The Fashion & Textiles pathway covers the specialisms of textile, fashion and costume design.
The area is driven by playful experimentation, utilising drawing and making skills to explore practical and theoretical ideas. At the heart of the FT pathway is the design and manipulation of materials, from textile designers who create and enhance fabrics, to fashion and costume designers who manipulate them into garments.
The FT pathway is future thinking, innovative in its creation and use of materials. Sustainability is essential to the future of FT industries and is mirrored in the approaches of the FT pathway, with an ethical, responsible approach to designing and making.
The FT pathway allows for stories and narratives to evolve, incorporating highly personal approaches to character and concept to be explored. Communication in this respect is key, as FT designers often work collaboratively or as part of a larger chain, needing to effectively communicate through drawing, making and photography.
Where is it seen?
Fashion and textiles exists all around us, from geometric woven bus seats to highly functional waterproof jackets, decorative architectural exterior wall cladding to intricate embellishment on fashion garments. It exists in the colours and fabrics that you choose to wear or in the patterns and surfaces you decorate your home with. It exists in the inventive characters that are explored through stage costume or through the polished styling of garments in blogs and journals.
Which degree courses could this lead to?
TEXTILES: Applied Textiles, Constructed Textiles (Weave & Knit), Embroidery, Fashion Fabrics and Accessories, Mixed-Media Textiles, Surface Design (Printed & Embellished), Textile Design, Textiles for Fashion Textiles for Interiors, Textiles in Practice, Textile Design for Fashion.
FASHION: Accessories Design (Millinery, Footwear, Leather Goods), Bespoke Tailoring Clothing Design & Technology, Fashion Contour, Fashion Design, Fashion Knitwear, Fashion Technology, Womenswear, Menswear, Fashion Sportswear, Fashion Design with Knitwear, Fashion Print.
FASHION COMMUNICATION: Fashion Communication, Fashion Marketing, Fashion Promotion, Fashion Buying and Merchandising, Fashion Promotion, Fashion Management, Fashion Film, Fashion Illustration, Art Direction.
COSTUME: Costume Construction, Costume Design, Costume for Performance, Costume Interpretation, Theatre Design.
What career opportunities does a Fashion & Textiles student have?
There are a huge range of careers that Fashion & Textiles graduates are equipped to pursue, such as designers, designer makers, trend analysts, researchers, buyers, stylists and illustrators. These careers could involve working in-house for a design company, freelancing or setting up your own business as an artist or designer.
You could be a fashion designer or maker of: womenswear, menswear, knitwear, lingerie, childrenswear, accessories or footwear. You could be working in fashion marketing, styling, promotion, buying, sourcing or merchandising, or as a garment technologist, pattern cutter, colour analyst trend forecaster. Graduates from Fashion & Textiles courses also work in all levels of the international fashion industry, as designers, stylists, consultants, freelancers, journalists, illustrators, retailers, buyers, merchandisers and other fashion business-related roles.
As a Fashion & Textiles graduate you could be a costume designer/maker for television, film, theatre, performance or dance productions, a costume props maker, costume supervisor, wardrobe mistress, costume consultant or buyer.
What qualities does a successful Fashion & Textiles student need?
You might be excited by materials (2D or 3D) and keen to explore how materials work physically with your hands.
You might already have some knowledge or skills in Fashion & Textiles processes or a curiosity of how fabrics are constructed.
Drawing is a big part of the Fashion & Textiles pathway and integral to all disciplines within it. This exists in both a functional format to communicate your ideas, and as a way to explore colour, mark, shape and form. Even if you are not confident with your drawing, you will learn how to utilise it as a strength in your design work!
You need to be playful, willing to test ideas and see where they take you without focusing on the final outcome.
The Fashion & Textiles industries are structured around briefs set by external sources, so a willing enthusiasm when given new briefs is essential.
You might have an awareness or appreciation of colour, excited by unusual colour combinations and the impact that colour can have on shape, surface, pattern and form.
You do NOT need to know how to sew in order to become a Fashion & Textiles student!
The Fashion & Textiles Pathway: Our structure and values
Curiosity, Engagement, Play, Experimentation, Community
The Fashion & Textiles pathway is built around the studio as a creative collaborative community, full of exciting, fast paced projects that help you work out which field within Fashion & Textiles you want to specialise in. The initial projects are designed to get you thinking and making, exploring colour, pattern, form and structure alongside practical and theoretical problem solving. The emphasis within the Fashion & Textiles pathway is on the variations and iterations that can be found within design, and you will be working hard to come up with lots of solutions to your own design based problems. Conversations, tutorials and group crits form the structure of the teaching in the Fashion & Textiles pathway, alongside practical workshops run both by Fashion & Textiles staff and specialist workshop technicians.