Religious architecture and lavish 80s club wear were some of the influences behind Tiffany Ruff’s shoe designs for her final year collection, which she will be showcasing on the University of Northampton’s catwalk at this year’s Graduate Fashion Week.
The 22-year-old from Chesham, Buckinghamshire grew up travelling and visiting churches and cathedrals and this led her to use rich jewelled tones and ornate detail when creating her footwear. She also drew inspiration from the Club Kids, a group of New York club personalities in the late 1980s who were well known for their elaborate and outrageous clothing and this is what she wanted to re-create in her designs.
She said: “I wanted my designs to be wild and exciting; with a heavy influence on the architecture and interiors I grew up loving. I found leather to be my favourite material to work with as it’s a very niche luxury product which is exciting to work with.
“I chose the University of Northampton as it is the place to study for footwear and leather. I have enjoyed my time here and have had the opportunity to travel to industry fairs in far flung places, such as Tokyo, Hong Kong Milan, New York and Holland. This has helped me decide that I definitely would like to work abroad after I graduate.”
Dr Julie King, Head of Fashion at the University of Northampton said: “Our students have become widely recognised for their talents and skills in craftsmanship, design and manufacture – and most importantly for being ahead of the design curve. The University of Northampton has long established links with industry, which develops our students’ industry ready employability skills. We were recently included in the top 100 fashion schools in the world by CEOWorld magazine so this speaks volumes about our fashion offering and is testament to our excellent staff and world class facilities.”
Rachel Garwood, Director of the Institute for Creative Leather Technologies, said: “The University of Northampton is the global epicentre of leather education and offers students a full working tannery. This close link with the leather industry offers fashion students a unique opportunity to develop their knowledge and expertise when working with leather. Our students have a complete hide to high street experience of the leather making process, understanding the importance of sustainable and ethical sourcing of the raw materials, through to high end leather working for the fashion and footwear industries.”
Graduate Fashion Week takes place from Sunday 5 to Wednesday 8 June at the Truman Brewery in Shoreditch and has been firmly established as the world’s leading event for fashion graduates. The University of Northampton’s catwalk show takes place on Monday 6 June and is in partnership with holistic cosmetic company, Weleda.
Jayn Sterland, Weleda’s Managing Director UK, said: “It’s fantastic to continue to align Weleda with the fashion world in the year that our most iconic product Skin Food celebrates its 90th birthday. We are thrilled to sponsor the University of Northampton’s Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show in 2016 and especially show our support for the designers of the future.”