Designer’s clothes leave you Dressed to Kill

Charlotte at work on one of her designs. (S)
Charlotte at work on one of her designs. (S)

A passionate textile student who lives near Ripon is about to exhibit her work at university and a design show in London.

Charlotte Hullah, from Kirklington – who is in her third and final year of a contemporary applied arts degree at the University of Cumbria – will feature her work in the university show and at New Designers in London at the events in June.

Charlotte has used her countryside upbringing and environment to inspire her work which shows her admiration for two country sports – game shooting and fly fishing.

Both fishing and shooting are sports that she is personally involved in, with herself and family members taking part in these pursuits on a regular basis.

With a background in costume, Charlotte decided to design and make garments. Dressed to Kill is a ladies occasional wear collection, featuring dresses that can be worn to such events as a hunt ball or Young Farmers’ dinner dance.

Wanting to stray from tradition, she says the dresses are very feminine pieces of clothing and a stark contrast to the perception of the male dominated country sporting industry that many people hold.

The title of Charlotte’s collection plays with the idea of looking good in the dresses and also the idea of shooting and fishing being blood sports.

She says she had fun and original ways of incorporating the sports she loves into her collection.

Charlotte shot different materials – such as wood, plastics and papers – with a shotgun to see what patterns were created. She transferred this into a dress pattern and used a technique called Devore on velvet.

A floating feather print covers another dress in her collection. With her final dress focusing more on fly-fishing and taking the flies and hooks involved in the sport and making them into an innovative pattern.

Charlotte has designed, hand-dyed, printed, embroidered, pattern drafted and constructed all three dresses.

As much as Charlotte enjoys designing and making her own textiles pieces she has plans of becoming a design and technology secondary school teacher.

Charlotte wants to pass on the subject that she is so passionate about and inspire young people to design and be creative.

She is exhibiting at The Degree Show at the University of Cumbria on Brampton Road in Carlisle from June 1-7 and at New Designers at The Design Centre in Islington, London, from June 26-28.