Contour Fashion Graduate Catwalk Show - 2018 July 09 2018, 0 Comments

First established in 1947, DeMontfort University’s Contour Fashion Degree course, was originally founded by the Corsetry Guild of Great Britain in order to meet the needs of the industry at that time.  It continues to fulfill that role today and remains a leader and one of the few Degree courses in the world focused solely on Lingerie, Corsetry, Swimwear and Sportswear design.  I myself am a former Graduate, having undertaken the course as my second Degree. I recommend it to anyone seeking a career in these industries.

In the academic year just gone I also had the honour of being asked to teach on the course, so it was really nice to attend the Graduate Catwalk Show this year to see the culmination of the final year’s work from the students whom I had recently taught.

As corsetry is what Ava customers’ are most interested in there will admittedly be some bias towards reporting on corset styles featured.  That said, it was notable that there were a lot less corsets and corsetry styles in the collections this year than in some previous years, I don’t think that reflects on any underlying trend it falls into the natural variance year on year.  It would have been nice to see more corsets, but that did not detract from the standard and range of work being shown.

Corsets on and off the Catwalk

One of my personal favourite pieces in terms of corsets was the pink !8th C. style demi cup corset by Jess Burrell, although not shown on the catwalk it certainly caught my eye with its decorative stitching on the centre front ‘stomacher’ panel and exaggerated front hem shape.


Outfit by Jessica Burrell, Photography: Sean Goldthorpe

Featured on the catwalk I spotted quite a few waspies [waspies are short waist cinching underbust corsets], where there were corsets included in the collections this was by far the most common shape.  These included a faux fur red waspie from Chelsie Stringer - this was certainly a bold fabric choice and an interesting texture to use on a corset. I can only imagine that it must have been quite a challenge to sew with the long pile on the faux fur!  


Outfit by Chelsie Stringer, Photography: Sean Goldthorpe

Another nice little waspie was featured in Laura Degia’s collection, her collection featured an understated, sophisticated palette of tonal greys, embellished with lace, embroidery appliques and accented with sparkling highlights from what appeared to be Swarovski-type Aurora crystals.  Her collection also incorporated fur as trims and accessories.


Outfit by Laura Degia


Tamaki Flynn’s collection included a striking waspie-esque piece which could be best described as a cincher high leg bodysuit.  Her inspiration was stated as being ‘anatomy, surgery and gore’ I’m not sure how well/directly that inspiration came across. But this corsetry piece with it’s wrap around buckle and chain belt, super high cut legline and prominent zip opening certainly stood out.


Outfits by Tamaki Flynn

Hannah Ives also created a lovely little underbust corset in subtle tones, with claret coloured satin juxtaposed with transparent mesh and a taupe Hannah Ives also created a lovelyront lacing.  It’s quite unusual to have the lacing at the centre front, in this case it works well with the taupe lacing helping to blend her lingerie ensemble together. Her collection was inspired by ‘botanical florals and architectural details from Chatsworth House.  Which ties in well with our most recent blog post all about the Chatsworth House Style exhibition.  Her understated palette is quite an atypical [so a bold choice in a sense in spite of being mostly comprised of muted and pastel tones] choice, but I feel it’s beautiful and works, expressing her inspiration well.

Back on the catwalk line up, Phoebe Moule’s black underbust corset from the catwalk that stood out was another highlight because of it’s sophisticated style lines which I thought worked really well. I also spotted a nice corset dress, sculpting a striking hourglass silhouette,  by Jade Woodward, her collection was inspired by ‘motorbikes and industrial structures’.


Left Corset by Phoebe Moule, Right: Corset Dress by Jade Woodward

Thinking more in terms of 50’s corsetry, it was clear that this was a big part of the inspiration behind the shapes and silhouettes of Samantha Roger’s collection in the sense that it featured three structured girdle-like styles.


Collection by Samantha Rogers

Lingerie & Swimwear Highlights

In this section I’ll give you a round-up of lingerie and swimwear collections from the Catwalk Show which stood out to me...

First up is Samuel Carney’s riotous ‘Festival swimwear’ range.  I choose to mention this collection as the colours and catwalk performance were utterly joyful and lively, the swimwear print was really novel and also because of it’s ‘gender neutral focus’ [something which is close to the heart of Ava Corsetry, which as you know welcomes and celebrates people of all genders wearing our pieces].  I felt that Sam’s collection was very individual, expressive and personal.



Collection by Sam Carney

The lingerie collections of Jasmine Webb, Lucy Hill, Sara Cosforth, Kitty Daler-Finch and jasmine Dowd and the aforementioned [see above] Laura Degia and Phoebe Moule all stood out as being the most accomplished, cohesive and polished ranges, in terms of commercial appeal and finesse. Lucy's use of feather's and marabou in her baby pink collection brought an element of playfulness and fun to her collection


Top Left to Right: Jasmine Webb, Lucy Hill, Sara Cosforth Bottom Left to Right: Kitty Daler-Finch and jasmine Dowd

I also loved iridescent printed PVC swim/beachwear collection by Elspeth Monro-Smith, poetically described as a ‘fusion of urban lights and botanical gardens’.  Her pieces were eye catching and very mesmeric to watch on the catwalk.




Collection by Elspeth Monro-Smith

Ava Corsetry would like to wish the Contour Fashion class of 2018 all the very best for the future!


All photographs and videos were taken by the author - Elyzzabeth A. Beswick, unless otherwise credited.