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Newham College Tailoring student’s work to feature in national exhibition

Newham College Tailoring student’s work to feature in national exhibition

Newham College tailoring student, Nathalie Murcott has designed and constructed a garment that will gain global exposure in the National Maritime Museum’s, Polar Worlds: past, present, future gallery for at least 5 years.

Six of the College’s tailoring students competed for their work to be included in the exhibition at the museum in Greenwich. They each created clothing to depict what explorers wore for an historic Arctic expedition in 1845. A panel of judges, which included Fashion & Tailoring professionals and senior representatives from the National Maritime Museum, selected the piece that will be displayed in the museum’s new Exploration Wing, from September 2018. The new gallery will use the museum’s extensive collection to bring polar exploration to life and will include artefacts from major British polar expeditions dating back 250 years.

Inspiration for the garments that were created by tailoring students came from the mysterious fate of Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer, Sir John Franklin (1786–1847). Franklin led a crew of 128 men through the biggest expedition that Britain had ever sent to the Arctic region, but they never returned.

Numerous attempts were made to find them, but their ships went undiscovered until 2014 when one vessel was exhumed. The second ship was finally found in 2016, marking two of the most important archaeological finds in recent history.

The tailoring students thoroughly researched details about life in the polar-regions and followed a brief to create innovative pieces of survival wear, with consideration for both contemporary and traditional materials.

The museum specified that the garments should be constructed using heavy gabardine material, a breathable and weather proof fabric that was invented by Burberry in 1879. Each student had a budget for embellishments, fastenings and finishing’s to achieve their designs, without any restriction on creativity. Nathalie Murcott’s work was selected for the exhibition on Wednesday 18th April.

The judge who confirmed the outcome of the selection process, Chris Hall, Consultant: Industry Education and Training Manager said:

“It was extremely difficult to choose just one garment since the students’ work was so impressive. The fact that they designed and constructed their pieces is incredible, because they are tailoring students, who don’t do art and design. It took us quite some time to confirm the selection, but in the end it was unanimous. All the students have something wonderful to reference going forward and Nathalie’s work will be on display for many years to come.”

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