Melissa Francis makes the Catwalk at GFW using Pittards Leathers

Pittards recently sponsored Northampton University student Melissa Francis whose collection was one of 11 from final year undergraduates from the Fashion, Footwear & Accessories and Textiles for Fashion courses to make it to the catwalk show at Graduate Fashion Week 2018. Hosted at The Old Truman Brewery, London, GFW is the pinnacle of students’ three years of study and as a sponsor, we’re delighted to have seen Melissa’s designs showcased on the catwalk last week.

Melissa’s collection was inspired by the concept of lights, particularly the bright lights of New York where she was able to source hardware for her final pieces. “I bought all my hardware in the Garment District in New York which is what inspired me to develop my collection to the chunky and industrial-feel collection it turned out to be. Hardware is what inspires me the most and sourcing it from New York was an amazing experience” she said.

As the concept of Lights developed into the Victorian Era and the invention of the first electric light bulb, Melissa discovered this was a time when clogs were at their most popular. “I want to make clogs popular again which is why I created clogs in my final collection, as a slip-on pair and a high-top pair. My clogs were unisex so that anyone and everyone can wear them” she said.

When asked why she chose to work with leather for her project, she explained; “I love working with leather. I have tried to work with synthetic, but it just doesn’t shape so well or look as good. I wanted the contrasts of leather to be a big part of my collection which is why I used matte leathers, iridescent leathers, pull-up leathers and shiny leathers to show you can mix a variety of finishes and colours together without the product looking tacky”.

Melissa selected leathers from Pittards range of bovine hides and sheepskin linings to make her collection. “I wanted my final major project to be on the luxury level. To me, Pittards is the place that supplies the most luxurious leathers and the variety to choose from was incredible. When I did my internship, I realised how helpful and supportive Pittards were, so to be sponsored by them is an amazing honour and I hope to have done them proud” she said.

Pittards would like to congratulate Melissa on this fantastic achievement and wish her the very best of luck for the future. She has definitely done us proud!