ONE of Britain's most innovative fashion creations has just been revealed — but it had nothing to do with the recent London Fashion Week 2002.

Lucy Castles pre-empted part of a leading French designer's collection nearly a year ago — as part of a school art project.

Lucy, a Year 9 pupil at All Hallows Catholic School in Weybourne, designed and made a striking dress entirely out of old ties for a "Recycled Fashion Show".

Teachers were impressed with Lucy's bespoke garment and displayed it in the school's main entrance.

But David Walker, head of art and design at All Hallows, was shocked to see a replica of Lucy's creation featured in a recent edition of the Sunday Times Style magazine, designed by top couturier Jean-Paul Gaultier.

Reviewing the recent collection at the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Style fashion journalist Claudia Croft said: "Gaultier showed truly inventive Paris clothes, making dresses from men's ties… He played tantalisingly with masculine and feminine."

The feature said Gaultier was France's best designer and referred to the tie dress as an example of his "revolutionary thinking".

Lucy modelled her own version of the tie dress at the fashion show last year.

She said of her first catwalk experience: "I found it quite embarrassing at first.

"There were lots of people taking pictures, but fortunately the lights pretty well blinded me so I could not see all the people looking at me.

"All I could hear was cheering and that gave me more confidence!"

Lucy had trawled the charity shops and rummaged in her uncle's wardrobe to collect the 47 ties and painstakingly sewed them all together.

Lucy has now written to the Sunday Times in the hope that the Style magazine will recognise her as one of British fashion's hopes for the future.