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Alumni Symposium

Each year we invite our talented alumni to come back to UCA and talk to the Fashion Design students about their careers and offer advice and help to the current final year students who will be embarking on their own careers in a few months’ time.

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Year 0 shirt workshop

Our new year 0 students are here! On the first day, the students were given a challenge to wear a white button down shirt in as many different ways as possible. The results were highly creative with some very adventurous silhouettes based on the opposing ideas of uniformity and anarchy. The activity also broke the ice, with a great deal of laughter and chatting. The students ended the day with a great many ideas and several new friends.

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New year 1 students have arrived

Year 1 have completed their first week with inductions. A jam packed week to introduce our students to the different elements of the course, an opportunity to meet and interact with their peers and become familiar with the content of year 1.

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ASOS marketplace project

Recently, year 2 students presented the results of their live ASOS Marketplace project to a panel of Development Executives from the website. For this project, the students worked together in groups to create a unique brand and to develop and promote a collection with the ASOS marketplace customer in mind. There was an amazing breadth of diversity of ideas with collections inspired by the glamorous world of Joan Collins and the dark, mysterious world of Mata Hari.

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Topman award winner

Our very talented final year student, Lucy Ward, has won the British Fashion Council Topman award. Well done Lucy! She beat off competition from students from all over the country. The brief was to design a range for Topman demonstrating an understanding of the brand and its customer. A handful of students were chosen as finalists and for the final stage of the competition they were invited to bring their portfolios to an interview with a panel of senior management from Topman and representatives from the British Fashion Council at Topman’s headquarters in Oxford Street London. The feedback was that ‘Lucy’s performance was outstanding and the prize was well deserved.’ Lucy will take up a year’s paid internship at Topman once she graduates.

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End of year fashion show 2017

This year’s final year students presented their collections in a salon style show for friends and family at the beginning of May. I don’t think we’ve ever seen so much colour and diversity as we had this year. Concepts ranged from Sara Castro’s seedy motel room inspired womenswear collection complete with a duvet coat to Ying Goma’s menswear collection which was inspired by street hawkers in Lagos, featuring dramatic shapes, oversized pocket details and garments made from plastic sacking. The choice of fabrics was equally eclectic, including feathers, lace, plastic fur, fish skin, specially woven fabrics from a craftswoman based in Columbia and knitted panels trapped in plastic.

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Year 1 Warehouse project

Last week, year 1 students presented a selection of work from their recent collaboration with Warehouse to Alice Verrall. In the beginning of this project, Warehouse presented an overview of the S/S17 season with key trends including bright colours, deckchair stripes, 70’s influences, pleating, asymmetric hems and dip dye. The images show a snapshot of the garments and folio pages created created by students in response to the brief. Several students have now been invited to apply for Work Experience.

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Stradivarius Competition

The students on the Fashion Design Course took part in a national competition run by the British Fashion Council to design a range for the Spanish brand Stradivarius. For the brief the students had to design a collection of menswear or womenswear for Spring 2017.

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Sophie Hallette Lace Competition 2017

Both our entrants to this year’s prestigious Sophie Hallette Lace completion have been selected to go through to the final. This is a tough competition with students from the top fashion courses throughout the country taking part. Year 3 studetns Sebastian Jáuregui and Meg Boulton put forward design proposals for collections using lace in at least two outfits

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Winter embellishment workshop

First Year students rounded off their first term with a winter embellishment workshop. Students were introduced to a variety of embroidery, beading and applique techniques and asked to produce a ‘Christmas Jumper’. Although this was a festive fun day, the techniques shown and practised can be used throughout their course. Students are currently undertaking a live project with Warehouse and these ideas may be carried through into this.

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Styling Workshop with Frank Akinsete

First year students have been invited to design a spring/summer 2017 collection for the recently rebranded Warehouse. Students have been given a seasonal ‘Catwalk Summary’ and must now put their own spin on future trends. Students have been introduced to the different types of customers Warehouse are targeting and must now decide on their own customer profile.

