Former Miss Sunderland creates jewellery inspired by city’s shipbuilding heritage

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A STUDENT is making waves in the fashion world with designs inspired by Sunderland’s shipbuilding heritage.

Like many Wearsiders, Tamzin Cummings has strong connections with the city’s seafaring industry.

Now the 23-year-old Sunderland University student, from Ashbrooke, has turned those echoes of the past into striking accessories.

She’s displaying her collection at this week’s Graduate Fashion Week in London, a showcase for emerging talent, where’s it’s been catching the eyes of industry professionals.

Speaking about the inspiration behind her bespoke collection, she said: “My dad worked in the shipyards and was really well respected in the industry.

“I was always listening to his stories about working there.

“When I was coming up with the final project for my degree, I was really inspired by the mathematical aspect of the design of ships.

“How these big sheets of steel are manipulated for ships. I wanted to do that but manipulating steel around the body.

“As part of the collection, I commissioned the National Glass Centre to make glass nuts and bolts which I could incorporate into the pieces, as glass is an industry which still survives on the River Wear.”

Tamzin enlisted the help of Sunderland photographer Scott Spock to shoot these eye-catching images at Herrington Industrial Services, in the shadow of Queen Alexandra Bridge.

Model Rebecca Mason, from Grindon, helps to bring the pieces to life by wearing them for the shoot.

“It’s a real heritage thing for me. I love Sunderland and I wanted it to be part of my final project,” explained Tamzin, who studies fashion, product and promotion.

Tamzin, who is Wearside’s most successful Miss Sunderland after coming third in Miss England in 2012, hopes the collection will help to launch a career in the industry.

“I’ve had an amazing response with heads of design companies interested in the accessories,” she said. “I’ve also been short-listed in the final 20 of the Graduate Fashion Week accessories awards which features students from across the country.”