University revs up for Formula Fashion partnership
Published Friday 8th April 2011
The University of Northampton has been announced as one of the key partners in an exciting new project.
The project will see design and artwork commissioned to showcase Northamptonshire's world-class motorsport and leather heritage.
Formula Fashion is a partnership between the iconic Silverstone Circuit, Northamptonshire County Council, Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited, South Northamptonshire Council, The University of Northampton (incorporating the School of The Arts) and Design Factory, to explore the technology and materials used in the motor sport industry.
Utilising Silverstone Circuit's international reputation for excellence, and using leather as one of their primary materials, five talented designers and artists from across the UK have been commissioned to produce a range of pieces influenced by the traditional leather industry and inspired by racing suits, sportswear and accessories. The work produced will create new connections with the county's long standing and world-renowned leather design industry, as well as their world beating motor sport heritage and the creative industries.
These works will be presented on a national and international platform during three of Silverstone's most prestigious motor sport events:- The 2011 AirAsia British Grand Prix (MotoGP), the 2011 Formula One Santander British Grand Prix, and the Silverstone Classic which will be held at Silverstone Circuit in June and July 2011. All five commissions have now been awarded, with key themes explored to include speed, danger, high performance, engineering, and the tradition of leather craft, design and manufacture.
Garment and accessory designer Jo Cope (based in Leicester) has a conceptual approach to fashion that focuses on the body. Her approach will be an excellent springboard to rethinking the paraphernalia of the racing world. Kei Ito, an internationally recognised textile artist (based in London), who has just returned from Paris Fashion Week where she was working for Alexander McQueen design house, explores new possibilities of pattern cutting and explorations of geometry, linking ideas of pattern with thoughts about the movement of the body; even more intriguing when applied to Formula 1 and motor sport.
Critically acclaimed designer Marloes Ten Bhömer has also secured one of the commissions. She produces shoes that are both provocative and otherworldly, fusing artistic and technological experimentation in order to discover footwear anew. Her work has exhibited in many leading national and international museums and galleries including the Design Museum, London.
Genevieve Bennett creates beautiful handcrafted bespoke leather wall coverings, which are elegant and contemporary. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art ten years ago, she has worked with Heals, Tom Dixon and British fashion designer Alice Temperley. Her notion of 'bringing the interior to the exterior' will bring a fresh perspective to the project.
Finally, Programme Associate Aasen Stephenson - based in Northampton - was once a mechanic so he should feel at home with Formula Fashion. Aasen will be developing his skills and techniques, recording his progress as he creates hand cut leather patterns using traditional leather cutting techniques, which will highlight the historic leather-working skills and materials that the county is renowned for.
The final works will be exhibited on site at Silverstone, before going on tour to venues in Northampton and Lincolnshire until January 2012; this will include Avenue Campus Gallery at The University of Northampton from 22 August - 7 September 2011. Throughout the process, the designers will be sharing their skills and creativity with young people through the active participation of the Silverstone Study Centre and local School and College students, and it is hoped that these works will also tour with the final works.
The University of Northampton's annual Fashion Show Schools and Colleges Competition for 2011 links into the themes of Formula Fashion for its judging criteria this year; budding fashion designers from schools and colleges across the UK have been asked to explore the theme of 'motorsport', keeping in mind keywords such as 'heritage', 'roots', 'leather', 'tradition', 'team', 'sport', 'Moto GP' and 'Formula 1'. There is still time to enter the competition - the closing date is Friday 27 May 2011 - and further details are available at http://www.northampton.ac.uk/news/article/82/university-revs-up-for-annual-fashion-competitionFormula Fashion is part of Igniting Ambition, a Cultural Olympiad programme in the East Midlands, which invests in projects, and people that take the London 2012 Games as their inspiration to create once-in-a-lifetime cultural opportunities for audiences and communities. Igniting Ambition is funded by Legacy Trust UK, an independent charity set up to create a cultural and sporting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, the European Regional Development Fund and the East Midlands Development Agency, with the support of Arts Council England and many others.