A Sense of History at Blackpool and the Fylde College

What does fashion have to do with Blackpool’s heritage? Everything if you are a student of Blackpool & The Fylde College!

Monday saw the launch of A Sense of History, an exhibition brought together by students of Fashion and Costume for Performance and the heritage team at Blackpool Council. The brief was simple, choose an image from the archives and incorporate this into a garment using creativity, personal flair and materials true to the individual designer.

From ruffles to sequins and chiffon to petticoats, the range of costumes was colourful, exciting and imaginative. Each was accompanied by a reference to the image the inspiration was taken from, and a large photograph of a model wearing the garment ‘behind the scenes’ at the college.

Tony Sharkey from Blackpool Council’s heritage team said:

Heritage doesn’t simply exist in beautiful buildings and stunning views; it exists in a sense of how things have come to pass, a sense of the effort that has gone into creating a place or environment, an appreciation of what makes something what it is. It has been a pleasure to work with the students in helping them to develop their own sense of heritage, and it is hoped that this exhibition will bring a sense of the town’s heritage to a new and young audience.

Joe Booth a student taking part in the exhibition said:

I have really enjoyed this brief, it has given me the opportunity to look into the heritage of Blackpool for the first time and combine this with my skills as a fashion designer. I decided to focus on the Illuminations from my chosen photo with the various coloured dots so prominent in the original against the black night sky. Using coloured diamonte I traced an illumination pattern over the skirt of the black dress. This emulates what I liked about the heritage photo.

Nicole Hussey, another of the students taking part, said:

Blackpool for me is all about fun, laughter, making memories and family. I tried to present this in my piece by printing original photographs from the Blackpool Library Archives which showed families having fun on the beach, onto my garment. For me, it was lovely to bring these old photos back to life and show how magical Blackpool used to be.

As the exhibition room was also filled with the stage props used in the photoshoots and Illuminations it’s a must see for all!

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