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Your ‘how to’ guide in applying for Fashion at Northumbria from entry requirements to selection




A glimpse into Newcastle city life from a fashion student’s perspective


Prepare yourself for interview. Take a peek into our portfolio and visual C.V advice.


Guide yourself throughout Northumbria’s School of Design. Explore its facilities, events and exhibitions

Contemporary, Creative and Cutting edge. Allowing the curious to explore the London School through our chat with Head of Division; Sean Chiles.


Learn more about our Fashion Flocks though our interview with the Head of Northumbria University’s Fashion Department: Janine Munslow


Where are they now? Presenting Northumbria’s Fashion alumni, awards and shows



Showcasing the fellow international flocks and study exchanges available

Senior Lecturer Chris Hodge delves into the world of BA (Hons) Fashion Design


Programme Leader of BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing speaks of life on the course


Immerse yourself into Northumbria life; its Open Days and Summer School ~2~

Photography: Claire Andrews Suit: Julie Perry


BA (Hons) Fashion Communication Programme Leader provides a detailed account of Northumbria’s more recent Fashion addition


Northumbria’s Placement Co-ordinator Officer talks Fashion work experience

The Fashion Flocks 24) THIS SIDE OF THE BLUE

An introduction to Fashion at Northumbria from a male perspective


Fashion at Northumbria isn’t all about the final product but the process of getting there. Observe the working toiles of fourth year Fashion Design’s final garments


With commitment to ethical issues, explore first year Fashion Marketing students fair trade treats. Fashion has never been so friendly


A taster of the Fashion Communication


flock EDITOR IN CHIEF Claire Andrews CREATIVE DIRECTION Claire Andrews WORDS Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. INTERVIEWS Janine Munslow- Head of Fashion. Sean Chiles- Head of School of Design, London. Chris Hodge- Senior Fashion Lecturer. Fiona Raeside- Head of BA Fashion Marketing. Sarah McDonnell- Head of BA Fashion Communication. Kelly Boden- School of Design Placement Co-ordinator Officier. PHOTOGRAPHY Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. WARDROBE BA Fashion Sian Griffiths. Louise Dickinson. Timeeka Lanade. Jemma Page. Julie Perry. Victoria Kirby. Holly Farrar. Rachael Hewson. BA Fashion Marketing Charlotte Waite. Rosie Dobby. Amy Priestley. Alison Ross. Kerry Liddell. Gemma Harvey. WORK Sara Wilson- BA Fashion. Charis Younger- BA Fashion.Alex Embleton- BA Fashion Marketing. Rachael Hewson- BA Fashion. Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. Charmaine Ayden- BA Fashion Communication. Gemma Lewis- BA Fashion Communication. Charlotte Simpson- Graduate BA Fashion. Rio Maddison- Graduate BA Fashion. Hayley Pitman- Graduate BA Fashion Marketing MODELS Kate Willmore. Chris Richards. Charis Younger- BA Fashion. MAKE UP Laura Angel- MAC. Charis Younger- MAC. Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. STYLING Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. FASHION ASSISTANTS BA Fashion Communication Leanne Johnson. Charmaine Ayden. Nataleigh Taylor. Danielle Wood. PICTURES Provided by Laura Holmes- School of Design Conference and Events Executive. Fiona Akerman- School of Design Marketing Manager. Janine Munslow- Head of Fashion. Academy of Design- Sri Lanka. INTERVIEWEE ILLUSTRATIONS Adam Hogarth- BA Fashion. ONLINE MANAGEMENT Claire Andrews- BA Fashion Communication. With special thanks to Fiona Akerman, Leon Maurice, Christine Saunders and David Waters. ~4~


Janine Munslow Head of Fashion

Sean Chiles Head of Division School of Design, London

Chris Hodge Senior Fashion Lecturer

Fiona Raeside Fashion Marketing Programme Leader

Sarah McDonnell Fashion Communication Programme Leader

Kelly Boden Placement Co-ordinator




Flock is a creative contemporary, a celebration, a curious eye. It is a window for the illustrious world of Northumbria University’s Fashion Department. Realistic and reflective, Flock provides an authentic account of the life and experience of a Northumbria Fashion Student. It is the forum to catch a glimpse of students work, ideas and opinions and step into the minds of the Fashion lecturers. Taking you behind the scenes of each of the Fashion Departments Flocks; Fashion, Fashion Marketing and Fashion Communication, plus accompanying Schools, it helps find the right course for you. In conjunction with the Flock prospectus, the creation of it’s website allows Northumbria’s Fashion Department to come to life. Encouraging interaction with prospective students in our blog and providing further detail upon Northumbria’s Fashion Courses. With its primary campus based in the heart of Newcastle, Flock ambles through the city tapping into the variety of places the Fashion Flocks choose to hang out and ultimately become inspired by. It also provides you with further insight into the more recent School located in one of the fundamental Fashion capitals of the world; The School of Design, London. Flock is a fresh perspective on Fashion at Northumbria and a fascinating insight into your future. Claire Andrews Editor ~7~

CITY OF ANGELS A glimpse into Newcastle city life from a Fashion student’s perspective



Wandering around the streets of Newcastle, it’s difficult to pinpoint the most favoured fashionable hangouts for the students of Northumbria. Whether I’m scouring for wondrous finds in vintage haven Attica, sipping hot chocolate in Heaton’s trendy Butterfly Cabinet (café), or meandering by the North Sea with fish and chips in hand, there’s always something in Newcastle to keep me occupied. The average Northumbria fashion student can be spotted, well, anywhere around Newcastle. Throughout the Baltic (contemporary art gallery) roaming the exhibition rooms or flicking through arty magazines and books. In Nancy’s Bordello (bar), suitably situated two minutes from the School of Design, ordering well-deserved and well-served food and drinks. Taking a peaceful break in the beautiful Belsay Hall admiring the sculptural work of Stella McCartney’s situated within its grounds. Or just generally shopping, whether this is within the treasured vintage stores, the retro record shops, the infamous Fenwick’s, charming boutiques, or concept stores come galleries like Electrik Sheep. And with the ever expanding and refurbishing of Newcastle’s Eldon Square shopping centre, based in the heart of the city, there is plenty to see. As night falls and the clubs and bars open, there is an eclectic mix of places for student to party. Newcastle acquires for all musical tastes. You may find yourself along the Quayside, a delightful attraction in itself at night. Or hurrying along ‘the diamond strip’ within the centre of Newcastle, keen to miss the queue for the effortlessly cool bars; Madame Koos, Baby Lynch, Floritas and the reasonably priced Revolution. Or hanging out near ‘The Gate’, Newcastle’s


