Norwich Gala Fashion Show – Part One.


A sensational catwalk show at Norwich’s OPEN in May will showcase the final year collections of the first graduating group of BA Fashion students from Norwich University of the Arts (NUA). The event will see professional models from Sandra Reynolds agency wearing impressive new garments designed and made by 23 students from the University, as they prepare to complete their studies and move onto the next stage in their fashion careers.

NUA’s Fashion Course Leader Sue Chowles says: “The students have developed their creative and conceptual ideas using innovative pattern-cutting methods and couture levels of craftsmanship. Through drive, focus and commitment the students have produced some innovative and beautifully refined collections which have set the benchmark for the future.”

The BA Fashion course at NUA teaches a balance of creative design and technical skill development, with students learning pattern-cutting methods, professional garment construction techniques and couture levels of craftsmanship. A state-of-the-art Fashion Studio provides students with the use of industry-standard sewing machines, industrial presses, fusing equipment, a buttonholer and full-size and quarter scale mannequins.



Professor John Last, Vice-Chancellor of NUA, says: “This year’s NUA Fashion Show represents a coming of age for the course and we are very excited to have our first cohort of graduates going out into the professional sphere. The work being produced by the Year 3 students is not only industry-standard but will bring fresh new outlooks to British fashion.”

Shows will be taking place throughout the day for school groups and VIP industry guests, before the evening gala event which, for the first time, will make tickets available for the public. The event takes place on Wednesday 22 May with tickets available from the NUA website at The event is being supported by Jarrold, Adnams and Howes Percival Solicitors.

Before the fashion show takes place I have been lucky enough to be able to speak to a couple of the students to find out about why they chose to study fashion and what is next for them after they graduate. The first in my series is Danielle Payton whose unique designs are also featured throughout this article.


What made you decide on a career in fashion?
I’ve always been interested in form and function and combining that with the decision to wear certain clothes and the statement a garment says about a person .


Where do you get you inspiration from?
Current affairs, sports and I always seem to reference 80’s Club kids.

If you could collaborate with any designer, who would you chose?
In a dream world it would be Rei Kawakubo. Her approach to design always inspires me.


What do you enjoy most about creating your own pieces?
I enjoy the creativity. The lack of limitations is something which I feel has helped me develop both technically and helped me build confidence in what I create.

Which celebrity would you like to see wearing your clothes?

I don’t really tend to follow current celebrities. I think I would be flattered to see Iris Apfel in something I’d made. If Leigh Bowery were still alive I’d like to think he would want to be wearing my wadded accessories.

How is preparation for the fashion show going? What are you most looking forward to?

Its going well, I’m feeling strangely calm. It’s been exciting to see everything develop from sketch to catwalk.
I think I’m most looking forward to meeting potential employers and to just appreciate the moment when my months of hard work walks down the catwalk and I can savour the moment.


What are your plans after you graduate?
Hopefully to develop my work into sportswear, combining function with fashion. I also want to keep learning new techniques and skills as much as possible.




I wish Danielle every success after she graduates and I can’t wait to see a range of sportswear from her. Good luck Danielle!





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