Fashion in the Real World

Jill Kirkham

Jill Kirkham

Jill Kirkham, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Fashion Design and Promotion was awarded a Robson Real World Experience Fund - and took some of her students to London to discover first hand about fashion.

The Robson Real World Experience Fund enables current staff in School of Art and Design to bid for up to £1,000 to support current students to undertake a live project or opportunity complementing current studies.

Jill Kirham's award allowed her to take a group of students to TexFusion in London in October. TextFusion was the first international fabric fair to be held in the UK, and has previously been held in Paris.

Jill wrote: "It is very important for the students to experience the "vibe" of being in London and to feel familiar with going there; many have not had that experience before, and it is really important to see their study of fashion as part of a larger national and international creative movement."

11 Students took part in a trip to London in order to visit  Tex Fusion, the world’s first textile fair in the UK. The students were very pro-active in making sure they got to speak to several of the exhibitors and had the opportunity to see more of the business side of the fashion industry in action.

They recognised the importance of networking at such events, observing how many business friendships and ex-colleagues were able to come together.

They said it made them feel excited to be part of this world and they felt confident being there and could visualise how they too could be part of it in the future; recognising that London is still a major centre for fashion communication.

The students also visited the Tate Modern for the first time  and were inspired by an exhibition called The Artists Room, by jenny Holzer.

They realised that by going to such diverse events they were opening up to much more challenging areas of research and inspiration which they felt would feed into their coursework. They also felt the experience had “opened their eyes” to how stimulating an environment London and this gave them the impetus to visit other key fashion cities, such as New Yok, Milan and Amsterdam.

The students all felt that the trip had been a boost to their confidence; several admitted they would not have gone there on their own, but now felt safer doing that and that they had bonded as a group.

They all wanted to express their appreciation and gratitude for the Robson family’s valuable sponsorship of this opportunity.

The students have arranged to talk about their experience to the new 2nd years and encourage them to go this year.

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