Mastectomy bras and glow-in-the-dark embroidery earn industry praise for DMU designers

Students from De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) acclaimed Contour Fashion course have impressed their way to prizes in a competition with leading lingerie brand Lounge.

DMU Contour Fashion students enjoy a tour of the HQ Lounge

The last few years were set live by Lounge to design a six-piece collection for Spring/Summer 2022 and build one of their outfits. They had to take into account the principles of sustainable design, new consumer trends and innovative manufacturing.

Fifteen finalists were invited to the brand’s headquarters in Birmingham to showcase their collections and show off their constructed outfits, as well as enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour.

The overall winner was Issy Priddey, with second and third place awarded to Meg White and Min Kim respectively. Kudos were also given to Sonica Signey and Disha Lulla.

Issy wowed the judges with a technically advanced and feminine mastectomy collection featuring two interchangeable bras, earning her a six-month internship at Lounge starting after her graduation this summer.

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Issy’s mastectomy collection wins first place

Its molded cup bra with interior pockets for prostheses and its bandeau bra can be worn as is or can be combined in a half and half design to meet different needs. Inspired by orchids, its bright, burnt orange design is a hand-drawn and digitized floral print.

“I was inspired by Lounge’s own Feel Your Breast campaign and just saw mastectomy lingerie as a really big and obvious gap in the market,” said the 23-year-old from Brighton.

“As part of my market research, I joined a mastectomy support group on Facebook and the feedback I received was so invaluable in helping me design something that was both comfortable and empowering.

“I’ve limited seams and seams to prevent skin irritation, added front closures for ease, and have incorporated Lounge branding into my print as well. The silhouettes themselves are great feminine, yet simple enough to show off the print.

With internships at luxury latex clothing brand House of Harlot and iconic womenswear brand The Vampire’s Wife already under her belt, Issy is looking forward to her Lounge internship.

She said: “I have experienced quite a few different industry sectors during my internships, but this internship could solidify the position I may hold in the future.

“Everyone was so amazing when we visited Lounge. It was a really positive experience that made me realize my potential and pushed me to experiment with jumpsuit designs for my graduation collection. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do it without winning the Lounge competition.

Issy’s collection of women’s bodysuits, made from body-hugging laser-cut lace panels, hit the Fashanne catwalk last week and was shortlisted for the Athleisure Design Award.

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Holiday-inspired designs earned Meg second place

A runner-up winner of the Lounge live brief, Meg has been making waves with her vacation-inspired collection, evoking seashells and sandy beaches through her clever choice of colors and creation of textures.

The 20-year-old from Cornwall said: ‘I used DMU labs to dye all my lace champagne and hand pleated my skirt to look like sand dunes. I then included details like strapping and cutouts to give my collection a modern touch. Winning a prize made all the hard work worth it.

“The whole experience with Lounge has been great. They came during our development phase and it was helpful to get their industry perspective on things like construction. Also visiting their HQ was surreal and amazing.Going into jobs now, I feel like I know what to expect from commercial brands.

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Disha hand-embroidered her collection with phosphorescent thread

Disha has been praised for the bespoke glow-in-the-dark hand embroidery and sustainable approach to her collection.

“I had to experiment with lots of different yarns to get the effect I wanted. Each piece was hand-embroidered with hidden ‘Ls in the design and a large Lounge logo on the back of my dress, which helped took so long,” said the 23-year-old Indian.

“I used tulle made from recycled plastics and made all my hardware from scraps from DMU’s metal workshops. As part of my collection, I have also planted five trees and donated to various charities.

“It was a great experience and I really enjoyed learning from the designers at Lounge who came to help us with the brief. They got to know us well over the three months, so that’s a huge plus for us when we apply for jobs.

Disha has also made headlines during the pandemic for sewing thousands of reusable face masks for residents of her Indian hometown and using all proceeds to fund charities and plant trees.

Posted on Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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