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Tools of the Trade – workshop

First year Fashion Design students are just about to complete their first design project; Tools of the Trade. Part of the project was to start translating 2D into 3D and record this in their new workbooks created on InDesign – a 10-week journey of the Introduction into Pattern and Production with the culmination of 3 final toiles.

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Emma O’Halloran

Since graduating from UCA, I have had a complete whirlwind in my first year stepping out into industry as a young designer. Shortly after leaving UCA, I decided to get back into contact and touch base with a few people I had interned with whilst studying. This lead to my first contract as a Design and Print Assistant at Warehouse fashions, where they were quick to offer me a position based on my previous time with them after being offered an internship during one of the courses live projects in my first year at UCA. After a quick 3 months, I then landed myself my dream position at Marc Jacobs Paris as a Junior Assistant with the Collection Knitwear.  After moving to Paris, I was completely thrown in the deep end and given the amazing opportunity to be fully involved in every aspect of the design process. Having never studied knitwear before I have learnt an abundance of new skills broadening my knowledge on knitting techniques and hand embroidery. I have had the incredible opportunity to travel with work, both to Italy for the collection development and to New York for fittings and the show.

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Graduate Fashion Week 2016

The Fashion Design final year students presented their collections on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week on Monday 6th June. The show, the last of the day, was packed out. It didn’t disappoint and was the usual eclectic mix of sophisticated cutting, exciting print and embellishment and lots of innovation.

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End of Year Fashion Design show

Christchurch is the most beautiful church situated in the heart of Spitalfields in East-London and our chosen venue to present the end of the year Fashion Design show. This year there were 3 shows; Show 1 showcased a selection of Year 1 and the work of Year 2’s collaboration with Asos Marketplace. Show 2 and Show 3 presented the final year student collections. Six outfits from each student to define their aesthetic and ultimate vision of their own concept.

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Lauren Ward

Since graduating, my work has been featured in several photo shoots for magazines such as Ballad Of and Sicky. My work was included in the recent Absolutely Fabulous movie and I have also made custom pieces for the lead singer of feminist punk band ‘DREAM NAILS’ which she wore at The Sisterhood at Glastonbury 2016. I have been interviewed by Glitch and Stuff, a blog for up and coming young creatives and Antigone Magazine. I have done some tutoring at UCA with Year 1 and Year 0 students. I have also worked at a sewing school and bespoke seamstress where I assisted in making costumes and wedding dresses and I interned at Antonio Berardi and House of Holland before I got my current job. I currently work as an assistant designer at a supplier for major online retailers and I am manager of the petites department.

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Year 0 exhibition

Our inaugrual Year 0 culminated their year with a project encompassing a journey. Students exhibited their work in the newly created ‘Project Space’, beginning with a private view and was then open to the public.

Journeys ranged from Maria Peftouloglou’s concept of ‘PARKtOURing Greece’. The idea to tour Greece while doing parkour. The exhibition pieces celebrated parkour’s urban feel and movement along with the traditional culture of Greece, Abigail Blaxell’s project based on ‘an authentic journey through London’. Focusing on the imperfections of the city and combining them with street style around the different areas; Knightsbridge, Brick Lane and Camden and Greta Poskaite’s journey of becoming a bird and enjoying the freedom flying over five different landscapes of Iceland. It is about freedom, function and the beauty of nature.

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Work placement reflections

During year 2, Fashion Design Rochester students get an opportunity to do a work placement unit as part of their studies. This year, students went for wide variety of companies: luxury brands such as Erdem, Emilio De La Moreno & Haizhen Wang, high-street retailers such as LK Bennett and Karen Millen, and some new small designers such as Liam Hodges & Richard Malone. From this year we have extended the time period for the students to complete this option, the timing of this has allowed them to truly experience the world of Fashion at its most hectic in the build up to London Fashion week.

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Warehouse project

First years have just presented a selection of garments and design work to Warehouse, after a 10 week live project.

The designers from the iconic British brand introduced the trends to the students: 80’s, Tea Dance and Parachute. Students then developed a chosen trend and were asked to produce sketchbook, design boards and a final outfit that summed up their take on the trend.

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