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This award-winning and internationally-recognised course prepares you for a career in fashion. It is a skills-based course, where you have the opportunity to explore your ideas both two- and three-dimensionally, using a broad variety of techniques and approaches in exciting and challenging projects.

The success of the course can be measured in the achievements of its students. In the past, students have scooped prestigious prizes in national competitions, including Winner of the River Island Menswear Portfolio Competition, Best Womenswear Collection and Gold Award for the best collection at Graduate Fashion Week, and Winner of FAD (Fashion Awareness Direct) Competition.

www.ucreative.ac.uk/ba-fashion-design

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Garment by Cassandra Tang (2015)


year zero

From September 2014 the Fashion Design course will be offering the opportunity for students to study on a year 0. This will be a specialist fashion focused preparatory year mainly aimed at applicants applying directly from school who are confident they wish to study fashion design and need to build up the knowledge and skills required for entry on to a BA programme. Year 0 will enable students to explore the creative design process through a series of projects that will encourage the development of a robust approach to research and design. The emphasis will be on exploration and experimentation which will  push students creatively and give them the confidence and skills to undertake the rigours of the BA programme in subsequent years. Students will be introduced to methods of research to enable an informed and innovative approach their design process and will explore portfolio techniques to develop design communication.

For further information or to apply please visit the UCA main website (http://www.ucreative.ac.uk/ba-fashion-design/4-year)


what we teach

This award-winning and internationally-recognised course prepares you for a career in fashion. It is a skills-based course, where you have the opportunity to explore your ideas both two and three-dimensionally, using a broad variety of techniques and approaches in exciting and challenging projects.

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year 1 encompasses a variety of skills, essentially the Tools of the Trade. Design projects tackle a variety of market levels and introduce you to the complexities of design development, range planning and fabric sourcing with visits to exhibitions, shows, fabric and trim stores enhancing your learning and development. The projects run alongside garment construction tasks to create an integrated thought process from 2D through to 3D design. You produce completed garments from the outset.  Illustration is an important segment to provide understanding of form and garment realisation but also equip you with the skills to start a portfolio.  Gerber (computer pattern cutting) and CAD are taught throughout to enhance your learning and skill base. Fashion theory is also an important aspect of the course with key lectures and seminars throughout the year. Personal development incorporates Time Management and Study Skills.

  • Introduction to design and instruction in pattern and production
  • Drawing and portfolio skills
  • Computer technology for pattern (computer-aided manufacture – Gerber) and presentation (computer-aided design).
  • Live design project with an industry partner such as Warehouse

View previous posts about year 1 

year 2 continues the process of introducing you to new techniques for Fashion Design and builds on the skills gained in year 1.  This year shows you ways to further your creativity through the integration of theoretical research within your design ideas. The various projects throughout the year continue the process of garment development and construction with new challenges involving tailoring and creative cutting methods. Personal development is important to this stage of studies, there is the opportunity to take on a work experience option as part of the course, utilising skills learnt and gaining first hand industry experience. This allows a clearer insight into the scope of different job roles available within the fashion industry, this understanding is then put into practice through a “live” group project which is delivered in collaboration with a fashion brand, where you work in teams to share skills and ideas to develop collections which are showcased in an end of year fashion show. An option of doing an International study exchange with one of our partner institutions overseas to complete the second half of this year of study is also available.

  • Tailoring and creative cutting techniques
  • Live company project to produce and market a collection with an industry partner such as Reiss/ Margaret Howell
  • Work placement (excellent links with industry to support this)
  • Opportunity for international exchange with partner institutions.

View previous posts about year 2

year 3 of the course is very much centred on the individual development of each student encouraging a focussed approach to direct their work in preparation for their career aspirations.. Adopting the skills and learning achieved in the first two years of the course the students embark on their major project, the design and production of a final collection of 6 outfits. This can be for either mens or womens wear.  The collection development is assisted through design lectures and tutorials as well as pattern and production support and is monitored at regular intervals by a review panel which includes final year design tutors and industry experts. Along side the collection production the students develop and refine their portfolio through a selection of national and international industry competitions. Past competitions have been for companies such as Chloe and Burberry. Each year we hold an alumni career symposium to assist students in their career preparation. As well as inviting alumni in to talk about their diverse career paths we also offer advice on cv and letter writing and the development of professional skills.

  • Design, development and production of a collection (mens or womenswear) leading to a catwalk presentation
  • Career preparation and professional skills
  • Portfolio development including international competitions.

