Talent flourishes at the Birmingham Made Me 2015 collection - with a helping hand from Selfridges

Talented designers of the future - both young and old - will be showcasing their creative talent in Birmingham this week, with a helping hand from Selfridges.

Over four days, from Monday 15th June until Thursday 18th June, shoppers at the iconic city store will be able to spot the next generation of fashion and interior design stars from Birmingham City University’s School of Fashion, Textile and 3D Design for the Birmingham Made Me 2015 collection.

In an interesting twist, two former window displays which were in store at the beginning of the year as part of Selfridges’ Bright Old Things’ campaign, created by two Birmingham woman, aged 54 and 60, proving that age is just a number and that there really is life after 50, will also be given a new lease of life - at Millennium Point.

Teaching assistant Sally Peplow, 54, a former Fine Art Textiles student at Birmingham City University, will see her bright lampshades re-lit in their new temporary home. While Den Woods, 60, will have her handmade wooden chairs and its accompanying wooden tree re-emerge at the East Side attraction.  

The displays, which originally filled the store’s 3.5m tall and 8m wide curved windows, were designed to celebrate and promote the talent of mature creatives, and to give them a career renaissance.

Shoppers at the Selfridges store will be able to enjoy seeing the up-and-coming designs ranging from tunics to tables, and lamps to jewellery. The new exhibition, which can be found on Level 2, will showcase the creative talent of eighteen designers and makers.

Beverley Nielsen, Founder of Birmingham Made Me Design Expo, said:

Birmingham City University and Birmingham Made Me have selected innovative designers and makers that seek out experimental techniques bringing new results and design processes. The results are designs with purpose and an unpredictable process to create beautiful objects.
This Selfridges exhibit will celebrate our outstanding homegrown creatives, who are re-inventing design boundaries, finding beauty in the everyday. To be able to also resurrect the former Bright Old Things window displays and give them a new lease of life, has been a joy too for us to continue to celebrate talent from all ages and from Birmingham.

Highlights from the fashion graduates’ items in store are garments and accessories that sparkle with wit and flair. Talented Sarah Kelly designs and makes jewellery and fashion pieces which challenge the perception of what jewellery is and what it should be made from. Her designs have featured in Company, Elle and Marie Claire magazines, which are fans of her catwalk-inspired collections.

Fashion graduate Katrina Wilson scooped The Edit’s People Choice Award at Graduate Fashion Week recently. This is the first time that this award has been given and images of her striking collection were beamed across the globe. Hot pink, yellow and orange are the sunshine colours of Katrina’s collection, which is inspired by postcards of Butlin’s holiday camps from the 1970s.

The solitude and single mindedness of young British men spreading the message of God via bicycle provided menswear designer Robert Renton with the nucleus for his stark white collection. Secluded from family life for up to two years whilst on their mission, Robert reflects the parallels of loneliness for these Mormon missionaries in high tech sportswear fabrics.

The interior design graduates in BMM15 cleverly combine functionality with organic forms to reimagine objects that will last a lifetime.

Research into city living, observing how residents spent their leisure time within the confined space of flats, inspired Thomas Hardwood to design the Urban Sound Table. Thomas’ design contains a powerful Bluetooth connected 360 degree surround sound system, encased in an organically sculptured wall, powered by a 14 hour lithium battery.

Foodie Celia Galipaud took on the challenge of reinventing the cheeseboard and added a Gallic twist to this household object. Celia split the board into four separate pieces with individual tools, which hover magically over the board by hidden magnets. The social act of sharing cheeses to be discovered and enjoyed.

Beau Birkett and Helen Martin also play with an everyday object. Their Espresso Lamp breaks an espresso coffee pot into two pieces which are used for a base and lampshade, where the light allows the productivity of coffee to ‘spill’ onto the users.

Sam Watts, general manager at Selfridges Birmingham, said:

We are all just so inspired by the pieces which are now on display and I’m sure these amazing young designers will soon have their talent snapped up, and perhaps one day we will see their items for sale in our store. We are also so very excited that our former window display has also had it’s a second wind in its new home, and that dozens more people will be able to enjoy the work again.

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