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Student work across the decades features at major new Fashion exhibition

10th July 2018

Designs by Northumbria University Fashion graduates have been showcased alongside outfits from some of the world’s best-known designers at the launch of a new exhibition, celebrating the life and work of renowned catwalk photographer Chris Moore.

Over the last 60 years, Moore has captured key moments from catwalk shows all over the world, including those at Balenciaga, Dior, John Galliano, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Giles Deacon and Vivienne Westwood.

Now a new exhibition, CATWALKING: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore, has opened at The Bowes Museum, with 230 original fashion photographs selected by Moore himself on display, alongside a selection of some 40 catwalk outfits and accessories.

Newcastle-born Moore has a strong link with Northumbria University – he has photographed the work of final year Fashion Design students’ during the annual Graduate Fashion Week catwalk show in London since 1991, and has visited the University to meet and inspire students on several occasions. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary degree by Northumbria in recognition of his creative contribution to the world of fashion.

In recognition of his links with the University, images taken by Moore of Fashion Design graduates’ collections from the last 27 years were shown alongside garments from this year’s graduates at the preview of his new exhibition.

With representatives from some of the world’s leading fashion houses in attendance, the event was an opportunity to showcase the work of Northumbria’s talented alumni and highlight what they have gone on to achieve since Moore first captured their work on camera.

Sasha Kelly graduated from Northumbria in 1993 and is now Senior Vice President of Men’s design at Ralph Lauren, in New York. The photos taken by Moore of her graduate collection were among those shown at the exhibition preview.

Sasha said: “We were very privileged at Northumbria to have had Chris photograph our work, for most of us this was our first exposure to the ‘industry’ and his photos would help build our portfolios and profiles of what was to come. To have been seen through the lens of someone with his profile, status and creative eye was an amazing start to our careers and for that, we owe special thanks.”

Kate Ablett graduated in 2006 and is now a Senior Designer for Pentland, specialising in outdoor apparel, focused on the brand Berghaus. She works on all aspect of design, from creating initial seasonal trends and concepts, through to designing the products ranges and bringing them to their physical creation as well as creating colour palettes each season for the line.

She said: “Ten years into my career I still have such fond memories of my time at Northumbria – it was a lot of hard work and stress but a very exciting time, starting to feel like a true designer on the cusp of joining the design world.”

Courtney Simon graduated from Northumbria in 2016 and now works at River Island as a Junior Designer on Womenswear Denim. Her final year collection was captured by Chris Moore at Graduate Fashion Week and was also on display during the exhibition launch. She added: “I think it’s amazing that we are celebrating the work of such an inspirational fashion photographer."

Northumbria’s Fashion Design BA (Hons) course was established more than 60 years ago and is renowned for producing high quality, industry-ready graduates, many of whom have gone on to enjoy successful careers at brands and agencies across the globe, including Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Nike.

Northumbria Senior Lecturer, Emma Jane Goldsmith, said: “The BA Hons Fashion course is steeped in history and has been running for over 60 years. The course trains graduate designers to be not only creative but also to be adept at understanding the craft and construction of Fashion.

“The Catwalking launch event at The Bowes Museum was primarily a tribute to Chris Moore, whose career spans 60 years of fashion photography. It also celebrated the special relationship between The Bowes Museum, Chris Moore and Northumbria University’s fashion Programme.

“Alongside Chris’ international catwalk photography we are honoured to be showing a retrospective collection of Chris’ graduate fashion photography from 1991. These images not only capture a pivotal moment of time but they have supported the launch of many careers. Through this we are able to celebrate where our alumni are now, this spans from the Couture Houses of Paris to the British High-street.”

Northumbria University has a longstanding partnership with The Bowes Museum. The two organisations have worked together on a variety of projects over the years, with The Bowes Museum recently joining forces with Northumbria's School of Design to discuss future collaborations.

Dr Heather Robson, Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor and Head of the School of Design at Northumbria University’s said: “Our BA (Hons) Fashion programme is renowned for the calibre of its graduates and the breadth of their creative talent, it is fitting and a honour that with our partner Bowes Museum and Chris Moore who has been an inspiration to the School of Design that we staged this very special fashion event.”

CATWALKING: Fashion through the Lens of Chris Moore, is open to the public until 6 January 2019. The exhibition expands on the book Catwalking: photographs by Chris Moore, published by Laurence King, with words by Alexander Fury, an award-winning fashion journalist and critic.

Fury, co-curator of the exhibition, said of its concept: “The excitement is in combining the ephemeral with the eternal – translating the fleeting ‘fashion moment’, experienced by so few at the international collections, cementing it through the reality of the clothes, and translating into an exhibition all can enjoy. These clothes will literally ‘leap,’ out of the images and back to life again.”

Joanna Hashagen, Curator of Fashion and Textiles at The Bowes Museum, said: “Chris Moore is the eye that shows the catwalk to the world.  Our exhibition charts the evolution of fashion in displaying clothes and accessories by the top designers that are captured in Chris’s photographs -   Vivienne Westwood, Prada, Comme des Garҫons, Giles Deacon and Jean Paul Gaultier, to name just a few! I’m excited and honoured to be working with Chris Moore and Alex Fury, as The Bowes Museum becomes home to an exclusive fashion exhibition once again.”

For more information about the exhibition visit

For more information about Fashion programmes at Northumbria University visit


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