NUFS Fashion Show Preview

With the NUFS Fashion Show 'Mythology' taking place soon, Daisy Harrison chats with designers and models who are helping to put the show together

Daisy Harrison
14th June 2022
Image: Instagram @nufashion_
Set to take place on the 4th of June in Newcastle’s iconic Discovery Museum, the NUFS Fashion Show looks to be a masterfully majestic display of mythology!

The University’s Fashion Society are putting on a show like no other, with the chosen theme this year of mythology. The show will see 32 models take the runway, 5 of whom will be modelling their own designs. NUFS have also been working closely with local designers and small business owners, to sustainably produce pieces for the show through loans and collaboration.

Image: Instagram @nufashion_

NUFS have also been working closely with local designers and small business owners, to sustainably produce pieces for the show

Image: Instagram @nufashion_

When asked the inspiration behind the theme of mythology, Fashion Director of the society, Neelam Majumder, explained that the designers each picked a mythological creature to work with, including fairies, witches, mermaids & dragons. All of which represent a different problem within the fashion industry. These problems constitute of the fetishization of young women (fairies); the demonisation of knowledge (witches); gender-based violence (mermaids); corruption and greed (dragons). As a result, the society are addressing these issues by dressing to reclaim power and feeling beautiful in whatever you wear. A part of the money raised from the show will go towards Smart Works, a charity in partnership with NUFS, who “believe in the power of clothes to transform a woman’s confidence”. The charity has helped over 20,000 women in 8 centres across the UK by providing them with business clothing to wear to job interviews.

The designers each picked a mythological creature to work with, with each representing a different problem within the fashion industry

Each week, fashion director of NUFS, Neelam Majumder runs sewing lessons for the designers who are making pieces for the fashion show. I went along to one of the sessions to find out more about the designers and models involved in the upcoming show.

Image: Instagram @nufashion_

Designers: Neelam Majumder and Enzo Mariani

What is your experience in design?

N: I was artsy as a child and learnt to sew when I was around 8/9 years old. I started by making dresses for my teddies and carried on sewing into high school, where I would make clothes for me and my friends. I developed my skills through YouTube tutorials and textiles classes.

E: I first joined NUFS in 1st year because I loved to watch Ru Paul’s Drag Race and saw that sewing was a fundamental part of becoming a successful drag queen.

I developed my skills through YouTube tutorials and textiles classes

Where do you get your inspiration for show designs?

N: I largely take inspiration from my culture. For example, I saw Sharara, a pair of loose-fitting trousers worn by people in parts of India and Pakistan, which I have incorporated into my designs. I also love to upcycle clothes that I find in charity shops.

(Neelam also gave me exclusive insider information: Byker high-street is amazing for charity shops, and the clothes there are often a lot cheaper than in the city-centre.)

Neelam also gave me insider information: Byker high-street is amazing for charity shops

E: I find that rummaging through the remnants bin is great for finding scrap bits of material, which I take inspiration from, and rework into something new. One of my designs for the fashion show is inspired by industrialisation and features a metallic, mythical roadkill bunny.

(I can’t wait to see Enzo’s bunny piece on the runway!)

What skills are needed to be a good designer?

N: I like the quote ‘good artists copy, great artists steal’ because it reminds me that having a base is not a bad thing, and then you can morph your piece to make it your own.

What is your favourite piece you’ve ever made?

E: The piece that I reminisce about the most is a pink leotard. It was an extremely basic design, but it holds a lot of memory and was an extremely empowering item for me.

Modelling Director: Manako Maddison

What does your role of Modelling Director entail?

M: I train all the models on how to approach the runway and editorial side of fashion. The society brings opportunities for the models through events such as collaboration with photography society, which allows both our models and the photographers to build their portfolios.

How did you get involved with NUFS?

M: I went to one of the modelling workshops that the society run. I wasn’t expecting much and went with one of my friends. The workshop turned out to be amazing, and it really helped my self-esteem, as the feedback given to me was so kind. I applied to be Modelling Director so that I could bring these same experiences into workshops and runways and help other people’s confidence too.

The workshop turned out to be amazing, and it really helped my self-esteem

Have you got any tips for how to improve your confidence?

M: By looking confident, you will feel confident. For example, when you walk, keep your eyes and chin up, and roll your shoulders back – but keep them relaxed. If you get into the zone of looking and feeling great, you will naturally be more empowered!

Image: Instagram @nufahion_

Models & Designers: Kay Hui and Maisie Moss. Both will be modelling their own designs on the runway.

What element of the show are you most looking forward to?

K: I’m excited to model but I’m also looking forward to being backstage – even it is a bit hectic!

I think it will be cool to finally wear my clothes after weeks of designing them

M: I think it will be cool to finally wear my clothes after weeks of designing them. It will also be nice for my friends to see my pieces because they haven’t seen any of my designs for the show yet.

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