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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Paris visit

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.

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The Sock Project

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.

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fad finalist Charlotte Goodayle

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.

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Private View of ‘Cut to Suit’: A lesson in humility

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.

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CUT TO SUIT project

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.

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Year O Visit the Louis Vuitton Exhibition

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.’

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First year Introduction

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.

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graduate fashion week 2015

UCA Rochester had it’s catwalk show on day one of Graduate Fashion Week. The venue was packed to the rafters, clearly word had got out that it was not to be missed! The show profiled the work of twelve of our talented Fashion Design students amongst students from Fashion Textiles and Fashion Atelier. The collections were incredibly strong, showing a diversity of styles and really celebrating the individuality of our students. Our reputation for clever cutting was very evident but this year we have witnessed an emergence of amazing fabric development techniques and embellishment with innovative knitting, weaving, printing, embroidery and laser cutting.

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fashion design rochester internal show 2015

On 20th May the whole of the Fashion Design team , staff and students, travelled to London to put on our annual end of year catwalk shows. For the first time students from years one and two showed their design work as well as the final year collections. The students did us proud! It was a fabulous event demonstrating the amazing talent on the UCA Fashion Design course. Year one catwalk included the live project for River Island which, considering it is the second project the students do, was really strong. They also showed the final project, ‘A Cut Above’, demonstrating some amazing design work and creative cutting. Year two showed the live project they had been working on for Nexy.Co, a high end Chinese design company. They worked in teams creating a mini collection each, which were a triumph of creativity and sophistication. The final year collections this year were the most diverse we have ever seen and as strong as ever marrying innovation, technical expertise and, for some, agreat sense of fun!

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Catwalk tickets hot off the press

Printed tickets hot off the press for the UCA Rochester End of Year Show at Camden Town Hall on Wednesday 20th May. Tickets can still be purchased on our online store at £10 each and can be collected at the door.

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River Island project

For the past three months, year 1 Fashion Design Rochester students have been working on a live project for River Island. In December 2014, Knitwear Designer, Gemma Murphy and Senior Menswear Designer Blake Robson came to UCA, Rochester to present 11 trends across Womenswear and Menswear. Trends included Urban Provocateur, Francoise Cool, Glam Rock for womenswear and Rustic Workshop and Minimal Lines for Menswear.

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The British Fashion Council pattern seminar

The British Fashion Council organise an annual pattern seminar featuring inspirational cutters demonstrating their techniques. We decided this would be a great event for the budding pattern enthusiasts on the Fashion Design Course to attend so we invited written applications from any interested students. The lucky three to be chosen were Lauren Ward, Olivia Sketcher and Sophia Idreos who were accompanied by Kirstie Fannagan our new Junior Pattern Technician who graduated from the course in June. They all had a thoroughly stimulating and enjoying day and here is some feedback from them.

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Sophia’s exchange experience at UCA Rochester

The students on the Fashion Design course get the opportunity to spend three months at one of our partner institutions either in Europe, Australia, India or Canada. We also welcome students to come to study with us on an exchange programme. Sophia Idreos, from the Australian Academy of Design came to study with us from September to January and kindly wrote the following blog post reflecting on the experience.

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Ready Steady Cut workshop

Fashion Design year 2 students recently began the design element for their Thinking It, Cutting It project, by completing a 2-day group workshop entitled Ready Steady Cut.

At the initial project briefing everyone was given a Designer label renowned for using experimental and unexpected approaches to design. Over the 2 days, the students worked in small groups united by their appreciation and understanding of the designer and faced the challenge of recreating an outfit from a selected image as a professionally finished toile.

At the end of the 2nd day, everyone took part in the voting to decide which group had best captured their given designer’s aesthetic. Whilst the results were amazing from all groups, sadly though there could only be one winner. Congratulations & well done to the Maison Martin Margiela Group … Georgia, Charlotte, Ilona, Alex & Natalie.

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Year 1 collaborate with River Island

Fashion Design Rochester year 1 students are currently completing a live design project for River Island. As part of this, students have the opportunity to design either women’s or menswear for the brand based on one of the 11 pre-specified trends. The project began with a market and trend workshop, followed by a styling workshop, led by ex Liberty womenswear buyer, Alex Styliandis Mathie. Students were asked to bring in garments, jewellery, accessories and their camera to start their design journey.

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FAD finalist Katarina Lindell

We are very excited to announce that Katarina Lindell, a final year student on BA Fashion Design, has got through to the finals of the Fashion Awareness Direct competition. The brief this year was to design a ‘mini-collection’ of two outfits, menswear or womenswear, which explores the commonalities of physics and design. Students were encouraged to seek parallels with a scientist’s approach, to conduct their own experiments and to develop processes which provoke discovery and thought.

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Knitting and the Foo Fighters by Kira Matthews

So knitting. Cool right? Said by no one ever under the age of 22.

When I think about knitting – something that I must admit, I don’t do very often – I imagine an unfortunate group of sagging single 50 year olds gabbing about cats, limescale and what happened last night on Coronation Street. Not really an image that many of us can relate to, or at least I hope not.

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Tailoring Bingo

This week the 2nd year Fashion Design students played ‘Tailoring Bingo’ to test all their new tailoring skills (& try and win the tub of Chocs). 4 weeks into their tailoring project ‘Cut to Suit’ they have barely had time to draw breath.The aim of the game was to team up and cut 2 tailored jacket patterns with pitched sleeves and draped collars in 2 hours. The energy was electric – pattern paper, tape, students and scissors all blurring until suddenly BINGO was shouted by the winning team!

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Year 1 networking project

For their current project, Fashion Design students were asked to visit Brick Lane, Spitalfields and Portobello Market and buy a vintage garment that inspired them to develop a collection. Students chose an array of different styles and different decades and began by creating a concept wall to develop their ideas.

Fashion Promotion students are working on ‘Style: Past, Present & Future’ project that entails working in teams to research and shoot 4 fashion editorial images for a selection of fashion designers and brands.

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New year 1 students have arrived!

Fashion Design Year 1 students enrolled on Wednesday and had their induction to Contextual Studies. In the afternoon, the students were invited to a creative workshop. Groups of 3 students were given a word and were asked to create an inspiration board that summed up their word. After completing the boards, all of the students were asked to select the correct word to each board. The words were: Intelligent, Poignant, Divine, Abstract, Tiny, Vivid and Civilised. The one with the most points won! What do you think the words were for these boards?

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Tommy Hilfiger project

This year the second year students’ live project was in collaboration with international brand Hilfiger Denim. The Hilfiger Denim design team, in particular head pattern cutter Philip Merry, were very involved with the project from the outset, initially briefing the students via Skype, then visiting from Holland for both the fittings and the final assessment presentations. This was an invaluable opportunity for the students, who really threw themselves into all the aspects of denim design and production. They also embraced the ‘Hilfiger’ energy and lifestyle working as teams, producing mini promotional films alongside their group collections and developing innovative ways to cut and treat denim. Alongside their committed personal involvement, the Hilfiger team also supplied the students with raw denim, rivets and other trims in order to produce the collections. The project was a great success, with the Hilfiger Design team offering a summer internship to one lucky student who left for a sunny Amsterdam summer immediately after the project fashion show!

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