Wartime buttons inspire university fashion designer

Anastasiia Halushko, MA Fashion Design & Practice student

An up-and-coming student fashion designer at Birmingham City University (BCU) has secured a coveted scholarship from the British Fashion Council (BFC) after her latest collection was inspired by a historic World War II button collection preserved in the family for generations.

School of Fashion & Textiles

Birmingham City University

Anastasiia Halushko, who studies Fashion Design and Practice at BCU’s School of Fashion & Textiles has a passion for sustainable materials, innovative design technology, hand embroidery and a fascination for vintage buttons.

Anastasiia’s relationship with the humble button has its origins in a family legend and the harrowing story of her heroic great-grandmother (Yanina) and her carefully preserved World War Two button box. 

Now studying full-time in the UK, Anastasiia enjoyed success as a designer in her home country of Ukraine. She joined BCU as an undergraduate after winning an Erasmus+ competition while initially studying at the Kyiv National University for Technologies and Design. 

“Back home I have had my collections feature on the main catwalk at Ukrainian Fashion Week 2021 while also working for the most successful fashion brand in Ukraine.

“My work has also been featured in magazines like VOGUE (Italy), L`OFFICIEL (Ukraine), ROIDX MAGAZINE (France), KALTBLUT Magazine (Berlin).

“I make sure I am using sustainable and conscious solutions when creating design projects. Studying at BCU has helped me develop an interest in non-standard materials, like incorporating building and garden materials into my designs.

“My collections are constructed using a variety of textures, recycled natural materials, draping, and hand embroidery as well as vintage materials, namely buttons, which act as iconic elements blurring the different boundaries between the old and the new, to create a unique design.”

Halushkos’s impressive work, helped the self-proclaimed ‘fashionista’ secure an MA scholarship with the British Fashion Council for 2022/23 - which includes funding and promotion of her final collection acting as another springboard for her already promising career as a designer.

Studying at BCU’s School of Fashion & Textiles alongside the support and industry advice from the British Fashion Council, Halushko is more than equipped to thrive in a highly competitive fashion industry and meet the constant challenges to create unique, sustainable and influential designs. 

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