NewsUCA Farnham

Student is shortlisted for her Churchill inspired collection

Jessica Boylett, a third-year textiles students from the University for the Creative Arts, has been shortlisted for The Pentland Winston Churchill Wardrobe Competition.

Jessica is in her final year of a BA (Hons) Textiles for Fashion & Interiors degree and was encouraged by her tutor, Sharon Ting, to enter her work into this year’s brief.

©Jessica Boylett

©Jessica Boylett

The Pentland Winston Churchill Wardrobe competition is an association between Pentland Group plc, Arts Thread and The Churchill Centre, and this year’s brief titled ‘The Image of an Icon’ focused on taking inspiration from Winston Churchill’s wardrobe.

A man who knew the power of dressing for the occasion, Churchill dressed in a manner that was undoubtedly ahead of his time. Some would say that his sense of style was peculiar, others unique; combining to create a notably individual look that visually renders him one of history’s most iconic figures- Arts Thread.

In response to the brief, designers were asked to design one item of casual apparel, footwear, or accessory, that Winston Churchill would be proud to wear in 2020. Strictly no formalwear or tailoring!

©Jessica Boylett

©Jessica Boylett

“My submission focussed on Churchill’s love for siren suits and military uniforms,” explained Jessica. “I wanted to capture a balance between function and aesthetic by elevating the siren suit and applying colours and bold shapes which Churchill would have admired.”

Jessica’s design was not solely inspired by Churchill. Peter Saville, the notable graphic designer, purveyor of great British style and designer for the Barbican Centre in London, also helped to create her final vision.

“I used a coloured card to create collages to generate initial ideas as I can play around with compositions and layering, said Jessica. “The shapes came from my images of the Barbican Estate, which I exaggerated and enlarged, I created a final design that would appeal to both males and females using colours, print and functional aspects such as pockets and zips.”

©Jessica Boylett

©Jessica Boylett

More recently, Jessica, who is in her final year, felt the sudden change to her studies, brought on by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic: from having access to the print studio daily to not at all.

“But, with immense support from the tutors and technicians I have been able to continue working and creating,” explained Jessica. “Printing is such a fast-paced process, so it has required me to slow down and think more about my ideas. I also have more time to focus on digital designing and developing my social media.

“It is an important time to remain positive. Despite not having finished our final year of university as expected, it doesn’t mean that our ambitions should be lost. We need to use this time to continue being creative, develop our skills set, discover or rediscover interests, and take time to reflect. And, most importantly look forward to the future!" 

The judges will announce a shortlist of finalists in the week of the 1 May 2020.

The three finalists will be announced later on in May and will receive: First Place of £1000, Second Prize of £750, and Third Prize of £500. All three winners will be considered for work experience at Pentland headquarters in London.  

To learn more about studying Textiles at UCA, visit the course pages.