itself was by my obsession with men’s classic tailoring, namely the Crombie.

 Tailored Samantha Fenwick

Harriett McHugh

My inspiration for this design was drawn from the classic parka, with reference to the oversized silhouette, quilting and hood detail. Classic tailoring influences came through the lapel detail and two-piece sleeve. The Congolese Sapeurs played a significant part in influencing the creative element of the design; research and observational drawings led to the digital print design that has been used for the lining.  The lining was the key feature of my design; therefore I pared down the colour palette and styling of the outer jacket.

Throughout the process of making the coat, I gained skills in pattern-cutting more complex garment components, such as a lapel with a grown-on hood.  My understanding of fabric behaviours increased, as a result of sampling g with a range of fabric weights and types. 

I feel honoured to have been the one student from my cohort that has been selected, by Alfred Brown (Worsted Mills) Ltd., to showcase my garment, which will be re-created in their fabric, at Milano Unica this September.

Tailored Harriet McHugh 

Madeleine Westbrook

Inspired by the flight jackets worn by the pilots during WW11, this jacket has panelled sleeves with inserted zips compartments and a double-ended zip detail that starts at the top of the neck and ends past the elbow. These zips can be opened to reveal a spotted gusset.

I decided to focus on flight jackets as I come from a family of pilots. My mother was the youngest woman in 1977 to gain a pilot licence. The ‘G-BOW’ appliqué on the back of the jacket was the name of her plane; it stands for Golf Bravo Oscar Whiskey. My mother would say these words before speaking to air traffic control. Unfortunately she wasn’t tall enough to fly the big planes so had to choose a different career path.

Throughout this project, I have gained a better understanding of designing and constructing for the male body shape. I enjoyed learning about how some aspects of men’s tailoring was created for function rather than aesthetic, to give the wearer an advantage in battle. I have gained a huge appreciation for tailoring it is a skill that is extremely hard to perfect.

 Tailored Madeline Westbrook

Madeleine Westbrook, Pilot MotherMadeleine's mother 

If anyone is looking to try their hand at tailoring, we are running a ten week tailoring course starting in January. For more information click here