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fashion design rochester


Fashion Design The Fashion Design Course at Rochester has an international reputation for producing individual, highly skilled and creative practitioners capable of working within all levels of the industry. Graduates have gone on to excel and innovate in a wide range of careers such as design, product development, pattern cutting, pattern and garment technology. Our excellent links with the fashion industry from global brands such as H&M and Max Mara to British companies such as Reiss and Jigsaw ensure a healthy work placement provision for students within the curriculum and excellent prospects for employment. The programme has been developed in conjunction with the requirements of the fashion industry and includes live projects to ensure the students are well versed with the demands of the fashion industry. The exciting range of studio based projects and international competitions are underpinned by a broad base of skills, both traditional craft methods and new digital techniques. The deep rooted history of conceptual design, the craft of making clothes and computer aided manufacture has helped establish and cultivate the strong sense of craftsmanship and technological innovation which has earned the course a national and international reputation for producing a mix of innovative, creative and competent technical experts. The academic year 2013/2014 has celebrated further competition successes with finalists in the National Tailoring and Design Awards and Fashion Awareness Direct competition. As we go to print year two students are currently engaged in an exciting live project with international brand Tommy Hilfiger and, earlier in the year, the first year students were involved in a live project with high street retailer Warehouse. The Fashion Design students had the opportunity to go on a study visit to New York in December where they had a fantastic time soaking up the Manhattan culture and, of course, visiting the shops. We also had a trip to Paris in March to coincide with Paris Fashion Week and the start of the Dries Van Noten exhibition, which was thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. At the start of the year we were very excited at the launch our brand new course website, http:// which has given us the opportunity to share what is happening on the course. I hope you enjoy taking a peek at some of the fantastic work our very talented final year students have produced in this year’s magazine and also reading about how last year’s graduates are beginning to forge successful careers in the fashion industry since leaving us. Best wishes, Donna

Donna Ives - BA(hons) Fashion Design Course Leader at UCA Rochester



Dress by Charlotte Eastwood

Dress by Shristi Rai

Fashion Design Rochester: Styled by Abby Lake Photographed by Paul Astley



Dress by Selina Johnson


Jacket, Shirt & Trousers by Nelson Were


Jacket, Shirt & Trousers by Sereeta Venkanah


Jacket, Shirt & Trousers by Sereeta Venkanah

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Jacket & Dress by Natasha Spokes

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Top by Corey Thompson

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Garment by Xi Ming

Garment by Kirstie Flanagan

Fashion Design Rochester:

Illustrated by Xi Ming

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Garment by Rochelle Minors

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Garment by Lauren Hunt

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Garment by Lauren Hunt

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Garment by Shadeh Kavousian

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Coat by Sereeta Venkanah

Fashion Design Rochester: Still Life by Abby Lake & Brendan Geoghegan Photographed by Paul Astley

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Jacket by Briony Adams

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Dress by Rochelle Minors

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Top by Xi Ming

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Dress by Kirstie Flanagan

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Laetitia Berthier

Research & Sketchbooks | 27 |

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Lauren Hunt

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Shedeh Kavousian Shadeh Kavousian

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Shedeh Kavousian Laetitia Berthier

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Lauren Hunt

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Xi Ming

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returning to UK, I was approached about a freelance research assistant position with a South Africa-based retail group.

Class Of 2013 Hannah Smith

What does your current role entail?

My main task is to create trend and design packs from research set against a given brief, with my specialism of mens and boyswear. I research what other brands are doing and what trends are currently popular or will be popular for the next season. Briefs are given to me by the company as and when the research is needed. This gives me a lot of freedom with my working hours as I can dictate when I work and for how long, which I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do at the moment. A lot of this work is done on the computer so I work from home.

Looking back now, what were your highlights during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester?

Final year was amazing, it was such an interesting time and I developed and learnt so much. The last few months of final year were the most stressful but also the most rewarding and exciting. I also really enjoyed the project done in collaboration with Textiles students in second year as we worked with Margaret Howell, one of my favorite brands.

