Lili designs Manchester tribute dress

Lili Barnes in the dress she designed in honour of the 22 victims who died in the attack on the Manchester Arena in May. (s)
Lili Barnes in the dress she designed in honour of the 22 victims who died in the attack on the Manchester Arena in May. (s)

This Clitheroe teenager was both the belle and brains of the ball when she collected a school award clothed in her own design – a tribute dress catching the eye of Gucci.

When Ribblesdale High School invited Lili Barnes to an Oscars-themed “Ribbies” event, the Year 8 pupil decided to design her own dress.

The 13 year-old was one of four out of 1000 pupils who collected an Outstanding Attitude To Learning Award.

And the talented teen turned heads donned in an outfit made by her mother and owner of Raine & Bea lingerie, Jenna Barnes.

“I think it’s absolutely gorgeous. People have been asking to buy it,” said Jenna, “and her teachers were dragging her off to get pictures.

“Whatever is in fashion, Lili goes for the opposite and she never does things by halves.”

In fact, the stunning dress is decorated with bees in honour of the 22 people who lost their lives at the bombing of the Manchester Arena in May.

So far, it has received more than 5,200 views on Linkedin, including from employees of Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton and Giorgio Armani.

But despite inheriting a flair for design, Lili dreams of being a politician, ambitions that have seen her invest her creativity in a bake sale raising £70 for The Refugee Community Kitchen and a sewing project set up with her mum and teacher, Mrs Martin.

In a series of textiles classes, Year 9 pupils created 15 pairs of boxer shorts to tackle the underwear shortage at the refugee camp in Calais.

Lili and her mum have also made 80 extra pairs at the Raine & Bea studio, with a target of 100 to cater for homeless people in the Ribble Valley.

“Myself and Lili’s dad, Chris, are really proud of her,” said Jenna. “She is such a thoughtful and ambitious girl, who is always caring for others.”