Hannah Maughan is a Senior Lecturer on BA(Hons) Textile Design.
This September my colleague Simon Clarke and I took a group of 3rd year Textile Design students over to Paris on a 4-day Study Trip. The main purpose of the trip is to visit Premiere Vision, (PV), the international fashion and textiles trade fair which showcases the very latest in fabric, design and colour, and which brings together a vast network of professionals working throughout the industry.
Students get to experience this part of the industry first-hand, gaining a better understanding of how fashion fabrics are designed, manufactured, sourced and supplied within a professional context. The show is vast and inspiring, with thousands of exhibitors and clients visiting daily, but in amongst the crowds we bumped into some familiar Falmouth faces and took the opportunity to catch up with our graduates and their careers.
Isla Middleton, 2016 graduate
First up is Isla Middleton who is at PV exhibiting and selling her work with Texprint.
Isla graduated this year and is already making her mark within the industry, having won the Dunelm Associate Prize at New Designers and gaining an internship with high-end furnishing company Zoffany. Isla is 1 of 24 graduates to be selected and sponsored by Texprint, an organisation that annually supports, mentors and promotes the very best of UK ‘s new textile talent. Texprint is highly competitive and we are proud that Falmouth graduates have been selected each year since 2005. Simon and I joined Isla to celebrate at the Texprint Award ceremony where she won the Interior Prize, presented by Martin Leuthold, the Artist Director of Jakob Schlaepfer. Isla’s one to watch, so keep an eye on her.
Photo: Isla Middleton on her Texprint stand (photo credit Hannah Maughan)
Texprint has launched many a career, (mine included), and boasts a loyal alumni network, including James Skinner who we spotted busily chatting away with the Texprint team.
Photo: Isla Middelton receiving the Texprint Interior Prize from Martin Leuthold of Jakob Schlaepfer (photo credit Simon Clarke)
James Skinner, 2014 graduate
This is James’s 3rd year at PV, having first exhibited with Texprint in 2014, where he attracted much attention and won a coveted 7-week internship in Como, Italy. On the back of this success James returned to PV in 2015 with his own design studio, set up with 2 fellow Texprinters. I was interested to learn that this year he was here again in yet another guise, looking for mills, silk printing and jacquard weave manufacturers. James has recently established his own company, Dalliance & Noble, designing luxury digitally printed silk scarves and pocket squares for the high-end market. This doesn’t surprise me as he has a strong individual style and independent work ethic which began to emerge during his final year at Falmouth. I talked to James about being a guy in a predominately female industry – he recommended it, saying it motivated him as he took inspiration from leading male textile designers throughout history. Look closely you can see the influence of William Morris in his work.
Photo: James Skinner, with business partner (left), wearing a Dalliance & Noble silk scarf (photo credit Simon Clarke)
Falmouth has a higher than national average of graduates setting up their own business like James and one of our most seasoned Textile Design entrepreneurs is Milly Blunt.
Milly Blunt, 2005 graduate
Milly set up her own design studio, Camilla Frances Print, in 2012, having worked in the industry in for six years, gaining experience in several different studios in London and Sydney, and in several different roles. Milly is now Creative Director of her own business employing 12 people, including designers, sales reps and a finance manager, running her London studio which specialises in digital print design and produces collections for the international fashion market. CFP’s main clientele is based throughout the USA, including Anthropology, Urban Outfitters, Calvin Klein and Rebecca Taylor. Her sales reps travel regularly across Europe, Australia, South Africa and are looking to expand into the Asian market next year. Milly has been back to Falmouth as a Visiting Lecturer, talking to the students about her experience as well as taking students on placements.
Great Photoshop and painting skills are essential, a good eye for colour and knowing the latest trends – these are Milly’s top tips to being a successful commercial textile designer. To our students she says: be experimental, keep honing your technical skills, engage with first hand experiences and do at least one placement – networking is vital, if you’re a good intern, you’ll get a job.
Sound advice Milly! It does seem that everyone knows everyone else in this industry and I certainly love PV for the networking, meeting up with friends and associates old and new, as you never know what kind of opportunities that will bring. I’m looking forward to next year already…
Photo: Camilla Frances Print stand (photo credit Hannah Maughan)
James Stone, View Studio at PV Designs – James is a PV veteran having done approximately 40 shows. James is one of our Visiting Lecturers, he represents me as my commercial agent and takes graduates on as freelance designers (photo credit Hannah Maughan)