What’s the most important skill you learned during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester?

Time management and professionalism in every aspect of your work were things that I found to be important. These tools have also been vital to my successes since I graduated. The technical skills I learned are undoubtedly one of the most important things I learned. The level of technical skill and the understanding of fashion as product that we were taught is something that other graduates seem to lack. Also, we were always encouraged to be ourselves and to be nice to others you are studying with and treat them with respect rather than competing with each other which I think is a really useful view and skill to have obtained - there’s nothing worse than working with someone that has terrible people skills or is selfish and overly competitive. Being considerate and conscientious is vital in a team.

What have you been doing since you graduated in 2013? After graduating I obtained an internship at Marks and Spencer’s with their Autograph collection through a contact of one of my course tutors. I worked there for a few months before moving on to working as a Technical Design Assistant for a small designer brand called Studio Nicholson that sell to a predominantly Japanese market. Working there was exciting as I got to meet different people in the industry and travel around with the designer. Then I was given the opportunity to work for The Row in New York with their Technical Design Development team. This was the most amazing experience and the opportunity to live and work out there for 3 months was incredible. The internship was excellent, I learnt a lot about luxury market level and made some amazing friends and connections. On

What advice would you give to students either currently studying or thinking of studying Fashion Design at Rochester? To make the most of all the opportunities that are thrown your way, as long as those opportunities are right for you. Also to just enjoy it and explore and experiment, you’ll never be in this position of creativity and freedom again. Another thing is not to worry about or compare yourselves to others. People have their own working method and individual style, so take the time at university to experiment. My portfolio and final collection were very different to what others had done previously, but they were the best representation of me as a designer at the time and taking that chance and trusting my own decisions has helped me stand out and achieve what I have so far. | 38 |

Harrison Thom

Having the chance to learn to work in the way that felt best to me, not being expected to turn out a style of work that wasn’t true to myself. This freedom let me discover exactly what way of working worked best for me and led me to creating a body of work I was very proud to call my own and assist me in getting a job.

What advice would you give to students either currently studying or thinking of studying Fashion Design at Rochester? Create what you want to create and what feels right to you, don’t fixate on what you think people want to see. Take it upon yourself to gain as much experience as you can both in university and in your own time, it will all pay off.

Joanna Leon What have you been doing since you graduated in 2013?

I was lucky in that that fairly soon after graduating I started to get contacted by different companies about job opportunities. Due to a mix of lots of interning while in university and the work I did at university I was invited to various interviews which led to me securing work as a design assistant for Kilgour, Savile Row. I was extremely lucky to work under the creative director at Kilgour on the re-launch of this menswear design house. I worked there until 2014 learning a lot about design and tailoring in particular. This experience led me into my current job at AAK which I started at directly after Kilgour.

What does your current role entail?

My position at AAK is Menswear Designer/Technical illustrator. I have been extremely happy here and have been given a great deal of responsibilities. I design mens outerwear and tailoring for a range of clients. As part of my role, I get to design, present to clients, meet with fabric mill agents and I’m beginning to travel more both domestically and abroad as my experience and responsibilities grow.

Looking back now, what were your highlights during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester?

For me my final year of university at UCA was one big highlight. I loved every single part of creating my own collection and building my portfolio. I couldn’t have asked for a more friendly and enjoyable place to study.

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What have you been doing since you graduated in 2013?

After the Graduate Fashion Week 2013 show, I was offered an interview with Abercrombie and Fitch for a junior designer role in America. I was also one of a selection of students put forward for interview for a pattern cutting role at Tommy Hilfiger Europe. This interested me more and fortunately after submitting a project and completing a series of interviews I was offered the job. I had a fantastic start to my career with the opportunity to move to Amsterdam for a Junior Pattern Cutter role at Tommy Hilfiger, in the Hilfiger Denim division. Primarily using Gerber technology, I work on both Tommy Hilfiger Denim and Calvin Klein Jeans, across a range of products in both menswear and womenswear.

