Victoria Griffiths and model

Miners' strike inspires fashion undergraduate

Somerset College fashion undergraduate Victoria Griffiths has taken inspiration from the miners' strike that happened 25 years ago for her collection that will be shown at London Graduate Fashion Week.

Like many other miners, Victoria's dad lost his job because of the events that led up to the strike and had to raise his family during tough times in South Wales. She has designed a politically motivated collection that will be seen during Somerset College's own show at London Graduate Fashion Week.

Victoria, who studies BA (Hons) Design (Fashion) and is from Abergavenny, has combined mechanically inspired shapes, hi-vis workwear and hard wearing fabrics including denim and wools to create her garments.

Victoria said: ‘The theme for my collection is coal mining and the 1984-85 miners' strike. I am passionate about this theme, as my father was a coal miner, and lost his job through the economic policy change of the government and the Great Strike.

‘I have used clothing and materials worn by miners from the mid eighties, and used this in my collection to reduce the hard mechanical lines of the coal machinery I drew inspiration from. The softer materials provide another aspect for my work.'

After being inspired by coal mining machinery, Victoria has incorporated fabricated metalwork into her collection. She has also produced printed slogan t-shirts as an exciting feature to express her passionate political views on the Great Strike of 1984-1985.

Gary Mills, Fashion Tutor at Somerset College, said: ‘Victoria is one of the many highly skilled designers that will display their collections during our show at London Graduate Fashion Week. Her collection is very vivid, and certainly represents the unrest that occurred during the miners' strike.

‘Although we are only a small college, we are proud to have our own show on the main catwalk with other major fashion institutions including London College of Fashion, Manchester Metropolitan and Northumbria universities.

‘Year on year the students' work looks fabulous on the main catwalk. We have a proud history of winning major awards including the Visionary Knitwear award at London Graduate Fashion Week, Young Designer of the Year at Clothes Show Live and gold medals at EuroSkills. This year's students are just as talented. As young designers they will display their garments in front of the fashion world with great success. It is their launchpad into their careers.'

Twenty students will display their collections during the College's show. It is the culmination of a year's hard work and for many will lead to careers in the fashion industry. Last year's graduates found jobs working for companies including New Look and Top Shop or started their businesses.

Further images of Victoria's work can be found in the College's Flickr photostream.

For further information on the BA (Hons) Fashion course at Somerset College click here. Alternatively email or call (01823) 366 331.

Somerset College offer degree level courses through a partnership with the University of Plymouth.