entertainment centre and popular student hot spot with venues such as Mood and Tiger Tiger to occupy you all night. Alternatively, you may be around the streets of Newcastle’s suburb; Jesmond. Lounging about in the 60’s/70’s inspired bar; Mr Lynch or eating in the suave As You Like It; a top-notch spot. So what about the places that inspire the Newcastle fashion scene? Well, besides the obvious array of galleries, we have handy haberdasheries and art stores. Newcastle also holds annual design events which includes, the aptly named, Design Event North East. This is a series of events and exhibitions curated within the North East helping to strengthen Newcastle’s design culture even more. Another area of inspiration, and a personal favourite, is the Northern Prop Hire Company. Based within a farm just outside of Newcastle, this place is popular amongst Fashion Communication students. Catering for photoshoot prop solutions and television productions, it contains an extensive range of items from signs to skulls, teacups to taxidermy and candlesticks to coffins. If that’s not inspiring enough, there are always the markets such as Tynemouth containing a treasure trove of quirky treats for you to admire or barter for. And finally should you ever fancy a change of scenery, there’s always the metro, central station or airport available at hand. In a recent chat with Senior Fashion lecturer Chris Hodge, he talked of the city, “Newcastle has got personality. It has a young spirit, with over 75,000 students in and around the Newcastle area. A lot of students come back or settle here after they graduate; I think that’s a really positive indicator.” As I continue to wander throughout Newcastle’s streets, I appreciate the experience the city has given me during my time at university. So, what’s Newcastle like as a fashion student? Well come and see for yourself. But in my opinion, its canny pet, canny.







BASED IN ‘CITY CAMPUS EAST’, the School of Design stands beside the School of Law and Business together creating an architectural structure reflecting the brain; the Design School inevitably representing the right, spatial side. Given the nature of its students, its only right that Northumbria’s School of Design has been designed this way. It is a regular occurrence to be welcomed into the School by a temporary design exhibition based within the foyer. These are often created by one of the departments, showcasing the work of students, staff and external peers within the industry. They can provide both motivation and inspiration to a design student whilst creating a sort of community atmosphere within the School. So what does the School contain exactly? Providing a brief ‘School of Design guide’ from a fashion student’s perspective, the ground floor is usually inhabited by the BA (Hons) Fashion Communication students. They can be typically found in lectures within the ground floor’s presentation room or working in the larger study spaces. Moving up to the first floor, you will catch fashion students wandering to and from the café, collecting snacks and drinks whilst on their breaks. The floor above is where you’ll find the School Office. Yes, that daunting place where you submit your completed work and receive your results. The second floor also contains the staff room. This is positioned beside the room of Placement Co~14~

ordinator Kelly Boden, a room you’ll regularly visit when wanting to discuss work experience opportunities. The third floor, or shall I say the Fashion floor, contains the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing students. A lively area, oozing with innovative ideas and continuous activity. Facilities are available on this floor to help with screenprinting, knit and garment manufacturing, letter pressing etc. It even contains a Mac computer suite and a haberdashery! An ideal home for any fashion student. The final floor on the fourth level holds even more computer suites. The photographic studio can also be found here, the usual place you would find the Fashion Communication student, aiming to extend their portfolios and enhance their expertise in photographic styling. The School’s Fashion Department has been widely recognised by a variety of names within the industry for its student’s work and practice. Features upon this have been found within magazines ranging from Drapers to Elle to I-D. Northumbria’s Fashion lecturers have clocked up a host of industry names they have worked with in their time. This may be from Vogue, Harpers and Queen to The Independent newspaper, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren to Vivienne Westwood. They remain at the head of the industry through their numerous contacts and organised field trips. Sure, the Newcastle’s School of Design students get to pay visits with their course to London but surely it can’t stop there? No. These students have had ~15~

the opportunity to travel a little further a field. Taking inspiration from the likes of New York, Barcelona and Milan, students get to learn more about the industry they are to be a part of and develop a stronger cultural attitude. As a whole, the School of Design provides a friendly, sociable atmosphere, much like Newcastle itself. But to prove how unified and approachable the nature of this School is, Flock caught up with Head of Fashion Janine Munslow to gain her input. “The School of Design offers a very holistic environment. Students swap their expertise and facilities with one another from different design disciplines within the School, which shows their goodwill. All of our design staff are very much integrated throughout these School’s departments meaning a cross-fertilisation of ideas. A lot interesting projects can be achieved from this. Should students choosing to use alternative materials such as wood and metal within their work feel they do not have the knowledge to, there is always somebody on hand to help.”

