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Inspirational fashion comes from Blyth; Unique designs from students.

Byline: >Francesca Craggs

FASHION designers of the future are set to showcase their collections inspired by popular Blyth landmarks. Students from The Blyth School Community College incorporated elements of the town's landscapes into their designs which will appear in an exhibition at Woodhorn Museum and Archives Centre near Ashington. The town's wind turbines, marketplace, and seafront were just some of the sights that provided inspiration for the student's unique creations.

The venture is an extension to the highly successful Experiments in Fashion project, managed by Inspire Northumberland, giving budding fashionistas the opportunity to work with renowned fashion designers.

North East couture designer Anh Mao worked with the Year 11 and Year 13 students, assisted by Kay Bowey, one of the young designers from the original project mentored by acclaimed fashion designer Wayne Hemingway. Laura Pattinson, aged 15 from Blyth, created a stunning dress inspired by the town's wind turbines and marketplace.

She said: "The idea for the shape of my final piece came from the windmills in Blyth harbour. I then combined this with the metallic colours in the market square. I'm really pleased with the end result and looking forward to seeing my work in the exhibition. Working with a professional fashion designer has been a great experience."

Beth Lawson's collection 'Super Power' included a striking red, white and blue dress which was also inspired by Blyth's wind turbines. Fellow student Stacey Warner named her collection after a ship in Blyth Harbour called Arklow Wind.

She said: "I really enjoyed being part of this fashion project as it helped me understand the process of designing and making an outfit. I loved the idea of taking inspiration from where I live and what was around me. I thought it was a great idea and would love to do it again." Anh studied fashion at Newcastle College before working in Haute Couture studios in London and Paris. She returned to the North East to set up her own label. "My role was to support the development of the girls' designs and demonstrate how to create high-quality fashion design that works. I also wanted to inspire them about how they might use the new Blyth town centre market square and promenade," she said.

The exhibition kicks off tomorrow at Woodhorn and will run until November 9. It will then tour The Alnwick Garden from January 9 until February 19, 2010.

Woodhorn's Events and Exhibitions Officer Liz Ritson, said: "We will have about 25 of these unique outfits from both the original project and the Blyth extension on show in our gallery for the exhibition. I am sure people will be fascinated to see how the young people have been inspired by our remarkable county and how they have incorporated elements of the environment and architecture into their work."

Inspire Northumberland is a partnership between Arts Council England and Northumberland County Council.

Log on to www.inspirenorthumberland. for more information.


INSPIRED Right and above, designs from the original project mentored by Wayne Hemmingway. Main, students from Blyth School Community College modelling their creations based on the originals but inspired by Blyth landmarks.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 18, 2009
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