Lucy Markham

Fashion lecturer and bespoke dressmaker Lucy Markham has first-hand experience of the issues facing her students.

“It’s good for the students to know that you’ve been through it,” says Lucy,

…who has been lecturing at Hull School of Art and Design (HSAD) since 2009; runs her own business; and also offers private sewing classes. She works with a diverse range of clients, from amateur seamstresses to up-and-coming fashion designers and professional costumiers.

Lucy’s research interests include ongoing investigations into the shapes, volumes and textures created by fabrics, as well as a specialism in pattern-cutting.

“My MA was about the manipulation of fabric on the stand, static pieces,” says Lucy. “It was a cross between fashion and art.”

Her MA research inspired Lucy to launch her own dressmaking business, Lucy Markham Bespoke Dressmaking, in October 2012, which she runs from a custom-built studio at her home.

“I’m interested in bringing manufacturing back to England with Lucy Markham Bespoke Dressmaking,” she says.

Lucy is creating a niche for herself offering a small-scale manufacturing service for up-and-coming designers.

She says:

“I can run out up to 30 pieces, which is great for new designers wanting samples running up. Often, designers might have a vision in their head, but can’t or don’t have the time to make it. Cutting a pattern and making a garment is a specialist skill that not many people have. The great thing about our BA (Hons) Fashion course at HSAD is that it is 80% practical – our students do all the research and pattern-cutting themselves.”

Much of Lucy’s client-based private practice comes through word of mouth. She also teaches sewing classes;  has a strong seam of her own womenswear designs; and is currently working on a collection to show at her home studio.

She is developing research into the use of mobile technology apps for Fashion students and investigating electronic patter-cutting techniques to inform her teaching.

Visit Lucy’s website: www.lucymarkhambespoke.co.uk

Julie Kinsey

Technical perfection in core skills and workplace adaptability are the key lessons that Julie Kinsey brings to Fashion students at Harrogate School of Art and Design.

Julie entered the trade as a machinist in 1975 and has since taken the best of British manufacturing expertise and used it to educate students and professionals all over the world. There are opportunities, she says, there for the taking once her students have fully grasped the basics of fashion production.

“The basics don’t change,” she says. “To be able to design and make clothing, you need to know how to put garments together. But you also have to adapt to survive.”

Starting out working in Leeds factories that employed thousands of highly skilled machinists, Julie soon witnessed the migration of work to manufacturers abroad and the loss of skilled British workers.

So, she moved into training roles very early on in her career, and trained machinists to work in production lines, as well as for bespoke items, such as Burberry suits and coats.

She has been lecturing since the 1980s, most recently at Harrogate School of Art and Design (HSAD), on our Fashion Design and Production course.

Julie says:

“When I began teaching in education in 1986, I was running a youth training scheme to get skilled machinists back into the British manufacturing industry.”

She has trained teachers on an international level and has written a world-leading, garment construction design package for teachers in China and other parts of the Far East. Julie’s teaching model is still in use to this day in the Hong Kong fashion manufacturing industry.

She now makes sure her HSAD degree students get a good grounding in all aspects of fashion pattern and garment construction. Their work is shown regularly at HSAD and at other exhibitions such as the Knitting and Stitching Show, in Harrogate.

Julie continues to develop her own practice and research. She takes commissions for bespoke wedding dresses and is currently refreshing her knowledge of corsetry on a practical course. She builds and maintains connections to the fashion industry.

“I love to do new courses,” she says. “If I haven’t studied a subject for a while, I take a course to make sure I know what the latest practice is. Once I complete my courses, I take them further and expand on them for the benefit of my students.”

Annabel Smith

There is no time like the present for enterprising fashion designers, says Annabel Smith.

The Fashion course leader and lecturer at Harrogate School of Art and Design, Annabel has run her own fashion design business and is currently researching a Doctorate in Design Practice that aims to pass entrepreneurial skills on to her creative students.

Australian-born Annabel has a degree in Fine Art, from La Trobe University, Melbourne. She uprooted to the UK in the 1980s, gaining a second degree in Fashion Design and Knitwear from the former Leicester Polytechnic (now De Montfort University) and a PGCE.

Annabel began teaching fashion at Harrogate School of Art in after gaining considerable industry experience. She spent two years designing bridalwear and five years running a design room for a company specialising in casual and smart-casual clothing, before launching her own business as a couture wedding gown designer in Windsor.

