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

A paedophile has been jailed for historical child sexual abuse at a former Tower Hamlets children’s home where youngsters were in council care in the 1970s and 80s.

The Boundary Commission has announced revised proposals for changes to constituency seats.

Night Tube drivers are set to be balloted for industrial action in a dispute over their career progression.

07:00

Nominations close today to elect a new neighbourhood council in London’s East End to run the Spitafields Forum public consultations on the future of the district.

06:50

Volunteers have been trained to delve into what makes people lonely in a study in east London by Tower Hamlets Health and Wellbeing Board.

Yesterday, 17:08

You’d have been forgiven for thinking you were seeing the east London sky through an Instagram filter this afternoon, as Storm Ophelia turned the capital a strange shade of yellow.

Yesterday, 12:57

Young people with mental health problems who have had “bad hospital experiences” are helping train staff in east London to improve urgent medical treatment.

Yesterday, 12:15

A senior police officer has said it is “not practical” for officers to investigate crimes such as shoplifting and criminal damage as his force bids to save £400 million.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

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