View previous posts about year 3


design process

design process  programme is very broad and extensive to ensure that all students have a good understanding of different market levels, exploring many different approaches to design and finally enabling a broad choice of careers on completion of the course. The process of design is taught through a variety of projects throughout the course, each of which include a series of lectures and workshops. The emphasis on the importance of pattern and production enriches the design process as the students have a rounded approach to design. Industry projects ensure that the students have the opportunity to design in a ‘real’ situation and enable them to get feedback on their designs from industry experts. All students design and make a final collection in year 3, which enables them to define their design aesthetic.

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Design development by Maria Arroyo Bacete (2016)

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Design development by Laetitia Berthier (2014)

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Design development by Xi Ming (2014)

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Design development by Lauren Hunt (2014)

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Design development by Kate Wilson (2015)

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Design development by Phoebe Button (2016)


pattern & production

pattern and production at Rochester is integral to all design projects and taught throughout the 3 year programme. 1st year focuses on arming all students with the essential tools of pattern and production covering working with woven and jersey fabrics, flat cutting and draping on the stand. Year 2 brings in a variety of specialised projects introducing students to highly technical tailoring, maverick conceptual cutting and a brand-focused approach. Year 3 is highly individual and driven by the student, with specialist individual support and master classes, culminating in every student designing, cutting and producing a 6 outfit collection for the catwalk. Access to design, pattern and production studios with specialist up to date industrial machinery enables you to cut and manufacture garments to industry standards.  Studio workshop facilities are supported by experienced technical tutors offering students help and advice.

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Photo: Sam Chick


gerber

gerber or computer aided manufacturing – ( CAM ) – a method of pattern cutting using a computer, is an integral part of our Fashion Design programme using Gerber Technology Software. This software programme is widely used within the Fashion Industry across the world to support the requirements for accurate, fast and effective methods of pattern development and the communication of technical details. Throughout Year 1 and 2 project work you are taught how to use the programme and by linking this with the practical skills learnt through the pattern and production classes, you are able by the final year of studies, to be able to utilise this in developing final project work.  Throughout the course a key part of our teaching schedule is to ensure we closely follow Industry practice. Knowledge of this software in the process of developing Fashion garments is a very desirable addition to any CV for students entering the workplace and highly sought after by potential employers. There are only a handful of courses teaching this programme, which gives our students an added advantage towards employability. This aspect of delivery is taught in our specialist Gerber suite assisted by technical experts.

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Gerber work by Dominique Pearce (2016)

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Gerber work by Roberta Sharp (2016)

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Gerber work by Kim Moser (2016)


illustration

illustration is a key tool designers need to communicate their ideas in a two dimensional format. Much focus is placed on ensuring the students develop a range of drawing techniques and styles to ensure they have the necessary skills to communicate and promote their ideas and are armed with the essential tools to increase their employability. Specialist illustrators supervise the drawing programme, delivered in our specialist drawing studio where students draw from life and are able to experiment with a variety of media and techniques. Students are also introduced to digital methods of developing their drawings through CAD workshops, enabling them to employ a variety of illustrative approaches. Technical drawing is crucial to any fashion design student and this is delivered from the outset of the course and developed throughout the three years. Both manual and computer techniques, with Illustrator software, are developed.

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Illustration by Emma O’halloran

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Illustrations by Phoebe Button (2016)

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Illustrations by Verity Esaw (2015)

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Illustration by Angharad Lanning (2016)

 


portfolio

The portfolio is a key tool for the students to communicate their design ideas and is systematically developed and refined over the three years. Students cover a broad range of projects enabling them to create a strong and diverse body of work to ensure greater employability. As well as our in house live projects with well known Fashion companies the students also take part in national and international design competitions, enabling them to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the contemporary fashion market. Portfolio techniques are introduced and explored using a mix of traditional craft techniques as well as employing CAD applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign.

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Photo: Sam Chick

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Portfolio by Phoebe Button (2016)

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Portfolio by Laetitia Berthier


placement

placement option allows the students a wonderful opportunity to experience the realities of Fashion Design, by entering the world of companies such as Roland Mouret, Alice Temperley, Todd Lynn, and Karen Millen amongst others.  These companies form part of our fashion database, which has been developed over many years outlining details to support the students in their search for a placement in their dream company.

The insight into the ways the industry works and the chance to practice and develop new skills is always an exciting part of the year. From the feedback we receive from the various companies this is such a valuable experience for the students; the companies involved are always very positive and encouraging in their comments to outline how hard working, enthusiastic and dedicated our students have been.

View previous posts about placements

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exchange

In year 2 students have the option to go on an Exchange for 3 months to one of our partner institutions. We have partners all over Europe including Paris, Berlin and Barcelona. The prerequisite is a GCSE A-C of the language of the country in which you wish to study. Beyond Europe we also have opportunities in India, Australia and Canada which are English speaking. This gives students the opportunity to experience living and studying in another country.

