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.
Students then developed their take on the trend boards over a 10 week period. Gemma and Blake returned in February and spent the day with the students in their Toile Reviews. This gave students the opportunity to alter designs, consider fabric choices and discuss if the design was appropriate for the brand.
The project culminated into a ‘Pop up Shop’ where students presented a selection of sketchbooks, design boards, Retail Reports and final garments. All students were asked to produce a final outfit in correct fabric. River Island spent the morning of the ‘Pop up Shop’ day looking through the work and giving feedback. Gemma and Blake then spoke to a selection of students who they have asked to forward their CV with the possibility of securing a work placement.
Feedback was extremely positive and River Island was very impressed with both the technical and creative aspects of the work. River Island felt every student had understood the brief and what the brand stands for. River Island and the Fashion Design staff were blown away by the work and commitment given by every student and are looking forward to our next collaboration.