INSPIRED by colours, tones and textures of skin, Nicole Bradshaw’s fashion designs turned heads at Graduate Fashion Week.
The 22-year-old, from Sunderland, used leather, crepe silks, shimmering lurex and chunky mohair knits to capture the look and feel of skin for her final year collection at the prestigious fashion event.
Nicole says: “I started looking at how real skin looked and thought it would be an amazing thing to have as an item of clothing.”
The colours in the collection are influenced by the skin of characters in paintings by Francis Bacon and Egon Shiele, and the designer incorporated navy, black, orange and purple into her pieces as well as more understated shades such as beige and pink.
“My collection is aimed at the professional woman,” she says. “There’s an emphasis on quality and luxury. I want people to see my clothes as an investment, like a second skin.”
Her high-end eveningwear range includes a delicate over-sized jumper made from pale pink and beige mohair, with flashes of black and orange.
There are also references to surgery and the manipulation of skin through the use of silicone. Nicole created a top, skirt and coat from silicone.
One of her most striking garments is a full-length evening dress based on a fingerprint with ribs of glistening, soft-pink lurex knit swirling to create an elegant semi-opaque sleeveless garment.
Nicole attended City of Sunderland College and went on to study fashion design for two years at Newcastle College before graduating in 2001.
She was proud to showcase her collection at Graduate Fashion Week while studying for a fashion design degree at Kingston University.
The designer says: “It was brilliant and so much fun. The adrenaline rush I got was unbelievable. My mum and sister came up and they did not realise how big it was and they were quite overwhelmed.”
Nicole does not have any job offers after graduation, but she hopes to fulfil her dream of working in fashion full-time.
“I hope to be at the top end of the fashion industry, but I don’t mind where I go as long as I can carry on doing what I love,” she says.