School of Design, London THE SCHOOL OF DESIGN, LONDON has its advantages. One obviously being its location situated in the heart of one of the worlds greatest Fashion and Design capitals. Filled to the brim with galleries, shows, attractions, fashion houses, and of course, fashion weeks, this buzzing big city is a great source of inspiration, perfect for any potential Fashion student to explore. Another, perhaps more hidden advantage of this Islington based School, is it’s expertise. Though it may be located many miles from that of its core; Northumbria University in Newcastle, its experience, attitude and the knowledge of its educators remain the same. Northumbria University’s reputation has simply diversified. So who better to discuss this School in further detail with than it’s Head; Sean Chiles? Sean has over thirty years of Fashion experience. Before training as a Menswear Fashion Designer at Central Saint Martins, he owned a business at Camden Lock Market selling to the likes of Annie Lennox and the eccentric Boy George. With experience of working worldwide in couture womenswear, Sean progressed his career on to being a design, buying and merchandising director. He has been involved in education for a long time, acted as a judge for the Royal Society of Art and Design and Graduate Fashion Weeks and now has become a part of the School of Design, London. Originally named the London Centre for Fashion Studies, the School of Design London was acquired by Northumbria University in 2008. S.C: I joined the school in July 2009 as Head of Division but the School had previously been running for about 15 years. FLOCK: What is the overall personality of the School of Design, London? S.C: It contains a contemporary approach to design and ~16~



experience through experiential learning. There is a dynamic quality about how the staff teach here and how the students learn.

and inspiring in their field of study. I’m sure that you’re aware that it becomes an actual life rather than just a job and you are dedicated to what you are doing twenty-four hours a day. I’m very interested in people who are open minded in terms of being broad in their approach to studies. People who are able to assimilate everything they are experiencing. Those who can manage, direct and dedicate themselves into the route that they want to follow to achieve the best that they can.

FLOCK: What undergraduate courses does the school provide? S.C: We provide two BA Hons courses one is Apparel Design and Retail Merchandising the other is BA (Hons) Fashion Product Management. These [courses] are for people who do not want to just design but look at other areas of the fashion business too. This may be buying, merchandising styling or areas of technical production and quality.

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES Apparel Design and Merchandising is a three-year course. It focuses upon design merchandising and retail manufacturing. Perfect for those hoping to pursue careers in buying, merchandising or product allocation.

FLOCK: What current links does the School of Design, London have with the Fashion industry? We have a variety of links with our visiting lecturers who also work in a number of businesses. We talk to organisations from within the commercial field. We work with Promostyl for example on lifestyle trends and are developing links with the lifestyle trend magazine; View. Even though we don’t have placements within our courses many of our students work with designers over the summer, connections we can build upon. FLOCK: What do you think fashion students can gain from studying at School of Design, London and why would you encourage a prospective student to come here?

Working closely alongside BA (Hons) Fashion Product Management in its initial semesters, this course has a strong commercial aspect, further developed in student’s second and third years of study. It is ideal for those wanting to explore the world of design and technology, which you will instantly learn within the early stages of this programme. In their second years of study, students will explore market research in greater depth from the merchandising of collections through to targeting particular markets.

S.C: We offer a good balance of exploration and innovation. We have a different approach to the creative industries and a cross pollination of subjects. Our students are not going to be channelled into only thinking about fashion, but have experience into looking into other subject areas as well.

These students will gain knowledge of the implications of a fashion business in terms of product pricing. They will learn about fashion supply chain in its entirety; from its process through to its effects on the producers and consumers involved. Interaction with the U.K fashion industry and the greater global marketplace will also be analysed.

FLOCK: How beneficial do you think it is for Northumbria University to extend its Fashion presence into the School of Design, London?

Throughout their remaining year, students select their particular areas of interest within this programme, conducting hands-on projects and dissertations in order to complete their degrees. And, as with all other Northumbria undergraduate fashion programmes, no examinations would be required.

S.C: I think it’s very beneficial for Northumbria but I also think for the creative industry as a whole. Students, particularly international students, often look to be in the capital city of a country and therefore this enables Northumbria to appeal to those students. We are an integral part of Northumbria’s School of Design but just so happens we are based in the capital city of London. Our values and quality standards are the same so its attractive to students from overseas and for many students who feel they can’t relocate to Newcastle. FLOCK: Do students from both Northumbria University and the School of London have access to one another’s facilities? S.C: Theoretically, yes. I mean, for example, all the students here use the library in Newcastle. Any books that are wanted can be ordered and they come down under a special system. If they visit Newcastle they are able to do everything that a Newcastle based Northumbria student can do with access to the same facilities. We already have students from Newcastle using our London facilities on their placement years. FLOCK: Overall, what would be your ideal type of student and what type of student would the School of Design, London suit? S.C: My ideal student is a person who is dedicated, inspired

Alternatively, the two year course; BA (Hons) Fashion Product Management may be more suitable for you. Fancy going into technical designing and garment technology? Supervising fashion production? Or even becoming a manager? This course offers a wide range of career opportunities from the skills you will gain. It is of international success, containing an eclectic mix of creative design practices and strong theory. As you begin the course you will predominantly learn the fashion product process. From research, design to manufacturing, students will learn both traditional and digital design practices, synonymous of Northumbria’s method of design teaching. Continuing into the following second year semesters, students will explore the theoretical side of fashion production. What does this involve exactly? Whether its logistics, product positioning or business strategy, students acquire the necessary skills to tackle fashion businesses within this field on an international level. As with Apparel Design and Merchandising, your final year will focus upon your specialism within this course, based upon your intended career choice. You will be assessed through your submitted coursework and dissertation, which will be completed within your remaining semesters. (


JANINE MUNSLOW Head of Fashion WITH FASHION DESIGN, writing and product design consultancy experience, Janine Munslow has worked with clients from all over the world. These range from Harvey Nichols to Proctor and Gamble, Saks, Shell and Barneys to the BBC depending on her particular job role. Janine’s sights were then set to work with a different sort of team; Northumbria University’s Fashion Department, where she could put her past knowledge of the industry to good use.

and craftsmanship in Fashion Design. This then moves through to the designing for lifestyle, product and promotion in Fashion Marketing. Then our disciplines shift again towards the newer aspects of fashion, which involves experiential design, journalism, creative writing, organisation and entertainment in BA (Hons) Fashion Communication. This focuses upon the more promotional side of Fashion and Fashion experience. Though certain areas of study within these three undergraduate degrees may overlap slightly, they all equally contain a hybrid mix of skills, all fundamental to student’s futures in Fashion.

Flock met with Janine Munslow on the ‘staff’ floor in the School of Design to talk in greater depth about this department.

As a whole, we offer intellectual knowledge and practical skills through the process of our education. We are equally passionate about education in general at Northumbria and the subject areas we teach, as we strive to continuously create interesting learning environments based upon our own research activity.

