Huddersfield University’s Costume and Fashion Summer Shows, at the Lawrence Batley Theatre, gave me two hours of unadulterated aesthetic pleasure. As being backstage at the NT or BBC television centre, I could fantasise playwrighting, directing ballet, film, revue, cabaret as scenes of glamour, romance, and adventure unfolded.
At the Fashion show sitting in the gallery, not at catwalk level, as for other graduate shows, I could marvel at students’ ingenuity; creating clothes for dreams with tailoring and making-details in sharp relief under the spotlights.
Each brilliantly turned hem, exquisitely rendered ruffle, sensitively stitched pleat, softly draped bodice, tightly corseted waist, delighted me. I was watching haute couture, from a very special angle; seeing the creativity lecturers, technicians and students are sending into the market place.
This is the unsung value a university adds to society and we should begin to sing about it before it is unpicked before our eyes. Courses run at universities like Huddersfield, carrying on the Polytechnic tradition, give today’s, and tomorrow’s, workforce the opportunity to feed new technologies; becoming essential content providers for the future.
We should be alert to the risks of new talent not accessing these courses through not realising the excellent investment value of cheap student loans. We must guard against this danger.
Above right: Chanel accused Dior of ‘upholstering’ women: FASHION MEDIA PROMOTION the new black magic p46