Liverpool John Moores University: Fashion, history and racing

PVC Edward Harcourt with models wearing two of the garments and John Baker, Regional Director of The Jockey Club Racecourse Northwest

A multi-disciplinary learning experience delivered in partnership with the Museum of Liverpool, Channel 4 and The Jockey Club.

What do students of fashion, history, fashion communications, film studies, drama and media have in common?  At Liverpool John Moores University, 150 of them shared the opportunity to create a celebration of The Crabbie’s Grand National Festival at both the Museum of Liverpool and Aintree Racecourse in 2016.  The live, employer-led project gave this diverse range of students a platform for building and showcasing their skills alongside the global sporting festival.

Speaker addressing the public at the Museum

The partners for the project were The Jockey Club and the Museum of Liverpool.  The Jockey Club Regional Communications Manager, Grant Rowland, offered Fashion students access to records of a century of designs. The students produced garments from particular style periods using historic patterns, bringing the designs up-to-date with modern fabrics. Meanwhile,  Fashion Communications students devised style guides aimed at Ladies Day, selecting an iconic brand ambassador whose style was used to inspire a range of fashions and accessories.

History students’ work as display boards

As well as subject-based skills, students enhanced their communication skills working on client briefs, learned to work alongside external experts, negotiated with local venues to host fashion shoots and carried out presentations.

The work has been shortlisted for both the Educate North Awards and the Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards. 

I feel that the project was really good because obviously we are learning history about our own city and also getting involved in a public history project was something new to most of us. I got to learn a lot of interesting facts about Aintree and especially Red Rum of course, but gained valuable teamwork, communication and presentation skills. Caitlin Murphy, History student

Working with The Jockey Club was a unique and diverse experience. I had to devise a campaign strategy to promote Ladies Day. My work was exhibited at the Grand National and I was invited to assist on a shoot at Aintree for Hello magazine. This year I’ve been asked to create style content for their Instagram and Facebook feeds in the run up to the 2017 event. Rachel Worsley, Fashion Communication student

Further reading