Print Design Student Ellie Bennewith’s placement experience

Printed Textiles Student Ellie Bennewith offers us an insight into the experience she gained through the Industry Placement Module.

During my second year I was exposed to multitude of exciting roles within the textile industry. Two roles that I’ve explored within printed textiles were working with the team at Fairbairn and Wolf Studio (FWS) and designing in-house for a week with Blendworth Interiors.


I really enjoyed my time at FWS (a freelance studio based in Peckham) not only did I learn a lot about the industry but I learnt what it’s like to be part of a design team and create relationships with other designers. My week at Blendworth Interiors was a completely different atmosphere because fashion is much faster than interiors. The pace was much slower, which, allowed designers to have more time to consider and create stories for each of their designs. I think I preferred the faster pace as FWS, it was ‘mental’ at times but I left the studio proud of what I had achieved. This has really helped me to discover which area of the textile industry I would like to go into. I think, before my placement, I was definitely leaning towards interiors but now I like the intensity of the fashion industry.

This experience has been invaluable to my development as a designer. On reflection, I have developed key skills that will make me more employable, such as, improving my CAD skills and developing a commercial hand on screen and paper. I built on my transferrable skills as I listened to feedback to improve my independent work but also experienced what it is like to work within a design team – an experience which cannot be replicated at university.

I’ve been exposed to experiences that can only happen on placement, like the preparation for tradeshows and getting to assist a client. Through working with FWS I’ve become more aware of culture impacting the concept of taste, as a result it has forced me to work out of my comfort zone and develop an awareness of how the textile industry works on a global scale.  This will have a significant impact on my studies when I enter my third year as I will recognise and be able to produce a cohesive collection demonstrating a variety of skills.

Before I started my placement, I had my reservations, I was afraid to start in a new environment with completely new people. But the experience was far better than I expected, I loved doing the Placement Module. After being in education all my life, it was a fantastic opportunity to try something different and have a taste of what life could be like after I graduate. For such a long time I convinced myself that all I wanted to do, once I left education, is travel around the world before the stress of getting a job. Since my placement, my opinion changed, the prospect of getting a job in an industry that I love is more exciting than travelling. Something I never thought I would say!!

2018 Fashion and Sustainability Forum

Join the conversation and let’s consider how we can change the future for the better. Don’t wait for someone else to solve the problem – respond to the challenge and become the expert.

This event is open to staff and students of Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton and selected guests and visitors. Tickets are free and the event is all day, so drop in to see one speaker, or stay all day. Availability of seating may be limited at some of the talks.

‘There are three things we touch upon every day that greatly impact the world around us: fuel (energy), food, and fashion. The first two are now wholeheartedly studied and worked upon. It is now fashion’s turn to inform and dazzle us with what is possible, to provide the moral imperative to change every aspect of producing and purchasing our second skin.’ (Paul Hawken)

The MA Fashion Design and Textile Design Interim Exhibition opens on the same day, showcasing our MA students’ work in progress, highlighting non-waste, zero-waste pattern cutting and sustainable design.

Agenda for the day:

11.00 – Start of the forum

11.05 – Julian Payne, Creative Director of De La Rue – and designer of the Jane Austen bank note! Talking about cash.

11.45 – Sarah Klymkiw, educator, researcher and campaigner from TRAID – Can We Fix Our Reationship with Clothes?

12.30 – Zoe Olivia John, lecturer, researcher and co-founder of Engage by Design, presenting her Strategies for Sustainable Fashion and Textile Design.

13.15 – Lunch

14.15 – Sarah Hellen, menswear designer, lecturer and researcher. Talking about her collaborations with local, independent, sustainable businesses in Wales.

15.00 – Katie Jones, knitwear designer mixing playful aesthetics with serious ethics. Talking about the two sides of sustainable fashion that relate to her brand.

15.45 – Catherine Weetman, Director of Re-think Solutions, and author of A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains. Talking about fast fashion and the circular economy.

16.30 – Kate Langham, lecturer and researcher, and formally Creative Director of Interface, recognised as one of the most sustainable businesses worldwide.. Talking about Interface’s global rebranding project and the development of Mission Zero.

17.15 – Charty Durrant, ex fashion editor of Vogue, The Sunday Times, and Fashion Consultant and Ethical Fashion Expert, ending the day with a call to arms, offering some groundbreaking new solutions for fashioning the future.

18.00 – 20.00 Drinks, networking and Private View for the MA Interim Exhibition. All welcome.