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Fashion Design Rochester student Laetitia Berthier’s snapshots from her Berlin exchange

 


live projects

live projects are an important part of the curriculum. The course has excellent links with industry both through live projects with Warehouse, Reiss and Margaret Howell and external competitions as well as collaborations with industry experts.

View previous posts about live projects

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Warehouse project – year 1 (2013)

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Warehouse project – year 1 (2013)

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Reiss project – year 2 (2013)

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Reiss project – year 2 (2013)


competitions

It is very important the students have a platform to demonstrate their design ability externally in order to start to make industry contacts and develop a strong portfolio.  We take part in both national and international competitions and have achieved some great successes such as Best Womenswear and the overall Gold Prize at Graduate Fashion Week. We have had finalists in the Fashion Awareness Direct (FAD) competition for two years running, enabling those students to show their work on the catwalk at London Fashion Week. Students have scooped prizes for their drawing and portfolio work too, including winning the RiverIsland Menswear Design competition. As a result of our success in such competitions the course is well recognised in industry and this really opens doors for students when looking for placements and employment.

View previous posts about competitions

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FAD competition submission by Levi Ibrahim (2016)

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FAD competition submission by Levi Ibrahim (2016)

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FAD competition submission by Levi Ibrahim (2016)

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FAD competition submission by Charlotte Goodayle (2016)

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FAD competition submission by Charlotte Goodayle (2016)

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FAD competition submission by Charlotte Goodayle (2016)

 


shows & exhibitions

We think it is  very important that students get as many opportunities as possible to exhibit their work whilst they are with us. We take part in both the static exhibition and catwalk exhibition at Graduate Fashion Week in London each year. As The GFW show is a selected show we also have another catwalk  show for all graduating students which is often in London. For the past two years it has been at the prestigious Christ Church Spitalfields in the heart of Shoreditch. The first and second years also get a chance to show their work at an in house end of year catwalk show. All students are able to get involved in the production of the shows which is a fantastic learning experience in itself. We are part of the British Fashion Council Colleges Forum and each year get an opportunity to present final year portfolios to Fashion companies at a special graduate preview event in London. We also take part in a similar event with the Textile Institute.

View previous posts about shows

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Graduate Fashion Week 2015

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Graduate Fashion Week 2015

 


staff

The diverse staffing base brings a wealth of professional experience – many staff members continue to work in fashion, ensuring that practice and teaching in the course reflects the latest industry standards.

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Photo: Sam Chick

Maxine Bosman, Technical Tutor/ Garment Construction

Studied: Medway College of Art & Design; National Diploma in Clothing Craft, City and Guilds 466 & 486 Christchurch College Canterbury; BA (hons) Professional Studies – Post 16 Education and Training.

Background: Kentwear Clothing Company 1978-1986: Sample room assistant, promoted to Sample room manager in 1980.  Responsibilities included overseeing the making of first samples and black and gold seals, quality control on production runs, set up pleating dept and made the master patterns for pleating.

Teaching experience: 26 years

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester:  Curriculum content, excellent facilities & skilled staff, friendly atmosphere.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Lucy Chick, Senior Lecturer and Design Tutor

Studied: BA [Hons] Fashion and Textiles Middlesex University , MA Fashion Knitwear The Royal College of Art, and PGCE [Art and Design Education] University for the Creative Arts

Teaching experience: 7 Years

Professional background: Menswear and Knitwear Designer, Reiss, Tommy Hilfiger USA, Pringle of Scotland, Gieves and Hawkes.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: The dedicated staff, talented friendly students and exciting fashion shows.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Karen Colhoun, Technician – Fashion Production

Studied: BA (hons) Fashion Design, The Nottingham Trent University

Taught: I have taught at UCA Rochester for one year, before that I taught in adult education and privately for four years.

Professional background: I worked for many years as Wardrobe Mistress in the costume departments on various West End Musicals, both on National Tours and in the West End.

Best thing about studying at Rochester: To study at Rochester gives you amazing access to old and new technology, fantastic space to work in, creative people to talk to and learn from. That’s just within UCA, outside the building you have a castle, cathedral, river and woods and a whole host of things to inspire!

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Kirstie Flanagan, Pattern Technician

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion Design, University for the Creative Arts at Rochester, Kent.

Taught: One great demonstration (or for accuracy, 0 years)

Professional background: As a recent graduate I have mainly worked as an intern for a small range of companies.

