Created by Senior School girls from 13 – 18 years old, the talented young ladies of Newcastle High School for Girls graced the catwalk on February 26 in two shows that were choreographed, staged and modelled by the girls themselves.
Among the collections is 17-year-old, Tilly England’s ‘Rule Brittania’ inspired range of garments. Tilly, from Corbridge, was inspired by the doyenne of punk, Vivienne Westwood, and traditional English country pastimes and has combined the two in a collection of tailoring, tweeds and tartans. A tailored red hunting jacket teamed with a pheasant feather embellished skirt will grace the catwalk, alongside a signature Westwood-esque Tartan fitted jacket worn with white embellished leggings.
Tilly said: “I would love to work in the fashion industry. Having to produce our collections under tight time constraints and get them catwalk ready has given us all a tremendous insight into the industry, as well as allowing us to explore our creative ideas.
“I am looking forward to the show but as a designer, I don’t think you are ever satisfied. There is always more you could add or do to your designs.”
Another student, Anna Stevens, has been heavily influenced by current global unrest and war and has worked to produce designs that have current, as well as historic meaning.
Corsetry and caged skirts form the basis of her collection with camouflage embroidery, khaki ruffles and images of war transferred onto fabric echoing the war and military theme throughout.
The 17-year-old from Jesmond said: “Next year I want to build on my skills by taking a foundation course in Art and Design. I have explored other aspects of design through work experience and ideally I would like to take a fashion related degree in the future.”
Newcastle High has a long and illustrious history in creative arts, alumnae include Lauren Anderson, Charis Younger, Evie Turley, Jenni Moore, Chloe Cooper and Caroline Legg, all work in fashion or are studying for a degree in fashion. Charis now works as a womenswear designer for the trendsetting fashion retailer H and M. The highly successful designer Fiona Sinha also attended the school, before going on to study fashion at Central Saint Martins where she met her design partner Aleksandar Stanic and designed under their label, SinhaStanic and also for Alexander McQueen’s McQ label.