The Championships hold special significance for Natasha's family, so it was a particular thrill for her work to be involved in the build-up, the young designer explained. "My father Steve played in the veterans' championships a few years ago when he was with the Devon County Club and I play doubles myself. It really has been amazing to be part of this event - to see models wearing my garments on horseback and posing with racquets in the village's shop windows," she said.
In further homage to tournament traditions, Leanne Lu and Kezia Byass styled their contemporary red dresses and corsets in the windows of König Kitchens against a white backdrop complete with cascading strawberries - celebrating the custom that sees some 23 tonnes of the summer fruit and 7,000 litres of cream consumed at Wimbledon every year.
Showcasing some of the students' designs during one of the capital's summer highlights was a great way to get the annual window competition underway, according to WV Events organiser Kimberley Salmassian. "The Championships inspire such a sense of community spirit and it's been brilliant to involve some of the incredible dresses created by the University's designers in our celebrations ahead of this year's tournament," she said.
Customers were also given the opportunity to meet the designers and ask them about their work in an in-store question and answer session focusing on the diversity and relevance of fashion today, hosted by industry commentator and Kingston alumna Caryn Franklin.
Matt Geal, store director of Bentalls Kingston, said the partnership had been a terrific experience for both the store and its customers. "It has been a real privilege for us to support such an iconic part of Kingston's heritage and celebrate the University's upcoming fashion talent. It was a pleasure to see how our customers responded to the collections and to give them the chance to speak with these talented young designers as they prepare for their future in the industry," he said.
Kingston University's head of fashion Elinor Renfrew said the events in Wimbledon and Bentalls had been the perfect way to showcase work by some of the globe's top young designers. "Fashion plays a huge part in Wimbledon fortnight and is an integral part of everything Bentalls does. Providing our students with the opportunity to share their work with the public in the heart of Kingston and to help celebrate the start of this year's Wimbledon Championships seemed a fitting way to mark the culmination of their studies," she said. (SV)
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