UWE Bristol Fashion student honoured by the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters

Issue date: 17 March 2014

An assortment of scarves arranged in a rectangle.

Cathy Van Hear, a final year BA Hons Fashion student from UWE Bristol, has been awarded a £2,500 David Bethal Bursary from the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters, one of the historical City of London's livery companies.

The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters can trace its origins to 1589. It is one of the 108 Livery Companies that contribute to the history and traditions of the City of London. Each year it grants educational bursaries and awards to talented final year students who are undertaking research projects that may be of benefit to the knitwear and knitting industries.

Competition entries were submitted from BA and MA Fashion students from across the UK. Cathy was shortlisted and interviewed in November by industry professionals.

The inspiration for Cathy's final year work comes from her love of combining contrasting themes. Moroccan culture, the character of Marla Singer from the film Fight Club and 'Post-Apocalyptic' imagery all feature in her designs. Cathy says this allows her to be experimental and develop exciting, fresh work.

Giving her reaction to winning the bursary, Cathy says, “It was actually quite funny, the letter went to my mum's house rather than mine, so she told me on the phone and we were both just shouting 'Oh My God!' for a while. I didn't really believe it at first, but once it sank in I was over the moon and ridiculously grateful.

“It has allowed me to be really creatively free and experimental with my work, which has been fantastic. I'm also really keen to stay in touch with the Company after I graduate, as the help and guidance they offer is great, and their support will be brilliant whilst I am looking for work in the future, as I hope to work in the knitwear and textiles industry.“

Cathy's award winning entry is available to view on the UWE Bristol Flickr pages.

Bursary winners are invited to the Company's Livery Banquet where they are presented with their parchments.

UWE Bristol has a successful history in the competition, previous winners include Eleanor Cox in 2012 whose collection was inspired by a trip to India in the second year of her degree.

Lecturer Alison Taylor on behalf of the Fashion team at UWE Bristol said, “We're thrilled when we heard the news about Cathy's achievement. We are not surprised that Cathy won the bursary as her experimentation with knitted techniques is innovative and unique. The colours in her range are exiting and reflect her market research. We have a brilliant technical team in Fashion and this award reflects the fantastic work that the team are doing.”

For more information on studying at UWE Bristol visit Fashion.

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