Collection inspired by refugee crisis

Placards helped get Ashleigh's point across at the fashion show.
Placards helped get Ashleigh's point across at the fashion show.

A former Woldgate pupil has landed a top accolade at York College after taking inspiration from the plight of refugees.

Ashleigh Rachael Timbs was named as ‘Student of the Year’ following her fashion show at the Principal Hotel in York.

A top with a sportswear edge.

A top with a sportswear edge.

Ashleigh has just completed her degree in fashion and textile production at the college and her final collection called ‘Libérée’ took inspiration from the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean.

Her collection was based on personal experiences after seeing the crisis first-hand.

The student became more aware of the crisis while holidaying in Malta – a location her family have visited for a number of years.

Ashleigh said: “My third year BA Hons collection is based on a subject that should be spoken about more often.

“Over the years I have been aware that people have been fleeing their countries and passing Malta, or even ending up there. The crisis has been happening for longer than it seems to be reported in the UK. Yet, last year it seemed even more intense.

“My collection has the message ‘all they have is what they can carry’ – hence the large oversized pockets. For the crop tops in my collection I created my own pattern and had it printed.

“This fabric aimed to look like a newspaper, with messages written through it such as, ‘seeking asylum is a human right’. My collection contained pieces inspired to be wearable and with a sportswear edge which is very on-trend.

“At my end of year fashion show and within my final shoot/look book I decided to create placards with quotes from inspirational people which related too my collection. When walking down the runway I believe this made my collection stand out further.

“At the fashion show I was named student of the year which is something I am very proud of. I felt that all the hard work I had put in, sewing, designing and producing my whole collection had paid off.

“After finding out my results I am hoping to move forward and continue my studies by starting my masters degree in fashion and then opening my own brand/line of casual wear. I also want to help people across the world through my designs.”