J.M: Our Department contains a highly innovative and creative atmosphere. Within its open plan space students can work alongside each other. You can observe a hype of activity and a diverse mix of projects taking place on the fashion floor, from films, graphics, lingerie to swimwear etc. Fashion students can even be found within different departments of the School too where they may be spotted laser cutting or welding. The Fashion Department at Northumbria has been running for sixty years. Its not all about ‘Fashion as theatre’ at Northumbria, we encourage creativity but with a healthy balance of commercialism too, producing creative commercial graduates.

FLOCK: What do you think the Fashion Department stands for?

FLOCK: What does Northumbria’s Fashion Department in Newcastle have to offer?

J.M: It’s really a place for experimentation and resolution. Our Fashion courses still teach traditional skills and techniques but with the addition of new practices too. Northumbria’s Fashion Department is a place where students can achieve their potential and become independent learners.

J.M: We have a unique collection of Fashion degrees. Focusing in on our Newcastle programmes, at one end we cover design

In terms of our subject areas and our involvement within these, Northumbria is a leading university for Fashion.




“We allow students to have a good level of freedom with their design ideas and projects, enabling them to become more autonomous learners.”

A lot of our curriculum is set by the students, particularly the Fashion Marketing programme. As these are led by students this encourages student autonomy. We allow students to have a good level of freedom with their design ideas and projects, enabling them to become more autonomous learners. FLOCK: How would you describe the department’s personality, attitude and ethos? J.M: The Fashion Department contains a set of real ideals. In relation to craft, we have a long history in making beautiful designs with integrity within our Fashion Design course yet we facilitate these design processes through promotional activities in Fashion Marketing for instance and events etc via our Fashion Communication course. Each of our programmes are of equal importance. Our department is cross-disciplinary and covers all aspects of design in its broadest sense within our three undergraduate programmes at Northumbria University, Newcastle. Regarding the style of work our student’s produce, it is directional and challenging in its content. We don’t wish to simply create beautiful designs but produce leading designers known for their cutting edge creations. Massive changes are taking place in the wider world and we want our design to remain aesthetically beautiful but to address these big issues too. Through sustainable design we can help reduce problems, with an aim to contribute immensely in solving these larger issues. Education is a huge part of this and hopefully, when our Fashion students graduate they will be educated enough to continue to make a difference in Fashion.

They will have the knowledge to look at Fashion in the broader context of society and will apply their use of responsible design when in industry. FLOCK: And finally, How important do you feel the Fashion Department is to Northumbria University? J.M: Incredibly important. The School of Design is seen as a very prestigious and visible school within Northumbria University. It has a strong amount of expertise and student successes to celebrate. It operates on an international platform and holds graduate shows for its Fashion students in both Newcastle and London.




photography CLAIRE ANDREWS



Previous: Shirt and toile trousers, Sian Griffiths. Opposite: Denim Headpiece, Claire Andrews This page: Toile jacket, Louise Dickinson


This page: Toile jacket, Louise Dickinson Opposite: Knitwear, Timeeka Lanade



Knitwear, Jemma Page. Tights, Wolford



Opposite: Shirt and toile trousers, Louise Dickinson, Hat, Claire Andrews. This page: Shirt, as before, Sian Griffiths





CHRIS HODGE Fashion Lecturer

BA (Hons) Fashion at Northumbria University: Innovative? Inspirational? Intense? Whatever your opinion, you should not ignore the acclaimed success of this unique programme.

SEATED WITH FASHION LECTURER Chris Hodge in the School of Design’s café, as buzzing Fashion students pass with their cups of coffee and cans of cola, we discuss this course further. Chris is your good- humoured sort of lecturer with a huge amount of knowledge of Fashion and the industry. Brimming with inspiring ideas and concepts, he engages, enthuses and encourages Fashion students with their studies. He started teaching at Northumbria University ten years ago. After graduating from university, he worked in London as a designer, photographer’s assistant and stylist. He did a stint in New York focusing on colour consultancy and trend forecasting then returned to University to undertake a PGCE with a specialism in Art and Design at Further and Higher Education. Simultaneously, he worked as a landlord and chef of a large pub in South West London before returning to the North East where he began his teaching career. He exudes an evident passion for lecturing within Northumbria’s Fashion Department. So why does he enjoy teaching on the Fashion Design course? C.H: Because of the breadth of experience that you have with the students. You can be talking about something incredibly mechanised, industrial and very minimal one second then trying to rationalise a knitted cupcake the next. It’s incredibly diverse in terms of the personalities of the students and the nature of their work. It means that everyday is different, which is good. FLOCK: What sets apart the Fashion Design course at Northumbria University to anywhere else in the U.K? C.H: Northumbria University is unique in that we’re known for producing very solid, employable designers who have a good mix of technical expertise and creativity. Students don’t just design for the catwalk, although their collections stand up against the more creative programmes designed for ~36~

catwalk impact. Our students thoroughly investigate for the construction and integrity of the design in the work they do.

FLOCK: How beneficial do you feel these work placements are?

One of the things a Fashion student gets here, that they don’t get in a lot of places, is grounding and reality. Nothing is just done for design sake, there’s not a frivolous attitude towards what students do, not to say that it’s completely serious.

C.H: They’re incredibly important. People who work in the recruitment industry have said to me in the past they really look at Northumbria graduates to place straight into industry because they have already had a year’s experience. That has a huge advantage over a student who hasn’t worked in industry even for a very short period of time.

