With all the excitement and anticipation surrounding the start of the Commonwealth Games 2018 on Australia’s Gold Coast, Glasgow Kelvin College students were delighted recently to be part of the preparations for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in the UK.
Students and staff from Glasgow Kelvin College were invited by the Cabinet Office to meet with Lord Ahmad, Minister for the Commonwealth and UN and the Indian Consul General, Mrs Anju Ranjan in the Scotland Office. The Fashion students briefed Lord Ahmad on the College’s India partnership as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting taking place in London this month.
Lord Ahmad was particularly interested in learning about the Paisley Pattern link between Scotland and India and how it has provided the foundation for the College’s ongoing fashion and garment design programme and the focus for its transnational project with Guntur Polytechnic for Women in Andhra Pradesh.
The HN Fashion Design and Manufacture students, Vanessa Wyllie and Lucy Huggan, and staff Sandra Thomson and Alastair McGhee, were delighted to regale Lord Ahmad with tales of their trip to India in December, where they staged a spectacular show ‘Fashioning the Future’ in downtown Mumbai. The extravaganza showcased their own designs and those of the Guntur Polytechnic students. Some of the students’ exquisite creations were modelled to perfection by their remarkable colleagues from Makelovenotscars which supports survivors of acid attack in India.
The glittering event had been hosted by the College, British Council and UKIERI, and attended by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, who had been moved and very impressed by the obvious talent and skills on display in Mumbai.
At the meeting with the students Lord Ahmad provided an overview of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and his particular interest in the College’s project.
However, much of the meeting was spent with the Minister and Consul General talking with Lucy and Vanessa. He was extremely interested in how their India experience had impacted on them and other learners and in the designs that had been created. Three dresses were taken along and exhibited at the meeting, generating admiration and a lot of discussion.
Glasgow Kelvin students’ work with acid attack survivors was discussed at length, with the Minister and Consul General keen to understand how the College was linking with Makelovenotscars and supporting these survivors.
The meeting concluded with Lord Ahmad saying the ‘Fashioning the Future’ project had surpassed his expectations and had generated further thinking on how it might link to the forthcoming Commonwealth meeting.
The students felt honoured to be invited and delighted to see themselves as part of the huge Commonwealth Family of more than 2.4billion people around the globe.