BUDDING designers have had the once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn the tricks of the trade from a top fashion guru.
Youngsters from Burton and South Derbyshire College had the privilege of an audience with Sir Paul Smith, a top designer famed for his instantly recognisable striped pattern in his work.
The fashion and textile students were also assigned a special brief by Sir Paul after visiting in his studio in Covent Garden, London.
During the visit, students were made to feel at home as Sir Paul encouraged them to look round his office and ask questions.
Emma Strange, fashion lecturer at the college, said: “Students came away really inspired and excited from this fantastic experience, and as Paul rarely has groups visit due to his work commitments, this made the visit even more special.
“The experience gave the youngsters an insight into what is required to work in the different areas of the fashion industry, along with a unique opportunity to work on a brief set by a leading fashion designer.”
Sir Paul spoke to them in depth about the industry, his work and how he got started in the fashion industry.
After an inspirational talk looking at his collection of objects, explaining where he got his inspiration from and how the design process works, the lucky group of youngsters were given a tour around the head office of his firm.
This included the design offices of his empire.
Students were encouraged to ask the designers about current trends, how designs were started, the techniques and processes used, and how garments were developed.
At the end of the day, students presented Sir Paul with a pair of shoes they had made from a variety of textiles techniques for his collection and to thank him for his time.
The designer was so impressed with the gift that he then went on to feature the gift during a segment on BBC 2 programme, The Culture Show.
A spokesman for the college said: “Students are now working on a short assignment set by Sir Paul to create fashion designs based on a room of their choice.
“Their work will then be photographed and sent to Sir Paul for feedback.”
The students, who are all eager to break into the fashion industry, also visited a exhibition set up to showcase his work.
A spokesman for Paul Smith said: “Sir Paul is currently celebrating his career to date and exploring future developments in his ‘Hello, my name is Paul Smith’ exhibition at the Design Museum in London.
“The exhibition references his influences and fashion designs, charting the rise of this quintessentially British label.”