Best thing about studying at Rochester: The courses constantly update and change, taking into account feedback from the students, and the projects get better every year. Also the links to industry and visiting tutors are incredible.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Lorraine Hartness, Technical Tutor-Pattern Cutting

Studied: Diploma in Art & Design, Cumbria College of Art & Design, BA (Hons) European Fashion, UCA Rochester and PGCert in Higher Education, Greenwich University

Teaching experience: 13 years

Professional background: Pattern cutter in Bridal Wear, eveningwear, separates and costume. City & Guilds Fashion Tutor. Mixed media Artist in accessories and painting.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: The facilities to enable the progression into the fashion world and the diversity of people’s expertise.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Donna Ives, Course Leader

Studied: BA Fashion Design with Textiles Manchester  School of Art. PGCert CLTAD (University of the Arts)

Teaching experience: 19 years

Professional background:  Womenswear, lingerie and childrenswear designer and pattern cutter for high street and mid market in the UK, Europe and Japan. Trend packages for jersey and lingerie ranges for the UK.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Great space, friendly environment and an enjoyable introduction to a career in Fashion.

 


 

Gary Kaye, Sessional drawing/illustration tutor.

Studied: Newcastle Polytechnic (now University of Northumbria). BA (hons) Fashion

Taught: 10 years +

Professional background: Early career in design and illustration in Ready to Wear and Trend Forecasting in Paris and London. Subsequently as freelance illustrator for fashion publications, magazines, newspapers and design consultancies.

Best thing about studying at Rochester: Creative atmosphere.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Helen Kerr, Cam Technical Tutor

Studied: Medway College of Design

Teaching experience: 13 years

Professional background: Manual pattern cutter for Miller Textiles in teenage girls & men’s jackets, Manual & Gerber (cam) pattern cutter for Courtaulds Leisurewear, menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, babywear, swimwear, Gerber(cam) pattern cutter for Karen Millen womenswear, Gerber(cam) pattern cutter for Rayner & Sturges, bespoke mens shirts

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Industrial standard teaching, great for future employment.

 


 

Lorraine Leckenby, Visiting Lecturer Pattern Cutting Tutor

Studied: BA (hons) Fashion Design at Portsmouth College of Art and more recently Gerber training at London College of Fashion.

Teaching experience: 1 year

Professional background: started out as a Designer/ Pattern Cutter working on High Street Brands then later  focused on pattern cutting both manual and using a Gerber system.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: The support and encouragement the students receive.

 


 

Connie Lim, Visiting Lecturer Illustration Tutor

Studied: Art Center College of Art and Design, Central Saint Martins

Teaching experience: 2 years

Professional background:  Connie Lim is a professional illustrator and designer from Los Angeles, California. She has trained at prestigious universities such as the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and Central St. Martins in London. As an artist specializing in Fashion, she merges the two loves (fashion and art) to create unique and striking images. In couture, Connie loves traditional drawing and painting, using a mixture of pencil and pen as well as watercolour and gouache. Connie is currently living in London and is a lecturer at UCA Rochester and a short course lecturer at Central Saint Martins and CSVPA. Her clients have included Guerlain, Louboutin, Bulgari and Revlon New York. Her work has been featured in books including Martin Dawber’s Great Big Book of Fashion Illustration, and The Beautiful, published by Gestalten. Her recent works include illustrating Paris Haute Couture 2016 for ShowStudio.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Organization and passion towards the students!

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Tim O’Sullivan, Pattern Cutting Tutor

Studied: BA Fashion University of Westminster

Teaching experience: 5 Years

Womenswear Pattern Cutting and Product Development for the Luxury Market –  multi product from Lingerie and Tailoring through to Red Carpet.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Being surrounded by the most incredible team of fashion experts!

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Olaf Parker, Visiting Lecturer Fashion Design

Studied: BA (Hons) Printed Textiles, Camberwell School of Art

Teaching experience: 16 years

Professional background: Menswear Designer and consultant. Co-Founder and Creative Director of Menswear Brand “Burro”. Fashion consultant BBC Learning.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Working with enthusiastic students.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Richard Pattison Visiting Lecturer Menswear Pattern Cutting Tutor

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion Design, Trent Polytechnic (Nottingham Trent University)

Teaching experience: 4 years

Professional background: Menswear pattern cutter. Director of a pattern cutting studio that specialises in pattern and product development for UK menswear brands or all market levels. Clients include: Hardy Amies, Dunhill, Nicole Farhi, Reiss, Jigsaw, Hentsch Man, Natural Selection.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Tutors who are experts in their field.

