Out-of-this-world designs to feature in postgraduate degree show at Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design

Sujata Nandi with her models wearing Mars-inspired fashion

FASHION TO wear on Mars and armour inspired by fish scales are part of the projects on display at this year’s Postgraduate degree show at Heriot-Watt’s School of Textiles and Design in Galashiels in the Scottish Borders.

The 2023 Postgraduate Showcase features projects from 40 students from countries including India, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Pakistan and Poland.

The show is open to the public for two days on Friday 18th and Saturday 19thAugust (10am to 4pm), following a private showing on Thursday 17th August for industry partners and friends and family.

Visitors can enjoy the show for free at the High Mill Building in Nether Road, Galashiels, the converted textile mill where the school is based.

Dr Lucy Robertson, Assistant Professor of Design at Heriot-Watt’s School of Textiles and Design, said: “Our postgraduate students are only here for a year and the degree show is an important next step for them, whether they’re planning to enter industry or further study.

“It’s also really exciting and quite unique to have such a huge body of international students in Galashiels, learning about our culture and also sharing theirs. A lot of that comes through in the projects being showcased, as well as the students’ underlying design work.”

The students showcasing their work are graduating from five postgraduate degrees. These are Master of Arts programmes in Fashion and Textiles Design; Digital Design and Innovation; Interior Architecture and Design and Master of Science programmes in Design Management and Fashion and Textile Management.

In her Galactic Fashion: Future in Mars project, MA Fashion and Textiles Design postgrad Sujata Nandi, who is from Kolkata, India, has designed a future fashion collection for when humans are living on Mars. She said: “Exploring galactic fashion through my collection allowed me to seamlessly weave my passion for design and science fiction with the boundless possibilities across the intergalactic universe. By blending Mars-inspired surface prints with futuristic costumes made of sustainable and recyclable textiles, my creations offer a captivating vision of harmonious coexistence between human ingenuity and the enigmatic Martian backdrop, where functionality meets artistic expression.”

MSc Fashion and Textile Management postgrad Gary Williams, who is from Paisley, Scotland, was inspired by nature to explore whether protective clothing could be stronger, lighter or more flexible. He said: “The overlapping of fish scales is a great example of an evolutionary natural defence system that is both strong and flexible. My project looks at how taking inspiration from biomimetic strategies like this – copying nature – can also help us design human garments.”

Other projects being showcased include Noodler, an app for vocal and music jamming – playing together – that uses artificial intelligence, and a marine conservation project that uses salvaged and reclaimed materials to help protect our seas and oceans.

The theme for the 2023 postgraduate showcase is Equilibrium, chosen to convey a sense of poise and balance after the disruptive years of Covid.

Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design was named Fashion University of the Year in the 2022 Scottish Fashion Association Awards, an annual awards ceremony that honours Scottish designers, photographers, models and fashion industry leaders.

The School is a centre of excellence in design and dates back to 1883, when classes in weaving, dyeing and chemistry were introduced to train workers for the local textiles industry.

Honorary Graduates include the late British fashion icon Dame Vivienne Westwood.

The Scottish Borders is at the heart of Scotland’s luxury textile and design industry and is home to manufacturers including Barrie, one of Scotland’s oldest cashmere knitting manufacturers. It was acquired in 2012 by French luxury fashion house Chanel.

2023 Postgraduate Showcase, Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design

Dates:          Friday 18th to Saturday 19th August

Times:          10am-4pm daily

Address:       Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design, High Mill Building (first floor), Heriot-Watt School of Textiles and Design, Nether Road, Netherdale, Galashiels, TD1 3HF

Entry:           Free – no tickets required

Website:       https://hwgraduateshow.com/

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