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Guests at Southampton’s iconic St Mary’s Stadium were wowed on Friday when a masked ball designed by three BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration students from Solent University, Southampton got under way, raising money for local charities.

26th February 2024
DesignHomepage - News - Standard

At a night which raised funds for City Farm, Sea Cadets and the Saints Foundation, local businesses, professionals and community members came together to enjoy an evening of music and fine dining at a themed event conceived and delivered by talented design students from Solent University.

The theme of the Lord Mayor’s Charity Masked Ball was kept tightly under wraps following a design pitch in the autumn. Now, hundreds of guests have been bowled over by the students’ creative flair, attention to detail and growing talent. Lydia Southwell, Course Leader Interior Design Decoration, says:

“At Solent we are so proud of the talent and professionalism demonstrated by our students who have led the design of this event and brought it to life to the highest standard. We are committed to giving our undergraduates real-world experience which aids them in their creative careers, and the Lord Mayor’s Ball has been a unique opportunity for students to put their learning into practice in a space which elevates their profile as up-and-coming designers.”

The grand design was based on Hollywood Glamour, taking inspiration from the golden age of cinema, drawing on the influence of stars like Marilyn Monroe to create an unforgettable backdrop for an important evening of fundraising. Clapperboards, awards trophies and film reels transformed the event space, transporting guests to another time. The three students who delivered the design, Madelen Bjelland, Kate Fassone, and Nikola Kowaliszyn, say:

"It’s such a great experience for us to get to work on a live project like this. We loved seeing our ideas come to life and help contribute to a magical and unforgettable evening for all the guests!"

Over the last four months, and with the support of their lecturers, the team have worked together to bring their ideas to life. The event, which Solent’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor James Knowles attended alongside other representatives from the University, gave the students hands-on experience of working with a client to deadline, from inception through to delivery, and get a sense of what it is like to work in the creative industries.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Valerie Laurent, says:

“I am delighted to have had the support of these very talented students from Solent University at our masked ball. I was thrilled by their enthusiasm and innovative ideas when they pitched their proposals to me, and the winning design looked fabulous on the night.”

Find out more about Solent’s Interior Design Decoration course here.

Photography was captured by Lacey Ayles and Jacira Afonso Das Neves Paulo, BA (Hons) Fashion Photography students at Solent.