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Charity clothes fit for the catwalk – NUA partners with Cancer Research UK

A new trend for ‘upcycling’ has seen fashion students at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) partner with Cancer Research UK. The charity has donated over 70 bags of material that didn’t sell on the shop floor to the University College.

Student works on a project on a mannequin

A new trend for ‘upcycling’ has seen Fashion students at Norwich University of the Arts (NUA) partner with Cancer Research UK

Students on the new BA (Hons) Fashion degree – which has seen a phenomenal 82% increase in applications this year – were briefed to ‘be innovative and keep an open mind’ as they transformed unwanted clothes, bags, belts – and even an old wedding dress – into creative, cutting-edge garments.

Sue Chowles, Fashion Course Leader says: “Through the partnership with Cancer Research UK, students were briefed to be experimental and challenge creativity within their work. Using key words such as ‘metamorphosis’, ‘inside-out’, ‘upside-down’ and ‘back-to-front’, students were encouraged to take risks, develop technique and produce conceptual and directional Fashion. The partnership will continue year-on-year and the final outfits will be showcased and contribute to a new annual Fashion Show for Norwich. With a new MA Fashion also starting at NUA this year we’re further cementing the reputation of the City and University College as a centre for innovative design.”

NUA plans to give something back to Cancer Research through coordinating a fashion fundraiser and a number of Fashion students will donate their time to create a dynamic visual window-display for the Cancer Research store on London Street in Norwich to inspire shoppers and challenge assumptions about second-hand clothing.

Chris Pink, Area Manager for East Anglia, Cancer Research UK says: “We’re delighted to be working with NUA and supporting fashion designers of the future. In a time of austerity it’s great to show what can be done with second-hand clothes and we hope this project will encourage other young people interested in fashion to use their local charity shops and see the potential.”

Students working on the project include Sally Taylor, who is planning an ambitious outfit made entirely out of sleeves and trouser legs, Amy Parish, who chose “clothes with buttons missing and loose threads – ones with a bit of personal history,” and Ellen Nightingale, who reveals: “I picked out a huge old rain coat. I’ve been influenced by modern Japanese designers to experiment with shapes and silhouette. I’m planning a contemporary take on a traditional kimono.”

Student works on a project on a mannequin

NUA plans to give something back to Cancer Research through coordinating a fashion fundraiser

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