Fashion student creates nostalgic knitwear based on grandparents’ house

Fashion student Alice Beadle has created a catwalk collection based on her grandparents’ house – with ‘70s wallpaper, curtains and kitchen tiles as inspiration.

The collection – which is named Woodcote Avenue after her grandparents’ home – has triggered positive memories for the whole family, including Alice’s grandma, Helen Rochford, 80, who now lives in a nursing home.

Alice, 23, who’s studying fashion knitwear at Nottingham Trent University, had her final year portfolio exhibited on a stand at Graduate Fashion Week.

One garment, a deconstruction of her grandad’s favourite chunky cardigan, featured prints and textures from her grandparents’ curtains and beloved shag pile carpet.

Other pieces included a jacquard print maxi dress, cardigan and tank top inspired by their kitchen tiles and wallpaper.

Alice, of Dorking in Surrey, said: “The house is close to my heart, so it was a concept I could really engage with. I wanted this to be a positive tribute to our memories there. It’s an homage to my grandparents and the childhood they gave me.

“I used a collection of my grandma’s buttons throughout, as well as lots of colour to represent my grandad. There are elements of both of them in my work.

“Every outfit combines chunky knitwear with fine-gauge knitwear, and lots of layered textures and prints. I like to create interesting shapes that tell a story.

“My mum visits my grandma often and shows her photos of the house and of my designs. She thinks they’re great. I’m so pleased that they can bring back happy memories of the house and my grandad for her.”

Alice’s designs went on public display at Nottingham Trent University’s Art and Design Summer Show 2018.

The show featured works by more than 1,300 graduating artists and designers and this year is one of the ways in which Nottingham Trent University is marking its 175th anniversary. The university was recently named University of the Year by Times Higher Education.

Ian McInnes, Course Leader for BA Fashion Knitwear Design at Nottingham Trent University, added: “Alice has taken an emotive concept and brought it to life with interesting colours, prints and techniques. Her heart-warming collection tells the story of a traditional 1970s family home, in an original style that’s relevant today.”