Teenager's First World War fashion exhibit goes on display

By Sandy Rashty, February 13, 2014
Jennifer Murad works on one of her tunics

Jennifer Murad works on one of her tunics

Former Immanuel College student Jennifer Murad used to spend hours in the National Army Museum in Chelsea, south-west London.

She would sit by the glass cases, sketching the military jackets worn by British officers who fought in the First World War, as part of the research for her A Level art exam — for which she received an A*.

Now, three of the 19-year-old’s designs all made out of recyclable materials, from bottle tops to metal spoons - are being displayed in the museum that originally inspired her.

One piece, described by Ms Murad as a “decomposing jacket” has dried flowers and moss to symbolise the tombstones of fallen soldiers.

She said: “I was looking for a deeper meaning behind what the soldiers wore.”

Ms Murad searched pubs for the thousands of tops from drinks bottles she needed for her designs.

“A lot of people have called the jackets ‘quirky’ or ‘eccentric’ — I don’t really know how to describe them,” she said. “It’s a new way of representing the old.”

A jacket made from bottle caps

A jacket made from bottle caps

The museum’s curator, Natalia Wieczorek, described the pieces as having “technical brilliance — we wanted to showcase them. I am hoping it will inspire other students to come in and look at our collection from a different perspective.”

Ms Murad, a member of Lauderdale Road Synagogue, says she hopes to work in fashion when she has finished her studies at Birmingham University.

The jackets have been insured for a total of £6,000 by the museum. They will be on display as part of its Coatee to Couture exhibition, until March 3.

Last updated: 8:45pm, February 13 2014