The university’s contour fashion course is the oldest in the world
Gillian Proctor, programme leader on the contour fashion course at De Montfort University, is one of 10 people listed in Lingerie Insight magazine’s “The Power List 2017: Industry Influencers”.
The annual list “pays tribute to those unsung heroes who help nurture talented designers, advise brands and retailers on key decisions, provide consumers with informed opinions on market trends… and promote positive change within the industry.”
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the university’s contour fashion course – the oldest in the world.
It was launched in 1947 to support the city’s once thriving corset industry and has since diversified into other aspects of lingerie, swimwear, nightwear and sportswear.
The entry in the Power List said: “Since joining the course in August 2008, Gillian has been responsible for driving forward innovation and nurturing the future of the intimate apparel industry – and she’s certainly lived up to this role.
“She not only inspires and supports the next generation of lingerie designers, but promotes the rich history of the craft through her work as an author, an industry consultant for television and the chair of the International Institute of intimate apparel.
“Proctor is an internationally-recognised expert in her field and her strong links in the lingerie sector have been built on a career working with huge fashion names such as Karl Lagerfield and Armani.
“As a result, students and graduates have gone on to secure placements and employment with some of the world’s biggest design names, including Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, Agent Provocateur, Gap and Tommy Hilfiger.”
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Other prominent names on the list include Kate Hills, founder of Make it British and Meet the Manufacturer, who contributes to fashion teaching at De Montfort, lingerie stylist Monica Harrington and Paul Alger, director of international affairs in the UK Fashion & Textile Association
Gillian said: “I was frankly shocked to be told that my name was on the list.
“I’m certain there are far more deserving representatives from the industry.
“Naturally, I’m proud to be listed, but more so on behalf of the course receiving due recognition as we celebrate 70 years of Contour Fashion at DMU.
“I have been known to repeat myself when I say that this really is the best job in the world.
“We are blessed to have a dedicated and skilled staff team who each bring something different to the table, most of whom are themselves graduates of the course.
“Inevitably, the students benefit. We can celebrate the caliber of students which the course continues to attract.
“Nothing stays the same in contour fashion. We are destined to move forwards and to address innovation both technically and aesthetically.
“This encompasses developing an entirely new course for the contour stable to address the demands of industry and the ever changing skill bases of our applicants.
“We have made many changes within the course and we will make many more in the future.”
In 2013, Gillian received a lifetime achievement award at the UK Lingerie Awards.
She was co-author of the book “A Century of Lingerie” and has regularly worked as a consultant for both radio and TV due to her expertise in the history of the subject.