Oaklands students design High Sheriff's traditional court dress

26 April 2019

Art, Fashion & Design students at Oaklands College’s St Albans campus have been working hard delivering a live-brief for the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire.

Students, who were set a live-brief as part of their curricular studies, worked closely with High Sheriff Sarah Beazley to suggest and create visionary designs for her traditional court dress.

Sarah said: “It was wonderful to work with the Fashion and Design students at Oaklands College, and their tutor Sarah Easterby, to design my High Sherriff’s court dress.”

Sarah’s brief, which was delivered by Oaklands College tutor Sarah Easterby, gave students valuable experience of working for a client, something many of the college’s students will experience in their future professions.

The High Sheriff said: “This was a real brief and something that the students could put on the CVs. As part of the brief, the students had to research the role of the High Sheriff and consider how they might incorporate the essential traditional elements of the uniform.”

The live-brief was a challenging task for students, who were required to produce a uniform that for a gentleman, had remained unchanged for many hundreds of years into a revolutionary and visionary outfit for a female High Sheriff. 

Sarah added: “I took away many ideas from the students’ designs and put them together into the two outfits that were then created for me. Although my court dress still uses the traditional velvet, lace and steel cut buttons, the overall design including many small details, are inspired by the work produced by students at Oaklands College. 

Oaklands College Co-Ordinator in Art, Fashion and Design Sarah Easterby said: “It has been an absolute pleasure to have had the opportunity to provide the fashion students with the experience of working on a live brief with Sarah Beazley.”

The High Sheriff, who took time out of her busy schedule to re-visit the students said: “I am delighted to be showcasing the work of our talented fashion and design students in Hertfordshire as I appear in my court dress during my year in office.”