‘THE FINAL COLLECTION’ – PART 8
The pre-selection for the Contour Catwalk Show was held a few days after students presented their final collections to industry experts. Pre-selection is what determines whose designs actually make it to the runway in London, where they’ll be seen by reps from many leading brands as well as students, family and friends.
The one downside of selecting the technical route in DMU’s Contour Fashion program (as I did) is that in order to strive for innovation you have to sacrifice your place on the catwalk — so my collection won’t be part of the show. (Understandable when you start to imagine the complexities of finding six pregnant models for the maternity and nightwear collections!)
The atmosphere backstage was different from the technical presentation, as everyone is competing for an elusive spot on the catwalk in Covent Garden, London. Only 20 will make the cut.
People have been working three years for the chance to have their collection immortalized in the press, and hopefully catch the eye of countless companies attending the show, so emotions understandably run high and the occasional claw unmistakably comes out.
Competition aside, everyone was willing to help zip, button, pin and lace up the patient line of models before making their pitch in front of tutors and industry, quickly explaining their collection … before a deceptively long wait, sick with anticipation for the final e-mail that would announce the selections.
They say you find out who your friends are when the going gets tough, but the Contour course has taught me you find out who your true friends are when things are going well.
It cannot be easy to swallow your pride, wipe your eyes and hold yourself together with enough grace to congratulate those fulfilling your own dream. But it is something you have to learn sooner or later in Contour, and it’s a quality I admired in many people as the list hit everyone’s inboxes.
I felt a tremendous burst of pride for all those who made the list, especially ones whose talents I had watched unfurl from the very beginning. And I also felt my own heartbreak for those I had felt so sure would make it, but didn’t.
As they say, though, the show must go on, and with business cards to print, work to pack and hundreds of pounds worth of shoes to order, the end of year Catwalk was finally only a matter of hours away…
NEXT: The Contour Catwalk Show!
[Editor’s Note: The Contour Fashion program at De Montfort University celebrated its 65th anniversary with a reunion of past graduates last weekend. The Final Collection wraps up in our next installment, with Bryony's report from the student catwalk show.]