It was something of an accident when Thornton student Karen Smith started on the road into fashion.
But recently the 22-year-old showcased her designs at a big fashion show in Manchester.
Karen, who will graduate from Manchester Metropolitan University with a BA in Fashion, Design and Technology this summer, showed her end-of-year designs on the catwalk at the university’s event.
The show took place at Hallé St Peters in Ancoats, Manchester, which ordinarily provides rehearsal space for the renowned Hallé Orchestra.
It was the first time students from the course have had the opportunity to show their end-of-year designs on the catwalk.
Karen said fashion wasn’t something she had originally set her sights on as a teenager, but once she discovered it, she did want to make it her career.
“It was by accident really I ended up going into fashion.
“When I was doing my options at school in year nine, the course I wanted to do was full, and I had to choose an alternative, so I picked textiles.
“I really enjoyed it and ever since then I have been interested in fashion.
“One of the highlights of the course was doing a placement at Mexx, in Amsterdam, last year.
“It was amazing, I gained some great experience and I really enjoyed it.
“It was good to see and be involved in the technical design, measuring the clothes and if they’re not right, sending them back to the suppliers.
“I got to see how it was all put together, which was really interesting.”
Karen got some of her inspiration for her end-of-year showcase collection from her placement.
She said: “I started looking at Amsterdam for my original influence.
“And I like work by an artist called Jim Lambie, I like his use of colours and patterns, he works using lines in various colours.
“I really enjoyed working on the collection, it was long days, but it was definitely worth it.
“Taking part in the show was a great experience, it was a good chance to showcase our work. It was really good to see other people’s work, too.”