Search

Aspiring fashion designer starts UEL course aged 71

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 October 2017

Bernadette Taylor

Bernadette Taylor

Daniel Blackman

An aspiring fashion designer is aiming for the catwalk, despite being 71 years old.

Bernadette Taylor, from Stepney, is “raring to go” on her fashion design degree course at the University of East London (UEL).

Despite being thrown out of her sewing class at school for being “useless”, Bernadette has over 50 years of informal design experience behind her.

She started by designing bespoke clothes for her daughter.

She said: “I just couldn’t afford to dress her in the things I wanted, so I decided I would design and make them myself.”

With design as a hobby, Bernadette embarked on a varied career upon leaving school at 16.

She did accountancy work in many London banks, worked in local government and finished her career working as a nursing assistant.

It was in this final career that Bernadette formed close relationships with cancer patients and one of her fashion aspirations was born.

Bernadette said: “My dream is to complete my degree with a fashion show where people with cancer are the models and stars for the day.

“That would make me happy.”

Bernadette first enrolled on UEL’s New Beginnings, a 12-week course which prepares people who have been out of education for a long time for entry onto degree level courses.

Despite “chickening out” the first time round, Bernadette decided to try again when she saw the course advertised for a second time.

“I went along this time, did the course, passed, and now I’m ready and raring to go,” she said.

Bernadette counts American designer and fashion icon Iris Apfel, who is 96, as one of her inspirations.

Her two children, a chef and a lawyer, are both “immensely proud of her”.

Bernadette is under no illusions about the intensity of the course however she said she has all the motivation she needs to succeed.

She added: “I’m looking forward to learning more about my passion.

“I know it is three years, but the thought of those people who live with cancer, and the chance to do something special for them, will keep me going.”

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 19:00

A memorial that took 10 years to get going as a commemoration to the 173 people killed in the 1943 Bethnal Green air-raid shelter disaster has finally won a national architects award.

Yesterday, 15:19

There is no service on the TfL Rail line between Liverpool Street and Ilford this afternoon.

Yesterday, 11:57

Wendy Holland is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with the deadly mesothelioma “asbestos disease” caused by hugging her dad as a toddler when he came home every night from working in the docks in the 1960s.

Yesterday, 07:00

A rich source of radical photography and film-making showing East End community life and political struggles of the 1970s and 80s goes on public show for the first time today at Bethnal Green’s Four Corners studio.

Thu, 18:00

A big old building in Bethnal Green had been empty for donkeys’ years until Scott Franklin’s ‘property guardians’ filled the space to make it useful.

Thu, 18:00

Investigators probing corruption, fraud and bribery in the overturned 2014 Tower Hamlets council election that brought down Lutfur Rahman are gathering fresh evidence previously “overlooked by the police”, it has emerged this week.

Thu, 17:09

What a snip for Bethnal Green’s Joshua Galvin hairdressing academy whose staff have been awarded the prestigious Matrix Standard again.

Thu, 13:00

A grueling seven-mile race that starts off by negotiating 30 tonne barges on the bends around the Isle of Dogs is being staged in “extreme rowing conditions” later this month.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now