Another benefit of course, is the expertise of the staff. The extensive experience and knowledge of our staff I believe, is pretty much second to none. FLOCK: What specific skills can be gained from undertaking this course? C.H: The ability to communicate visually and strongly through their portfolio, a technical understanding of the activities they are undertaking in constructing garments, and the knowledge to look at fashion within the broader context of society. FLOCK: What are the possible work placements students have had the opportunity to undertake on this course? C.H: The work placement scenarios vary enormously. These may be from high street suppliers to high street chains like Topshop, Debenhams, Primark and River Island. Or the higher end brands of the high street such as Joseph, All Saints, and Reiss. They may even be designer labels including Jonathan Saunders, Giles Deacon, Erdem and Alexander McQueen. For textiles students, placements have been undertaken in print studios in New York and small designer houses in Sydney. We’ve recently had a student who worked in Nepal, sourcing felt for ski accessories in the mountains. Other placements may be more locally based. There’s something for everyone really, comforting the needs of all different types of students.

FLOCK: During the selection process, what do you look for in prospective students work and attitude? C.H: In terms of a students work at that level, we look for ideas, good drawing skills and good colour. Primarily, something that I personally like to see is some originality in their approach to what they do; students who have a viewpoint with interesting and challenging work. With regards to personality, we look for someone who is interested in what goes on in the world around them and feels the need to make a creative response. A thinker; someone who can make conversation. They do not necessarily need to be completely outgoing. There is definitely space for more intuitive, introspective people that also think in that complex way. These students might not be the class cheerleader but they still have a lot to contribute in a quiet way. FLOCK: How would you describe the general feel of Northumbria’s Fashion Department?


C.H: It’s got a good reputation, which it has consistently managed to maintain. It is well respected within the industry and also within the education establishment. There is a real sense of community within the curriculum and a kind of learning by osmosis that takes place as your walking past the Fashion floor, encountering students’ ongoing work. FLOCK: Overall, why would you encourage a prospective student to come to Northumbria University? C.H: Northumbria is a fantastic in that it is a large university and with a huge amount going on for students, not only in terms of their study but also their social life. There is a strong community feeling. We’ve got excellent facilities. We’re in a brilliant city, which has evolved and changed so much and has a lot to offer students. FLOCK: And finally, how would you describe the BA (Hons) Fashion programmes in three words? C.H: Bloody hard work!




photography CLAIRE ANDREWS fashion BA (HONS) FASHION

Previous: Toile sleevless shirt and shoulder piece, Julie Perry. This page: Toile jacket, Victoria Kirby. Opposite: Toile jacket and top, Holly Farrar ~42~








Previous: Toile sleevless shirt and shoulder piece, as before, Julie Perry. This page: Toile jacket and top, as before, Holly Farrar


Knitwear, Rachael Hewson. Cardigan and dress, Topshop



Top, Model’s own. Knitwear, Rachael Hewson. Toile trousers, Holly Farrar. Shoes, Topshop.

photography and styling CLAIRE ANDREWS fashion BA (HONS) FASHION model KATE WILLMORE hair & make up CLAIRE ANDREWS With thanks to Browson Bank Barns






words by fashion students SIAN GRIFFITHS, HOLLY FARRAR



FIONA RAESIDE Head of Fashion Marketing

BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing. The first course of its kind in the U.K. FIONA RAESIDE certainly knows her stuff when it comes to BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing at Northumbria. Not only because of her position of programme leader, but her own personal experience of studying this same degree and graduating from this very university. Fiona followed in the footsteps of many others and travelled to London for work after graduation. She secured a job as a Fashion supplier, working closely with buyers and handling accounts as big as Topshop. Fiona then moved on to working in womenswear and childrenswear design before returning to Newcastle. She became involved in The Newcastle Fashion Centre and when this closed she began conducting a trend research project. Gaining experience in teaching along the way, Fiona moved into this full time and lectured on Northumbria’s BA (Hons) Multi Media Design course before taking her place as Head of Fashion Marketing. Having worked at Northumbria University for the past thirteen years, Fiona must really enjoy her work. F.R: I love being in Newcastle. All the staff here love what they do. We love working with students and its enjoyable to see their creativity. You guys are all your own creative directors, really. Its great to work with you and see what comes from it. We have a large teaching team, who are enthusiastic about their subject matter and

each have a great deal of experience. And as a whole, we consistently produce high achievers and win a lot of awards. There is a desire to succeed at Northumbria, not just for the students but for the staff as well. FLOCK: So lets get onto the Fashion Marketing course. What do you think sets this program apart to any other available in the U.K? F.R: It’s really the mix of creativity and theory. I think we are unique in that aspect. Structurally, the course is 90% creative and 10% theory. Though this doesn’t stop theory being put into practice on the student’s creative projects. FLOCK: How would you describe this course’s personality? F.R: I think we’re fun. We have a great team of staff and students with a great sense of humour. You need those sorts of personalities. It is still incredibly hard work but when our students finally arrive at Graduate Fashion Week, they fully understand why they have been working so hard. FLOCK: Can you briefly talk through each year of study on this four-year course and what a student can gain from it? ~56~

F.R: Students experience skills building in their first year of study. In their second year they get to be more creative; they go out into industry, return and put all what they have learnt into context. Then comes third year where they hone their skills together, experimenting with what they intend to do in their final year. Before they know it, they’re in their fourth year where they have the creative freedom, the resources and guidance to complete what they desire. FLOCK: How beneficial do you think the structure of the Fashion Marketing course is to a student? F.R: Hugely. It is constantly reviewed and we continuously assess what we do and its relevance within the industry. We allow for briefs to change should live projects come available with companies. The very nature of fashion changes so quickly and we have to be able to change with it. But based upon our employment rates, we appear to have got it right. FLOCK: How would you describe the Fashion Marketing course in three words? Fashion Product, Promotion and IndustryReady. FLOCK: Fashion Marketing currently has an employment rate of 91%. This has previously even been as high as



98%. Why is this course’s level of employment so successful? F.R: Our students have a real commercial awareness. They are looking at promotional side of Fashion as much as the product. It means when we they arrive Graduate Fashion Week in London; they tend to win either the creative or strategic award or even both! The students have their product hung up with their research report and marketing plan beside it, which really gives us the edge. These students have a massive breadth of experience. They always will have something in their portfolio applicable to their chosen job. FLOCK: What specific skills can be gained from undertaking this course? F.R: The curriculum includes Fashion Graphics, which consists of typography, traditional and digital illustration and page layouts. Cut and make; which involves pattern cutting and sewing. Promotion; exploring the theoretical side of marketing to consumer behaviour. And trend prediction and contemporary design influences; which is what Fashion Marketing is all about. Students gain intellectual, practical and transferable skills from university, which they can put into context in their year in industry. They gain hands on experience within this year also. FLOCK: How important do you feel the

industrial placements are for Fashion Marketing students? They are invaluable. Every student who returns from this period recognises this. Many are very happy to come back to the welcoming arms of the course, and quite like the fact that they are back studying. Others come back as very confident, different people where they can’t wait to complete their final year and go back out into industry. FLOCK: What is your ideal type of student for this course? In terms of personality, I look for motivation, commitment and enthusiasm to study and to learn. And of course, an interest in Fashion!





