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3rd December 2015, 9:20am
Top West End designer’s new role spotlights creative careers in fashion
Matt Kinley An award-winning set, costume and prop designer whose work has appeared in hit West End and Broadway productions of Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon will be sharing his industry insights with fashion students in a new role at the University of Lincoln, UK.

Matt Kinley will serve as an industry mentor for undergraduates on the new-look BA (Hons) Fashion programme in Lincoln’s School of Fine & Performing Arts, where he will be involved in a new Professional Profile module focussed on building an exciting and effective platform through which individual students will promote their work externally.

His first appearance is a guest lecture for students on 8th December 2015. He will then collaborate with third year undergraduates as they work towards their final year degree shows in spring 2016, culminating in a spectacular Fashion Show on 27th May 2016, which will be staged at the Lincoln Performing Arts Centre.

Matt began his career working for theatre, film and video industries as a freelance costume and prop maker and later moved to the National Theatre in London as designer, associate designer and draughtsman on more than 40 productions, including Jerry Springer – The Opera and My Fair Lady. In commercial theatre, his credits include The Woman in Black, My Fair Lady (US and UK tours), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK tour), Les Miserables (US Broadway and Holland) and Equus (UK West End).

In 2009 he was invited to redesign Les Miserables for its 25th anniversary production in the UK, US and Spain, winning several Best Set Design awards and also staged the anniversary concert production at the O2 Arena in London in 2010. As part of the Phantom of the Opera 25th anniversary celebrations, he designed the fully-staged concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011. Earlier this year, working as co-designer with Totie Driver, he was awarded Best Set Design for Miss Saigon at the WhatsonStage Awards.

Lincoln’s Fashion degree has been reconfigured for 2015 to further reflect the variety of roles available for talented designers across the creative industries – not just high street and catwalk fashion, but also in film, theatre and television production and other sectors of the arts. Now positioned in the University’s School of Fine & Performing Arts, alongside related creative subjects such as Fine Art, Music and Drama, the newly validated programme aims to develop students’ interdisciplinary and collaborative skills which can be transferred across artistic disciplines.

Victoria Bellandini, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion at the University of Lincoln, said: “Matt’s experience in the theatre world as a leading prop and costume maker makes him an ideal industry mentor for our students and we are delighted to welcome him to Lincoln. His understanding of the needs of the creative industries for fresh talent and ideas will support our students to develop their skills, knowledge and all-important portfolios, offering new perspectives on the multitude of career options out there for genuinely innovative, skilled and versatile designers.”

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