What does your current role entail?

I am responsible for supporting the head pattern cutter with cutting the patterns for the new collection each season, all fittings, sewing mock ups and ensuring high quality finishes are used on all samples. I measure and organize models for fittings and communicate with all the factories. Thankfully it is a very friendly atmosphere in my department and I work in a very supportive team. I love my job!

Lucinda Roberts

Looking back now, what were your highlights during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester? I completed many pieces of work that I am proud of over the 3 years of study and I learnt a lot from my tutors and the other students. The highlight has got to be a mixture of making some fantastic friends and seeing my final collection on the catwalk at Graduate Fashion Week.

What’s the most important skill you learned during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester?

The emphasis on time management really was the key skill to success as well as a lot of hard work. That does not only apply to university work but also efforts in job hunting. Gerber was also an essential skill; as I would not have the job I have now without it.

What advice would you give to students either currently studying or thinking of studying Fashion Design at Rochester?

For future students I would reassure you that this course is one of the best. There are plenty of facilities, space and lots of guidance available from tutors. They really do support you during your time of study and most importantly listen to you. Don’t let the location put you off; there is a direct train to London and like every fashion design course; it can become expensive at times but accommodation is much cheaper in Rochester compared to the capital. This makes the course affordable. To current students I advise you use all the opportunities with tutors and resources to experiment and have fun being creative, this way you’ll find out what area of fashion design and pattern cutting you enjoy most and may want to make a career of. Also use your free time (summer holiday etc.) to do work experience and meet people as it will only work to your advantage once you become a graduate!

What have you been doing since you graduated in 2013?

I am currently working at Marks and Spencer as Design Assistant on Autograph and Limited Collection. I secured this position after meeting someone who had worked on Limited Collection during Graduate Fashion Week in 2013.

What does your current role entail?

My job title is Design Admin Assistant but my main role is assisting the designers on Autograph. A lot of my time though is spent directly assisting the knitwear designer across Autograph and Limited Collection, which is great as I am learning something new that I knew nothing about. Working with such a commercial company gives a very different perspective on fashion that I hadn’t experienced before, there are a lot of different people to communicate with such as buyers or suppliers so I spend a lot of time on emails. I am constantly on Illustrator creating specs or on Photoshop CADing up and manipulating images.

Looking back now, what were your highlights during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester?

Working on my own thing was definitely the highlight during my final year at UCA Rochester. And looking back now, I miss it a lot! The creative atmosphere created by peers and tutors was also one of the points that stand out for me from UCA as well!

What’s the most important skill you learned during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester? There is not one skill that I can directly pin point as

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being the most important because I feel that every skill I learned was key to understanding how to design and work in the industry. Considering I use illustrator everyday, it is one of the key skills that I have taken from UCA.

What advice would you give to students either currently studying or thinking of studying Fashion Design at Rochester? To make the most and take everything you can from study. Be involved in everything and all opportunities that are presented to you. Fashion Design at Rochester I feel definitely prepares you for industry so would encourage any one that wishes to study at UCA Rochester to do it!

What does your current role entail?

I’m a designer specialising in woven tops. Working for a huge company like River Island has given me an amazing start in my career. I go to meetings with suppliers and work with factories in India. Working very closely with our in-house pattern cutters and machinists means that we can have garments made up exactly as we want them. Everyone here supports each other in the company because we are all working towards the same thing- it’s a really friendly and welcoming work environment.

Looking back now, what were your highlights during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester? Being in control of projects and having the freedom to be as creative as I wanted to be. Getting to work on live projects with companies like Warehouse and Margaret Howell was an amazing opportunity. UCA Rochester really prepared me for the working world. Without the help and support that the tutors gave me, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Being at a university that gets to showcase at Graduate Fashion Week was a great platform and helped me towards securing my dream job.