F-W-S Industry Project with Printed Textiles

This semester London and Shanghai based design studio F-W-S came in to work with the second year Printed Textiles students. The brief required the students to develop design ideas quickly and creatively using the print workshop as a place to generate ideas rather than just as a place to produced finished designs.


Tali Furman, creative director, and Alex Poyner, designer and WSA alumni, came in to give an all-day workshop at the beginning of the brief. The students then had to independently develop a large selection of design ideas and resolved outcomes for critical review, working in the ethos of the studio.


At critical review Tali Furman joined academic staff and to give feedback and select students for potential summer internships. At the end of the project Tali invited 4 students for interview – Cassie MacDonald, Aleks Lund, Vivian Ge and Paulina Nieduzak. 

Textile Forum – The Fashion Fabric Show – Next Week

October 12th -13th / 10-6pm

Marylebone, London


Textile Forum was founded in 2002. It now attracts designers and fabric buyers from major retail groups and brands, established fashion businesses and start-ups, as well as the next generation designers from the top fashion and textile colleges.

Exhibitors supply fabrics, with a small quantity option, to provide inspiration for menswear, womenswear and childrenswear collections, including daywear, eveningwear, bridalwear, lingerie and accessories.

For details and to register go here

Made You Look at The Photographers’ Gallery

MADE YOU LOOK / Dandyism and Black Masculinity

15 Jul – 25 Sep 2016 at The Photographers’ Gallery


From studio portraiture to street photography, this exhibition brings together a group of geographically and historically diverse photographers whose imagery explores black masculinity as performance, as play, as invention – in particular through the adoption of a dandy-esque persona.

In the early 21st century, black men are among the most influential trendsetters in fashion, music and global style culture. Yet high visibility for black men is matched by high vulnerability – as illustrated by disproportionate rates of arrest and incarceration for black men in the UK and USA.

Made You Look explores dandyism as radical personal politics, a willed flamboyance that flies in the face of conventional constructions of the black masculine. It proposes that the black ‘dandy’, with his extravagant emphasis on dress foregrounds a hyper-visible identity which counters the heighted vulnerability, the result of a charged history of objectification. In the context of this exhibition, dandyism isn’t simply about sharp dressing but rather, consciously problematising ideas of male identity through dress or deportment that is arresting, provocative, louche, camp and gloriously assertive.

Making & Unmaking: An exhibition curated by Duro Olowu

19 June – 18 September 2016 at The Camden Arts Centre


Making & Unmaking, curated by Duro Olowu (b. 1965, Lagos), is the latest in our series of artist-selected shows. Duro Olowu is a celebrated fashion designer whose bold innovations with pattern, colour and shape reveal his early influences living between Nigeria and Europe, and his ongoing fascination with the world. His fluency with diverse aesthetics can be seen in the clothes he makes as well as the exhibitions he has curated, which combine antique textiles with his own fabric designs, bringing together discordant colours and patterns alongside disparate cultural forms.

Filling all three galleries, the Central Space, Reading Room and Garden, this exhibition draws together over 70 artists from around the world spanning this century and the last, including 19th century textiles made by unknown hands. Individually, each work has a story to tell; collectively, they begin a conversation in which visual, narrative and thematic relationships unfold. This eclectic collage of works, some of which have strong political undercurrents, addresses issues surrounding cultural identity, sexuality and the representation of the body. Olowu’s exhibition invites a multifaceted journey of encounters with the intuition, skill and vision of the artists represented within it.

Refabricate Exhibition featuring Sally Amberton

This is the last week to catch Refabricate, the current exhibition in the WSA Gallery exploring the relationships between textiles and art and featuring the work of Printed Textile student Sally Amberton. Her involvment in the show came about from conversations at the cross-disciplinary ‘Hookers Knitters and Stitchers’ Society of which Sally is president.

Her contribution to the show includes two hand embroidered portraits and a hexagon patchwork quilt top made of cotton and paper, using the English Paper Piecing technique. Here Sally tells us a bit more about her quilt piece.
“Nowadays quilt enthusiasts and historians learn about women’s lives by finding and investigating papers within historic quilts. Quilt makers would use scraps of paper from newspapers of the day but also any other paper could be used this way. Shopping lists, notebooks and other pieces of paper captured in quilts now provide valuable insight into women’s history. By showing the underside of a quilt top makes the fragments of paper used to piece the patchwork visable and happens to tell a story of my life too.
The underside of this patchwork reveals fragments of documents from conferences and events I organised working at the University of Oxford, pieces of hand-outs and Power Point presentations on Climate Change, I created with Sir David King, diary fragments, examples of my handwriting, documents of my application to University and process photos and designs created whilst studying at Art School are all in the mix. What might look like the boring side actually quietly places me in history and tells the story of my life.
Quilters always want to be able to look at the back of quilts usually displayed flat against a wall and it tickles me to be at once showing the papers that one never gets to see whilst infuriatingly hiding the colourful and varied designs which which will become the front of a quilt, knowing how it will make people want to touch the work and see the hidden other side.”
The show is on until 12.05.2016  and open daily.

