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UEL fashion graduate’s creations grace West End film premiere

Designer Alisa Vaseghi enjoys national media attention

By Lee Pinkerton

One week before she formally graduated from the University of East London (UEL), fashion student Alisa Vaseghi enjoyed national media attention when one of her creations was worn by TV nutritionist Gillian McKeith.

In fact, it was a double dose of publicity for Alisa, as Ms McKeith attended the West End premiere of the film ‘Rise Of The Footsoldier 3’ with her 17-year-old daughter Afton, who matched her mother in another one of Alisa’s creations.

East London-based, Iranian-born fashion designer Alisa, 22, has been developing innovative fashion collections over the past two years, though she has been expressing her creativity much longer.

Alisa began modelling at the age of 13 for fashion graduates in her hometown of Plymouth, and the experiences inspired her to study an extended diploma in fashion and textiles at the Plymouth College of Art.

She moved to London at the age of 18 to do a BA in Fashion Design at UEL. Her inspirations have always come from far afield. 

“I was always interested in using unconventional materials,” Alisa explains.  “I get inspiration from going to hardware shops like B&Q and Wicks.”

In her second year at UEL, fashion programme leaders gave Alisa the creative freedom to use any material and inspiration.

This allowed Alisa to explore her interest in brain scans, which triggered the idea of using glue to communicate the connection between the tissues of the human brain.

She said, “I ordered loads of glue from Glue Guns Direct. I bought the cheapest glue gun for £18. I used that to make my own fabric and material, which I did on top of water in a bathtub, because the glue lifted off the water and created rectangle shapes. From that I created a dress. 

“Six months later I messaged Glue Guns Direct and sent them images of the dress. They loved it and said they wanted to meet me.  I went up to meet them in Manchester and they agreed to sponsor me. They’ve been very supportive. They send me anything I need.”

That includes a 1000-watt glue gun, one of the most powerful hand-held glue guns available, which costs £1,000. This is what Alisa now uses to help make her creations.

So how did one of her glue gun gowns end up worn by Gillian McKeith?
The two were brought together by Gillian’s daughter Afton, who this year modelled for Alisa’s London Fashion Week collections. When Afton and Gillian were invited to the film premier, Afton thought Alisa’s creations would be perfect. 
Now a graduate with her own business, VASEGHIA, Alisa aspires to an exciting future of continuing to create couture one-off pieces and growing the business to include ready-to-wear collections online. 

You can find Alisa’s collection at her website