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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To coincide with the buzz a fashion week brings to a city, we took 29 Fashion students to Paris during the weekend of Paris Fashion Week. We invited all Fashion students and had a mix of Fashion Design, Fashion Media and Promotion, Textiles:Print, Atelier and Photography. Highlights of the weekend were a retrospective of the key pieces from the wardrobe of Iris Apfel held at Bon Marche, visiting the Dries Van Noten store and seeing the Eiffel Tower by night. We also visited an exhibition at the Palais Galleria celebrating the life and wardrobe of Élizabeth, Countess Greffulhe, whose beauty and elegance was one of the main inspirations for Marcel Proust and the fashion designers of her time. And it seemed Spring began too with the sun shining as we walked through the Tuileries gardens.
We set our clever first years a challenge to test their technical skills, focussing on working with jersey fabrics. The task was to create a jumper from socks. The exercise drew inspiration from a Martin Margiela project from the early 1990s which reflects his signature deconstruction approach to design but also references the wartime ‘make do and mend’ ethos, encouraging the development of innovative methods to create clothes with little access to materials.
Since graduating I have worked for a few different fashion brands and companies. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so I was lucky enough to be given design opportunities to intern or work on temporary contracts at Marks and Spencers, Studio Nicholson and The Row in New York. When I came back from New York I started working freelance, doing trend research and design work for global retail company called Pepkor who own retail companies across UK, Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. This led me to meet other freelancers and I started freelancing for small companies as well, mainly in trend research. This year I start doing my MA in History of Design part-time alongside my freelance work.
For the fifth year running we have a finalist in the Fashion Awareness Direct competition. Charlotte Goodayle will be showing her work on the catwalk at London Fashion Week in February with the other finalists and for the judges to select the winner. The brief for this year’s competition was ‘ A Sense of Place’, finding beauty in the everyday and mundane. Charlotte took inspiration from objects washed up on the banks of the River Thames she sees whilst walking her dogs.
Being a third year, I guess you kind of feel that you are at the top of the food chain. You’ve spent the last two years learning and honing in on your craft, developing an aesthetic and working with the tutors and technicians. However, the Private View of ‘Cut to Suit’ served as a timely and humbling reminder to keep you on your toes.
Once a ubiquitous sight, the tailored suit is now fast disappearing from many workplaces and wardrobes, to be replaced by a uniform of denim and jersey. But far from being reserved solely for bank managers, ushers and funeral directors, tailoring can be innovative, cutting edge and directional.
I was very fortunate to have a great start into my career with the opportunity to start as a Design Assistant to the Head Designer at Triumph, an International Lingerie Company based in Germany. Working very closely together on many projects, I was able to learn a lot from her and was promoted to Junior Designer just under a year being with the company. Now I have the chance to work on a small collection and design the garments as well as design prints and finding colour concepts.
The Fashion Design year O students jumped on the train to London last week and made their way to 180 Strand to see the Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition.
The series 3 exhibition profiles Nicholas Ghesquiere’s autumn/ winter 2015/2016 collection for Louis Vuitton, as well as giving us a glimpse into the production of it’s iconic products. ‘ Series 3 is a sensorial journey, venturing deep into the designer’s soul and an artisan’s heart.’
Monday 21st September was the briefing to all Fashion Design students. Let the research begin!
First year students were given an impromptu homework task during the induction week – to make, customise or recycle a garment over the weekend to bring to their briefing. Here is a selection of the garments produced: a rag knitted waistcoat by Jeanette Carlton-Carew, fluro dungarees by Brody Randall, customised denim by Adeloa Elugbadebo-Solomons, lined jacket by Michaela Punnet and customised printed asymmetric shirt by Faye Cochran.
The first design project began with a Fashion Trail in Spitalfields, Brick Lane and Cheshire Street in London. During the trip, students sourced vintage garments that act as a starting point for their first design projects.