The Workers at Standpoint Gallery, London

Printed Textile Design tutor Caitlin Hinshelwood is showing some new large scale textile pieces as part of the group show ‘The Workers’ at Standpoint Gallery, London.


Successful artists have always employed studio assistants, their contribution glossed over in the narratives surrounding the artworks. ‘The Workers’ interleaves pieces by five artists who have been Susan Collis’s long-term studio assistants, together with some new drawings by Collis.

Alongside their making for Collis, all of the selected artists are art practitioners in their own rights. They tend to share an affinity with her way of working, but at the same time, their diverse backgrounds and approaches to art-making have contributed to the life of the studio.

In acknowledging these relationships, the exhibition makes visible an obscured economy of manufacture, informal training and subsumed creativity. It values the unvalued, choosing to celebrate lines of mutual support, cross-pollination and resonance. The creative frustrations that come with making another artist’s work – all the input that is absorbed, all that is discarded – play against the satisfactions and energies of social making. The years of the studio generate a micro-culture, a studio language of jokes, methodologies, improvisations, and idiosyncratic habits that bubble up in these works.

Social Fabric: African Textiles Today

Until 29 May 2016 at the William Morris Gallery, London

Open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am – 5pm; free


Social Fabric explores how the printed and factory-woven textiles of eastern and southern Africa mirror the changing times, fashions and tastes of the region. Bringing together kanga from Kenya and Tanzania, and shweshwe from southern Africa the exhibition reveals how these fabrics express the social, political, religious, emotional and even sexual concerns of the people who wear them.

The varied patterns and inscriptions are thought provoking and sometimes humorous. They convey an unspoken language, expressing thoughts and feelings which cannot always be spoken out loud. Worn in both secular and sacred contexts, the fabric plays a central role in all major rite-of-passage ceremonies in women’s, and in some cases, men’s lives.

The exhibition will reveal how these types of wearable cloth mirror the convergence of African tastes and patronage with strong historical and contemporary trading ties from across the globe. It will also explore how the cloth is used to celebrate influential people and great occasions, such as Josina Machel (above), Nelson Mandela or the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The exhibition also features contemporary art and fashion inspired by the textiles in the show. South African artist Lawrence Lemaoana uses kanga to explore the notion of power in post-Apartheid South Africa. Kapwani Kiwanga’s sculptural work draws our attention to how African fabric is not only a decorative object but also a medium for expressing the main concerns of society. The bold graphic print on the designs of London based fashion label CHiCHia was inspired by chief designer Christine Mhando’s favourite proverbs and sayings sourced from Tanzanian kanga.

Paid Fabric Internship at Celine

London based fashion label Celine are looking for a Fabric Intern to join their team to gain experience of the everyday running of a busy fabric team in a fast-paced high end luxury design house. This intern provides support to the fabric team developing new ideas and innovative fabric designs, preparing for fittings and shows.

Main responsibilities include:
• Offer ideas and inspiration on fabrics and development and propose creative solution
• Helping with the preparation of meetings (presentation cards, making boards with swatches, etc.)
• Research, design and development of new fabric concepts and technologies and propose ideas according to the Head of Fabric Development brief:
• Samples
• Colourways
• Design research for each collection
• Archiving collection fabrics
• Keeping records of the incoming fabrics
• Working with Photoshop to modify designs
• Dying swatches
• Demonstrate passion and affinity with the brand aesthetic
• Drive innovation and creative thinking
• General administration work (preparing DHL, etc.)

The ideal candidate should:
– have a background in textiles (print, weave, embroidery)
– be able to use Photoshop and Illustrator
– be a fast learner and wants to learn
– be good in a team
– work well under stress
– be precise, organised and able to multi-task.

The ideal candidate should have:
• MA Degree in textile design
• Strong computer skills (Excel, Word, Photoshop, Illustrator)
• Strong organisational skills
• A fluent level in English is essential and French would be an advantage

Salary  £280 per week

Internship Length 6 months

Closing date November 25, 2015

To apply go here