 


 

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Anne Reimers, Senior Lecturer in Contextual Studies and Fashion Theory

Studied: History of Art, Philosophy and Italian Philology at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität of Bonn (Germany) and in Rome (Magister Artium, Distinction)

Teaching experience: 8 years

Professional background: 7 years as Fashion Theory Tutor at UCA Rochester and Epsom, PgCert from UCA, Currently writing a PhD on “Modernity, Fashionability and the Image in Berlin, 1924-29” at University College London (UCL), writes since 2006 for the newspaper FAZ about the London art market

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester:It’s close to the quirky seaside towns of Kent, such as Margate and Whitstable. Rochester’s great selection of vintage shops, the historic dockyards and Restoration House.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Adam Sach, Visiting Lecturer, Fashion Design

Studied: MA Fashion Menswear, Royal College of Art, London, BA (Hons) Fashion, Kingston University, London

Teaching experience: 3 years

Professional background: Menswear Design – Freelance Design Consultant, Aquascutum, Nicole Farhi, French Connection, COS

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Working with the students and seeing them develop.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Kath Smith, Senior lecturer & Pattern co-ordinator

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion, University of Northumbria at Newcastle

Teaching experience: 6 years

Professional background: Started as Womenswear pattern cutter for high street brands such as Whistles and Reiss, then became freelance pattern cutter for London based designers including Temperley, Luella and Roksanda Illincic. Multi product, but specialising in structured Womenswear, Tailoring and strapless garments.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Great facilities, close to London & has exciting live projects.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Sarah Stacey, Fashion Theory Tutor

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion at Surrey Institute of Art and Design/UCA Epsom, MA Cultural and Critical Studies at Birkbeck University of London.

Teaching experience: 8 years

Professional background: Contextual Studies/Fashion theory tutor at LCF, UCA Epsom, Central St Martins

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Dedicated contextual studies units for fashion students

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Stuart Stockdale, Design Tutor

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion Design – Central St. Martins and MA Fashion Womenswear at the Royal College of Art.

Taught: Sessional over a number of years  in combination with design assignments.

Professional background: Designed for well known brands in all the major Fashion capitals across both Womenswear and Menswear. Specialist in the Design Direction of heritage and lifestyle brands.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: First rate facilities, Beautiful inspiring surrounding and top level tuition.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Belgin Vehbi, Visiting Pattern Tutor

Studied: Fashion Design HND, London Collage of Fashion and MA Fashion, University of East London

Teaching experience: 22 Years

Professional background: Creative pattern cutting with a particular focus on draping for many industry clients as well as pattern tuition.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: The Fashion Design department has good work ethics . The programme provides the students with a platform to shine and excel in their chosen area . The staff are all very experienced and dedicated to delivering an exciting challenging and interesting  course . The students are really  fortunate  to have a varied and talented team teaching them in all the year groups.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Denise Ward, Senior Lecturer & Gerber co-ordinator

Studied: National Diploma in Clothing Craft, City and Guilds 466 & 486, Medway College of Art & Design.

Teaching experience: 8 Years

Professional background: Production Manager for Womenswear and Childrenswear High St Retailers– overseeing all elements of product development including the use of Gerber technology.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: Variety of specialist equipment, accessibility to London & the opportunity to do work experience.

 


 

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Photo: Sam Chick

Jemma Willis, Senior lecturer and 1st year co-ordinator

Studied: BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles, University of Central England. PGCert in Higher Education, University of the Arts London

Teaching experience: 10 years.

Professional background: Menswear designer, woven fabric and shirt designer and corporate wear. Freelance designer to high street brands.

Best thing about Fashion Design Rochester: The enthusiasm of staff and students and diversity of projects.


career prospects

Our graduates go on to work an extensive range of careers in the fashion industry, including design, creative cutting, illustration, design room management, production management and garment technology. They have progressed in careers all over the world, including:

• Comme des Garçons, Balenciaga, Lanvin and Givenchy in Paris

• Max Mara and Prada in Italy

• Burberry, Stella McCartney, Reiss, Jigsaw and Karen Millen in the UK.

The course also prepares students to go on to a range of post graduate courses both practice and written based. These include our own at UCA as well as The Royal College of Art, St. Martins, Kingston and London College of Fashion.

Read interviews with Fashion Design Rochester alumni 

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Photo: Sam Chick


why rochester?

  • 45 minutes from London by train
  • Train connections to Paris and Europe via near Ebbsfleet station
  • Big community of fashion students across 6 different fashion courses along with photography, jewelry and product design students which provides an excellent opportunity for collaborations and networking.
  • Vintage shops
  • Affordable accommodation
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Photo: Sam Chick