Previous: Shirt, Charlotte Waite Opposite: Shirt, Kerry Liddell This page: Shirt, Rosie Dobby ~63~


Opposite: Shirt, as before, Kerry Liddell This page: Collar, Gemma Harvey ~65~

This page: Headband, Topshop. Shirt, Amy Priestley. Trousers, Topshop. Shoes, Model’s own. Opposite: Shirt, Gemma Harvey




This page and opposite: Shirt, Alison Ross






Opposite: Collar, as before, Gemma Harvey




words by fashion student ALEX EMBLETON




Northumbria University presents...


SARAH MCDONNELL Head of Fashion Communication

BA (Hons) Fashion Communication. The recent edition to Northumbria’s Fashion Department. So what makes this course different to Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing? We met up with the Head of this programme; Sarah McDonnell to find out more.

AS WE SIT in the presentation room, where many of the Fashion Communication lectures are held, Sarah provides a brief background upon her life and experience before joining Northumbria University. Having studied at Leicester University, Sarah immersed herself into her design specialism; Fashion. Completing her degree, she went straight into industry. Soon, after migrating to London, she worked within a small, high quality design company; designing, pattern cutting and even selling. Continuing her career, Sarah designed garments for Marks and Spencer, worked within trend forecasting, interior design, freelanced and set up her own company. She’s even worked alongside the reputable Nick Knight. With such experience from a range of arenas under her belt, some would say it to be quite apt then that Sarah founded the BA (Hons) Fashion Communication programme at Northumbria University. BA (Hons) Fashion Communication began in 2007. It was devised to cater for the emerging and increasingly popular experiential side of the Fashion Industry. It is now integral to Northumbria’s Fashion

Department, complementing the more design-led Fashion and Fashion Marketing courses perfectly. So what encouraged Sarah to introduce this programme to Northumbria University? S.M: People enjoy consuming, absorbing and relating to fashion images, even if it is not in their affordable price range. This may be through 2D or 3D arenas, on websites or within magazines, events or installations such as visual merchandising and exhibitions within galleries and museum spaces. Fashion Communication explores these areas. It allows for students to still be creative, not necessarily as designers but through project led work involving conceptual and theoretical thinking. FLOCK: Tell me more about the course. How would you describe its personality? S.M: Our Fashion Communication students are bubbly and extrovert. They are team players; keen to participate within group activities but can act as natural leaders when necessary. FLOCK: To enable potential students ~76~

to distinguish the difference between Fashion Communication and the other Fashion courses available at Northumbria, can you talk through each year of its study? What can a student gain from this? S.M: One of the first things a Fashion Communication student is taught is Learning Skills of Fashion Communication. This is a taster of how the course is going to evolve. Students will learn more about the Fashion Industry. Through Brand and Design, Fashion Trends & Promotion; they will explore how the Fashion industry evolves and works from the design to the finished product and how this is finally promoted. They will even gain experience in basic Fashion Journalism to aid this. In their first year, they gain understanding of the term ‘concepts’ which can be applied to conceptual catwalk production projects. Students will learn Fashion photography at a basic level and within their second semester will explore Public Relations. Looking at Fashion PR, a student will understand and learn about their use of speech from voice, accent, projection to

body language suitable for presentations. Information Technology is extremely critical within any design programme. Students will get an introduction to software such as photoshop, inDesign through to creating professional and creative powerpoints. In second year, students get chance to really build upon these skills. [Further modules include Creative Presentations, Information Technology Theory & Practice, Contemporary Design Influences and Brand.] They will think about concepts in greater depth through their larger modules including Fashion Promotion and Events. With this, they will not only focus upon the nature and theme of the event but the implementation, logistics and marketing behind this also. Final year is very much student led. One of the key things that we do in this year is Fashion Enterprise. This allows students to set up on their own a small independent business for the year, which is to be liquidated at the end. This enables them to gain experience in possibly setting up their own businesses and providing them with the understanding of the structure of a business. For students’ Final Major Projects (Project Research and Concept Realisation and Promotion modules), they will take an aspect learnt from previous years and produce a concept based around this. For example, this may be a new Fashion Magazine programme, which may have a physical magazine that supports it to involve and engage its public audience. So far, our final year students have come up with some amazing projects for this. FLOCK: Since Fashion Communication does not contain the industrial placement year; Fashion Communication students still gain a lot of work experience. What are the possible work placements students undertaken whilst on this course? S.M: The work placements our students usually undertake are often to do with catwalk production. However, there are a vast variety of other work placements our students ~77~

