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Fashion Design students lace up for final round of competition

Two of our BA (Hons) Fashion Design students are preparing to show their impressive lace designs after making it through to the final round of a competition run by esteemed Parisian lace company, Sophie Hallette.

UCA Rochester undergraduates Megan Louise Boulton and Sebastian Jauregui were two of 40 students successfully nominated for the Sophie Hallette University Design Challenge. In November, both were selected to go through to the final round of the competition and each received 50 metres of the exquisite lace to bring their impressive designs to life.

Sebastian, who is 22 and originally from Colombia but grew up in Germany, says: “It was such an incredible surprise to find out I’d made it through to the final round of the competition. We were set the task of coming up with a proposal of what we intended to manufacture and design. At that stage, I wasn't 100 percent sure whether all of my ideas could work, but nonetheless submitted them with some coherent illustrations of my thoughts, detailed sketches showing exactly how I would apply the lace, as well as some research and fabric proposals.”

“To be shortlisted feels like an enormous achievement and has motivated me to work even harder,” Megan, who is 20 and from Birmingham, adds. “Finding out that you have been chosen to receive lace from Sophie Hallette, knowing the cost and exclusivity of it, makes it even more special.”

Megan’s final collection was inspired by eighties ski wear, and her now-complete designs are merged with a mixture of vibrant colours to give a contemporary look. Sebastian’s work takes inspiration from the Colombian share of the Amazon rainforest. “I looked at the massive trees and their never-ending roots and branches and tried to work the lace around that concept,” he says.

Megan, who would like to work in design once she graduates, credits the opportunities that she has had throughout her time at UCA. She says: “I had always leaned towards pattern cutting as a potential career path but after practicing for three years, I have found that I want to pursue a career in design as I feel it is much more suited to my personality and the course has allowed me to develop my own design style. Having an eight-week internship in my second year allowed me to work in a professional environment which provided a different experience to working at university and helped confirm my interest in design.”

Also noting how much his design skills have developed, Sebastian adds: “I must say that I am truly amazed by what I have been able to achieve through my years at UCA. I came here in first year without any knowledge whatsoever on how to effectively develop fashionable designs. Now I look at my work and can really see where I’ve come from and how much I have progressed.”

The winner of the Sophie Hallette University Design Challenge will be announced next month.