Members of the public will be invited to try on the final collection of garments and be photographed at pop-up fashion booths at the My LEEDS 2023 summer and community events celebrating the creativity of Leeds taking place in each ward from June to August 2023.
Amy Fisher and Clara Dou created their designs in response to a live brief, and pitched them to a panel of local judges, including acclaimed artist Keith Khan, before their designs were selected for the project.
Amy's winning design is a pair of children’s culotte’s, and Clara's is a cape dress.
“I am delighted that my work has been selected by The Gift and will be shown in public.” “When I was working on the collection, I wanted to show the female form (…) with the idea of simplicity. (…) To give this design a unique style, I chose an X-shaped silhouette and a patchwork design. After getting feedback on my designs, I added some printed fabrics and bright colour blocking to make the dress look more appropriate for spring and summer. In this design, I think the most important thing is to show the culture through the garment.”
"The organisers of the competition had spoken to various communities in Leeds about what kind of garments they thought best represented them, so I felt it was really important to take that feedback into consideration, while still hitting the other key points in the brief. One of those points was to use Keith Khan’s textile design, so I really tried to make this the focus, adding pops of colours picked out from the design. This competition was an amazing opportunity for me to work with a team of professional designers and get feedback, not only my designs, but also my presentation skills. It’s also given me the chance to experience how garments are produced, starting off from my designs and ending up as a physical product. As I go into industry, I now feel like I have more insight and understanding of how things work, which I wouldn’t have had without this opportunity."
The brief for The Gift was created by thirty-three residents from each ward of Leeds. The brief challenged students to create a clothing collection of artworks that could be worn, for both adults and children. The garments were designed around custom fabric created by Keith Khan that represents the different wards of Leeds.
Photos taken at the pop ups will be added to the LEEDS 2023 Culture Map, a visual exhibition of Leeds communities that will build during summer, and audiences will be invited to discover their images along with The Gift digital artwork.