been on. These range from working for magazines such as Marie Claire, Look and Vogue to Model Casting, Events Management, Personal Assisting, and Styling etc. The reason why an Industrial Placement is not integrated into the course is because a lot of placements for this type of work are seasonal and very much ‘quick, turnaround placements’ of which the students can get a real feel for within their inter semester breaks. We provide small placement gaps for students both in February and September, during Fashion Weeks, where they may be able to undertake placements within this time. FLOCK: In relation to this, what is your ideal type of Fashion Communication student? S.M: Someone who is keen and enthusiastic about this end of the industry. They may not necessarily feel the need to have a year in industry but instead choose to utilise their holiday breaks throughout Christmas, summer and Easter for work experience placements. FLOCK: What specific skills can be gained from undertaking this course? S.M: The critical thing for our students is to understand themselves and their own learning style and actually self learn for the long journey. We help develop students’ transferable skills, which are key to any job within the industry but can also be applied into a variety of other arenas. FLOCK: Why would you encourage a prospective student to come to Northumbria University and be apart of the Fashion Department? S.M: The atmosphere. The talent. The people. The environment. We’re a very strong community. FLOCK: And finally, what do you think Newcastle has to offer to a Fashion student? S.M: The city and area, as a whole, has a beautiful countryside, a diverse shopping culture and a lot going for it culturally across the board too whether that’s music, art, fashion, film etc. Its size and the nature of its culture allows students to feel comfortable within it. The other advantages of Newcastle is that we are only an hour and a half from Leeds, two to three hours from London and approximately an hour from Edinburgh. Newcastle is within a neat focal point, having the advantages of a major city but with close connections to other cities also for further inspiration.
















This page: Models, Gemma Lewis











words by fashion students CHARMAINE AYDEN, DANIELLE WOOD



KELLY BODEN Placement Co-ordinator

point of view, it is mainly womenswear but that is because it’s the most popular design area.

KELLY BODEN HAS been working as a Placement Co-ordinator Officer in Northumbria’s School of Design for the past three years. Her prior experience? Kelly comes from a Fashion background. After graduating from Northumbria’s Fashion Marketing programme ten years ago, Kelly since went into Fashion Buying then continued her career in Product Development before commencing her role at the University.. FLOCK: What are your views upon the Fashion Department having been a student here and now a Placement Coordinator? K.B: I personally think that having been a student here and coming back, I can appreciate now how much goes into the Fashion Department from a staff perspective, and how much they care about their courses and more importantly the students. It’s like a family environment. People are always available to draw on for advice and help when needed.

K.B: This one is really tricky! It is even more diverse, as are their skills so they have many options open to them.

K.B: I organise industrial work placements and support students who have to do a placement as part of their programme such as the Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing courses. I also help gain placements for Fashion Communication students within their study breaks.

K.B: They really vary! Typically, if you look at it from a statistics

Alternatively, some use their placement year to do something not directly related to the course. They may go and dabble in buying or styling but they also need to do a design placement role in relation to their set module. They have to do three months minimum of this to progress to the next level. FLOCK: So what typical placements do Fashion Marketing students usually undertake?

FLOCK: Can you describe your role within this department?

FLOCK: What typical placements do Fashion Design students undertake?

Students may go into high-end studio based roles; assisting design teams and helping the day-to-day running of the studio. We also have students go into high street design roles, becoming a more established part of the team. Others may go into the supplier side of the industry too.

They do traditional fashion design roles, trend forecasting, graphic design, visual merchandising, PR, photography, oh and I’m forgetting marketing of course! I wouldn’t say there is a typical Fashion Marketing placement. I tend to find that it changes each year. For example, last year we had loads of students who wanted to go into Fashion PR and this year we don’t. It varies from year to year. FLOCK: Though Fashion Communication doesn’t have a year in industry, are there still placements opportunities available for them?


work experience at LFW

K.B: Yes, it is such a unique course that when companies find out about this course, such as those involved in Public Relations, they always say “Oh, perfect! That type of student is exactly what we need” So there are a lot of opportunities for these students. They too have a wide skills set.

FLOCK: Are there still placement opportunities to students in the summer time when the university is closed? K.B: There will always be a point of placement contact within the university. Placements will continue to be sent out to students over the summer, Christmas and Easter holidays. Obviously in the summer there tends to be a lot of competition externally as you have students from every year group from other institutions wanting these placements.

Essentially, London Fashion Week, Graduate Fashion Week and any kind of event where students are required to be switched on and good communicators are the roles that communication students are suited to.

FLOCK: How important do you think placements are to these students?

FLOCK: How are the work experience placements within the Fashion Department distributed?

K.B: They are key. It has become expectation that students will qualify with a degree but with various work experience as well. It’s all about getting as much experience as possible whilst you’re studying. It would be seen as a serious disadvantage if you didn’t have anything when you graduated.

K.B: We receive job specifications from the Fashion Industry. These outline the jobs roles and clear set of skills of what they entail. It is then left to us to decide which programme these are best suited to, whom we will then contact.

FLOCK: So what about graduating students? Are they still contacted regarding potential job opportunities even when they have left Northumbria?

There is no bias towards any programmes. FLOCK: How would a student go about getting a specific placement? K.B: We always encourage students here to apply to placements via the placement office. But if a student has a very specific idea of what they want to do they should then apply directly themselves too, to improve their chances. If it was a company Northumbria University is not in touch with, I would work with the student ensuring their C.V and cover letter was of an appropriate standard that I would be happy to send out.

K.B: Yes. I set up databases of graduates email addresses when they leave. If any jobs come to us throughout the year, which inevitably they do, I can email this out to the relative group of students. These may be opportunities that are not advertised elsewhere. There is an essential careers department within the University that students can use too.




Shine Bright In the final year as the Fashion Flocks graduate, leaving the Northumbria nest for good, they dive head first into our summer showcases; London Graduate Fashion Week (GFW), Northumbria Fashion Show, Reveal Exhibition and New Designers. This is the time to look back over our Fashion alumni and celebrate their achievements. Our students are known for collecting awards at London’s Graduate Fashion Weeks for their fashion innovation and creative talent. These shows give them the chance to appreciate one another’s work and take pride in their own. Indeed, along the way they gain recognition and often job opportunities. Crowned competition winners include Northumbria BA (Hons) Fashion students Lindsay Marsh, Dulcie Dryden and Nicola Morgan, to name but a few. They picked up championing titles for their inspiring collections in GFW. BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing student Christina Duggan was recognised this same year also, for her impressive marketing campaign, giving her the Per AQUUM Creative Marketing Award. It is only right that our students continue to make real waves within the industry. Northumbria’s Fashion alumni have gone on to become Creative Directors of Bally like Graeme Fidler, Senior Designers like Thomas Walker and Jane Whitfield for Nike and Louis Vuitton and Fashion Directors of Joseph like Louise Trotter. But of the more recent graduates? Well, they are for instance supplying their collections to bands like the Ting Tings for their Grammy award ceremonies (Rio Maddison). Or they are exhibiting their work in London’s Design Museum like Ms Morgan. They’re even releasing their garments into stores, like graduate Charlotte Simpson. So it’s fair to say they’re doing extremely well. These graduates will steer their way into Fashion careers all over the world. Whether they’re working in London, Japan, Italy or Amsterdam for Mark and Spencer, Max Mara, Margaret Howell or Mulberry their aim remains clear. To progress then achieve. ~97~