Emma Star

What’s the most important skill you learned during your time studying Fashion Design at UCA Rochester? Being at a university that offers a placement project in second year prepared me for working on my graduate collection, and getting ready for the working world. I interned at Giles Deacon for two months during the placement project. Working with such a well established designer gave me a great insight into the industry. It was there that I learnt about professionalism, teamwork, and dedication to a particular brand.

What advice would you give to students either currently studying or thinking of studying Fashion Design at Rochester?

What have you been doing since you graduated in 2013?

After showing at Graduate Fashion Week, I got some amazing coverage from sites such as WGSN and Vogue. I’m still constantly lending the collection out to different stylists and magazines. Straight after graduation, I was lucky enough to land my dream job working as a designer at River Island. I was head-hunted from GFW by the design manager and I’ve been working there ever since. I remember getting a call from our course leader saying ‘I’ve got someone from River Island here wanting to speak to you’ and it was one of the scariest most exciting moments of my life!

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You will be told different things by every tutor you speak to, this will also happen in the industry. Take what you want from your tutorials but always stay true to your own vision of who you are as a designer. If you strongly believe something will work then it probably will! Don’t let anyone change you. The tutors are all very knowledgeable- soak up as much of this as you can and enjoy your time university- UCA Rochester will be the best time of your life.

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Coat by Charlotte Eastwood

Featured Graduates Briony Adams 07724 463 146 Laetitia Berthier: 07866 993 681 Charlotte Eastwood 07917 787 706 Kirstie Flanagan 07969 514 904 Lauren Hunt 07969 508 251 Selina Johnson 07804 222 652 Shadeh Kavousian 07988 321 101 Xi Ming 07748 238 563 Rochelle Minors 07592 108 484 Katie Percival: 07530 908 618

Shristi Rai 07990 585 284 Natasha Spokes 07792 274 609 Corey Thompson 07429 463 697 Sereeta Venkanah 07583683195 Nelson Were 07803 065 307

Credits Art Director: Brendan Geoghegan* Photographer: Paul Astley Stylist: Abby Lake* Illustrator: Xi Ming** Make up & Hair: Natalie Notley * ** | 43 |

BA (hons) Fashion Promotion BA (hons) Fashion Design

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Dress by Shristi Rai

Course Info Fashion Design BA (Hons)

3 years full-time/ This award-winning and internationally-recognised course prepares you for a career in fashion. It is a skills-based course that takes you through the complete design process from initial concept and research, through to the design, cutting and manufacturing of a collection, specialising either in Menswear or Womenswear. You will develop and expand upon your portfolio throughout by learning and developing both traditional craft based skills as well as new and contemporary digital methods of design communication. Our course’s graduates 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. The course has excellent links with industry through live projects with prestigious collaborators such as Warehouse, Reiss and Margaret Howell, student submissions to external competitions and a placement opportunity in year 2. In addition to this, our course’s diverse staff bring a wealth of professional experience – many staff members continue to work in fashion, ensuring that practice and teaching on the course reflects the latest industry standards.


You have access to design, pattern and production studios with specialist industrial machinery enabling you to cut and manufacture garments; an industry-standard, unique computer-aided manufacture facility – Gerber; CAD facilities for portfolio development and access to fashion textiles digital printing resources.

Career opportunities

Our graduates go on to work in 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: •Commes des Garçons, Balenciaga, Lavin and Givenchy in Paris •Max Mara and Antonio Beradi in Italy •Burberry, Stella McCartney, Reiss, Jigsaw and Karen Millen in the UK Apply via UCAS W233 R BA/FasD

Typical entry requirements

Minimum entry criteria of 220 UCAS tariff points.


Portfolio to include an exploration of drawing techniques, experimentation with media, attention to presentation and annotated sketchbooks. We need to see at least one fashion design project. At interview we like to see a real passion for the subject.

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Katie Percival

UCA Fashion Design Rochester Magazine 2014  

A magazine* created for the fashion design course at the University for the Creative Arts, Rochester. Collaborating with BA(hons) Fashion...