First year Textiles students have been working with Employer Champion, Amber Kotrri on a live brief as part of their coursework to design a kimono suitable for the brands target audience. Students took inspiration from the brands ethos and aesthetic and studied natural forms in the way of vibrant flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. During the project they took part in a drawing and painting workshop with Freelance Surface Pattern Designer, Davinder Madaher who discussed with students how to take drawings into patterns for fashion. The Textiles students developed their original drawings into repeat patterns to explore composition and layout and they aplied their selected designs to a kimono layout. Lily Horvath won the runner up place with two of her designs selected, and Matilda Haymer won first prize and is having her design printed and made into a full size fashion kimono at the sustainable production factory in Albania.

Rachel Barras, Assistant Head of Art and Design says: “We are so grateful for the support from Amber and her fabulous team at House of Zana. It is a real privileged to work with a team of business women who are paving the way for young people in Darlington, offering contemporary fashion that is sustainable and environmentally friendly. Working with House of Zana has allowed our students to see a world outside of education where a vibrant and aspirational career is possible for them. I am so proud of the work that was produced by all our Textiles students, which was of such a high quality. Matilda and Lily were in tough competition and it shows how creative their designs were for them to be selected as winners.  We can’t wait to see the final fabrics!

Amber, at House of Zana, said: “We extend our thanks to Amber and Olivia for all they have done and look forward to working with them again in the future.”