UWE's rising stars shine in the fashion world

Issue date: 01 March 2011

As Fashion Week hits the headlines around the world, recent fashion graduates at the University of the West England have been making waves to break into this lucrative yet incredibly competitive industry.

The popular BA (Hons) Fashion/Textile Design degree is based at the Faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education on Bower Ashton Campus. The course gives students a wide range of skills and an understanding of the creative and practical disciplines of fashion.

All staff have an industry background and visiting specialists provide an exciting and 'real' context to students' experience. Students are encouraged to undertake work experience and recent placements include Matthew Williamson, Richard Nicoll, Erdem, Preen, Anna Sui (New York), Lip Service (LA), Ozzie Clarke, Roksanda Ilincic, Monsoon, Next and Timberland.

The blogger – Fashion Fantasist

To her followers, Bristol based Frances Poulton (BA (Hons) Fashion and Textiles, 2010) is the creator of Fashion Fantasist, a popular blog for fashionistas everywhere to discover up and coming designers, artists and enjoy everyday observations guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. She currently works as a freelance designer and fashion writer.

Frances who graduated in July last year recently completed a three month internship with French Connection in Camden and a placement at Bristol based designer, Puckoo couture, credits these opportunities to the time that she has spent networking and developing her blog.

She says, “As any fashion designer will tell you, it's a real challenge to get that first break in the fashion industry. I set up Fashion Fantasist and also a Twitter account as a way of building contacts and to look for work after finishing my degree. One day whilst talking to a friend on Twitter, I was tipped off about a possible internship at French Connection to help get their AW11 collection ready for the buyers. They saw my CV and blog and a couple of days later without an interview asked me when I could start? I then had an evening to get myself set up in London. It was a great opportunity to get real life experience of the fashion world.

“I've been approached by Young British Designers and Guide 2 Bristol to attend fashion events and write for them. I'm also working on my own print work collection.”

Frances is also joining current UWE creative students in helping to promote this year's Fairwear Fashion Showorganised by the Bristol Fairtrade Network on Saturday 5 March at The Mall, Broadmead. The event is a partnership venture between the University, Bristol Fairtrade Network and the Soil Association. Fashion students are designing and will be modelling their own Fairtrade range. The theme for this year's show is Show Off Your Label.

Frances concludes, “I really enjoyed doing the Fashion Textiles degree at UWE. There was good camaraderie amongst the Fashion students and we still keep in touch and help each other out. "


The Fashion Stylist

Joanna Wills – Fashion Stylist

Joanna Wills hit the headlines in 2008 when she won The Clothes Show – Young Stylist of the year in the final year of her BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile degree. Her prize was to manage a whole photo shoot for Glamour magazine. Now 18 months later Joanna is pursuing her dream job as a part-time stylist in London where she has assisted on shoots for magazines: Another Magazine, i-D, Italian Vogue and Undercurrent and E-bay and Levis advert campaigns. Joanna is also really interested in window and display styling and last summer did a placement with the creative team at Liberty's. In the last few months, she has been concentrating on building contacts by doing test shoots to complete her portfolio to send to the fashion industry.

Alex Gilkison, Executive Dean from the Faculty of Creative Arts, Humanities and Education at UWE, said, “It's great to hear that our Fashion graduates and students are developing the contacts and the experience needed to break into the world of fashion. UWE Fashion students have regularly won awards at Graduate Fashion week and it's a credit to the students and the fashion teaching staff at Bower Ashton Campus.”

For more information on studying BA (Hons) Fashion/Textile Design, visit: BA (Hons) Fashion/Textile Design

FFI: Jane Kelly or Mary Price, Press Officers


Tel: 0117 32 82208

E-mail: Jane.Kelly@uwe.ac.ukor Mary.Price@uwe.ac.uk

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