Our connections with fellow Fashion Flocks including Sri Lanka, Vietnam, America, Australia and Indonesia etc means, in some cases, that students can gain the same Northumbria experience from overseas. Take our quality partnership with the Academy of Design in Sri Lanka for instance. BA (Hons) Fashion is available within this School containing the same modules as that of its Newcastle programme.


Overseas exchanges are available to students who may choose to study within these Schools for a semester. This may be within Europe or even further a field. Should students choose to continue their fashion studies in Europe, they can apply for the ‘Erasmus’ grant. This may pay for their travel and contribute towards accommodation expenses. Exchange agreements with Schools including Georgia, U.S.A, Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, U.S.A and RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia are available for students on Northumbria’s more design oriented programmes such as Fashion Design. This is a perfect chance for students to develop their skills and expand their cultural experiences. It’s certainly worth a thought.

Academy of Design, Sri LankaD



Georgia College and State University





IMMERSE YOURSELF into life at Northumbria. Experience the creativeness of its Fashion Department. Attend one of our Open Days hosted in October, February and June or come along to our stand in November at Manchester’s UCAS Fair. With the opportunity to wander throughout the University’s campus and city you can discover whether the personality of the place suits you. And the best time for this? Definitely prior to your application. If you’re an International student in need of further information, check out the ‘Contact’ section on Flock’s website (www.northumbria. Alternatively, get in touch with Northumbria University’s International Office: International Office Northumbria University 21/22 Ellison Place Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8ST U.K T: (+44) (0) 191 227 4274 F: (+44) (0) 191 261 1264 E: Get a taster of Northumbria’s Fashion Flock. Try out Northumbria’s Newcastle based Summer School. For four weeks you can develop your own style, skills and even update your C.V whilst living in University accommodation. You will undertake two modules within this time; Digital Illustration and Image Editing and Fashion Graphics (both taken from the BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing programme). Your completed projects will even be assessed. Yes, like a true Fashion student! To apply visit designsummerschool Explore the Flock further.


APPLICATION ADVICE - Entry Requirements & Selection

It’s the season to seize an application, starting from 1st September.

U.K APPLICANTS All undergraduate applications are to be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service), which can be found at After filling in your online application, it should be submitted to a staff member at your school/ college to be verified and completed before it is forwarded to UCAS. If you are not currently studying at school/college, you can independently apply online. A variety of careers organisations will be available to guide you e.g: Connexions. However, it will be of your authority to submit the application to UCAS. The application deadline for our Fashion courses is 24th March. Applications for BA (Hons) Fashion Communication and our School of Design, London courses are to be submitted by 15th January.


INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS If your school/college is not registered with UCAS and you are not from the UK, you can also independently apply online via UCAS. You can seek advice from the British Council and your school/college for your application. Your completed submission form will then be forwarded to Northumbria University. Alternatively, you can make a direct application. Complete the University’s Application Form for International Students from either the International Office or Northumbria University’s website (www. Return it to the International Office or your country’s regional office for your submission entry.

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS Take a look on Flock’s website for details upon the academic entry requirements for each of our Fashion programmes. (Entry requirements for International Students are also available here www.northumbria. Applicants from Access courses are not required to have additional GCSE qualifications should their courses taken be compatible within their chosen degree.

SELECTION For the Newcastle based Fashion programmes, interviews are required. Both BA (Hons) Fashion and BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing request an accompanying portfolio of work. This is paramount as it represents a student’s creative talent and helps them convey their passion for their chosen area of study. BA (Hons) Fashion Communication expects the potential applicant to provide a ‘visual C.V’ (see Ready or Not p.106). However, assessment for entry to the School of Design, London undergraduate courses is based on the application form provided. ~105~


Ready or not


Portfolio & Visual C.V So its come to the dreaded moment where you have to put together a portfolio or a visual C.V. So what do you put in it? What shouldn’t you include? And, more importantly, what is a visual C.V? Fashion Marketing Lecturer Nick Sellars believes that the portfolio is “learning about you as a person and your skills” It should showcase a varied mix of your creative talent and inspirations through a range of mediums. This can be from preliminary ideas and samples found in your sketchbooks through to the development of your final pieces. (Any 3-D or large-scale pieces should be displayed in your portfolio photographically.) Carefully select the work that reflects the true you and show it in order of impact.

Give your interviewer at Northumbria a great impression. And now for the visual C.V. This is required for students with BA (Hons) Fashion Communication interviews. It is simply a short, creative powerpoint presentation or an A3 board that represents your personality, interests, influences, skills and enthusiasm. How to do this? Through visually strong imagery, that’s all.

Interview There’s the obvious advice to provide potential students with who are going on their application interviews; ‘Be yourself’, ‘Be prepared’, ‘Be punctual’ but when it comes to the interview itself, how should you act? Senior Fashion Lecturer Chris Hodge lends some advice, “I think, in recent interviews, the people who have interested me most is those who have an opinion or a viewpoint. Whether I agree with it or not is not important. It’s more to do with the fact that they have an opinion about something. They don’t just sit on the fence, uninterested in what happens. They show a clear interest in their area of study”


flock digital agency:



The Flock Prospectus  

A proposed magazine-style Fashion prospectus for a North East based university

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