Manchester Fashion Institute sashays into the spotlight for Factory International’s runway extravaganza

21 June 2024

House of MCR at Aviva Studios features costumes crafted at the University with support from students



A spectacular celebration of creativity in Manchester’s QTIPOC (Queer, Trans and/or Intersex Person of Colour) community will feature larger than life costumes created using cutting edge campus facilities with the support of fashion students.

House of MCR, an ambitious three-night production at Aviva Studios, has been brought to life with the support of seven students from Manchester Met’s Manchester Fashion Institute whose paid roles involved assisting seven performers on all aspects of their fashion looks.

The performers have been working closely with the students who’ve supported them with designing, making, styling, producing and working backstage on tasks such as styling and dressing.

Taking inspiration from RuPaul’s Drag Race and Project Runway, the show’s interactive ‘We Dress’ category will see the artists vying for audience votes in the form of claps and cheers. The performer with the best fashion look as selected by the crowds will be crowned winner.

Manchester Fashion Institute’s industry leading fashion facilities have been used for the show’s preparations, including laser cutting, digital measurement and high-tech sewing machines – all designed to add intricate stand-out detail to each look.

House of MCR
House of MCR features costumes that fashion students helped create.

Second year Fashion Art Direction student Anuhya Saxena is one of the talented chosen students, working with performer Darren Hamilton on his wow-factor look. She said: “This has been such a fun experience. It’s been incredible working with Darren to bring his look to life.

“The garments we created are very structural and avant-garde, with large and dramatic wadded sleeves. I was able to put my fabric cutting, sewing and measuring skills to use, which was great. I’ll be working backstage during the show, and I can’t wait to see how the result of our hard work looks in such a cool venue like Aviva Studios.”

House of MCR

Students working on the project are part of Rise, Manchester Met’s award-winning co-curricular initiative which helps students get experience across all disciplines, accruing credit points and gaining recognition for career-enhancing learning. 

Following an interview, the students were selected from various courses across Manchester Fashion Institute including Fashion Design Technology, Fashion Promotion, and International Fashion Marketing, and their roles have encompassed that of professional dressers, costumers and production assistants.

The House of MCR Manchester Fashion Institute collaboration is the first in a series of Community and Belonging student events and projects that will be overseen by Nathan Roberts, Lecturer in Fashion Marketing. He said: “I’m proud of every one of our fashion students who’ve assisted on this amazing production.

“The level of detail and finish on each garment they helped produce has been incredible. This is also testament to the cutting-edge facilities we have here at Manchester Fashion Institute.

“It’s been a privilege to collaborate on such a fabulous production that celebrates the fierce creative spirit of people who aren’t typically recognised in mainstream commercial fashion. Seeing our students’ confidence soar through their work with such a dynamic team of black queer performers has been fantastic and will stand them in good stead for their future careers.”

Gavin Douglas, Manchester Fashion Institute’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, added: “This project has provided an exceptional opportunity for our students and the local QITIPOC (Queer, Intersex, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) community of Manchester to come together in a fantastic celebration of selfhood.

“Through a series of joint activities and events, participants have engaged in rich learning experiences that celebrate individuality and self-expression; this has fostered a profound sense of belonging among all involved by valuing and incorporating the diverse cultural and lived experiences of the community.”

House of MCR

House of MCR coincides with Manchester Met’s 200-year anniversary which this month is celebrating how it champions creative excellence.

House of MCR runs from June 20th – 22nd at Factory International’s Aviva Studios. For more information go to House of MCR | Aviva Studios | Manchester – Factory International

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