Moving to Harrogate in 1998, she brought the business to Yorkshire with her. And, since 2000, she has been heavily involved in the teaching and development of our Fashion offering.

She is now using her Doctorate research to design learning material to help students acquire the skills to enable them to start their own businesses. This material, and its delivery format, helps develop effective entrepreneurship and strategic thinking but in a way that suits her students’ creative learning styles.  A five-year programme from the University of Northumbria, her doctorate has included a two-year taught MA. In it, Annabel’s uses her business acumen to enable our graduates to succeed.

Annabel says:

“My hypothesis is fashion students are not being taught business in a language that’s appropriate to creative minds. I’m designing learning material that will be appropriate, accessible and in a format that creative students find relevant.”

One of the lessons Annabel has learned from her teaching practice is that creative people often learn in a “visual” way.

“I am currently in the middle of researching the theories and practice behind learning styles for my Doctorate thesis,” she says. “I don’t expect students to remember it all but, if it’s delivered in a format and a way that they enjoy  – which they can identify with, which is visual, exciting, a story that they can access at any time and is relevant to them specifically – then with a bit of luck, it will stick.

“Some educationalists are already working along these lines. It’s interesting, it’s expanded exponentially. I intend to test my theory with active research methodology, assessing my students’ power of recall, as well as assessing the things they got bored with.”

Annabel attends entrepreneurship marketplace events in London, where she shares knowledge and expertise with businesspeople who wish to mentor creative students. She also gets her students involved in Yorkshire Young Enterprise, which offers mentored business support.

“My job is purely to give them that core information and core skills to get them started,” she says.  “There is a lot of relevant material that we could be teaching in terms of the philosophy and ethics of business, which is very hard to convey to visual learners and is an area many fashion and art schools brush over. I want to make it relevant to fashion design students, and creative learners generally, so they can go out and contribute to business in the real world.”

Lynn Benson

Fashion isn’t the be all and end all for Lynn Benson. It’s much more important than that.

Lynn has taught fashion, millinery and art here at Hull School Of Art and Design since the 1980s. A passion for fashion however, is simply not enough for anyone wishing to study here.

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“You must be politically aware, historically aware and socially aware if you want to work in fashion,” says our BA (Hons) Fashion programme leader. “Fashion is a global marketplace and everyone can make a difference.”

Growing up, fashion and political awareness played equally strong roles in Lynn’s life. Her grandmother and mother were women’s rights activists. For women’s rights group member Lynn, who earned her fashion stripes designing clothes for her parents’ bridal and womenswear shops, fashion is undoubtedly a feminist issue. Her students, of course, don’t have to share her beliefs. But they do have to think.

A fervent believer in practising what she preaches, Lynn is currently investigating several research pathways.

“My philosophy is lifelong learning,” she says. “There is always something new to learn – you should be able to do what you teach.”

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Lynn is fascinated by mathematics and the way it can touch all areas of life. Her MA, The Mathematics Of Origami, was inspired by the work of Italian Middle Ages mathematician Fibonacci, whose patterns can be found in nature, biology, music and, of course, fashion.

Her personal practice includes private commissions, millinery and corsetry, taking inspiration from history.

“I research across the eras,” says Lynn. “There is always something to inspire. I love the sophisticated dresses of the 1930s; Elizabethan ruffs; Medieval clothes; and the ethos and the simplicity of the cut of 1970s Japanese designs by people such as Yohji Yamamoto. For contemporary designs, I’m inspired by John Galliano; French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet; Alexander McQueen; and the Belgian designers Viktor And Rolf.”

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An ongoing collaboration with Hull artist Sally Tebb will result in a project that will see Sally’s abstract artwork translated into clothes designs for an exhibition.

As if that wasn’t enough, Lynn is engaged in researching and writing two books. One is on Ertre;  the other is a pattern-cutting millinery book called Take A Piece Of Paper. The idea behind the latter book is to create a “fun way of educating people about millinery”. Ultimately, she says, it demonstrates an accessible method of making an extremely simple hat without the expensive tools and paraphernalia that is often required in millinery.

 

Karen Outram

Karen Outram possesses a fascinating insight into many facets of the global fashion industry.

Her career launched 20 years ago with a contract at the prestigious London costumiers Angels And Bermans. Plucked from 900 applicants, the Manchester Metropolitan University graduate thoroughly enjoyed her time at the costume house, which she describes as a “six-storey wardrobe”; providing costumes for Oscar-winning films and high-profile theatre productions was all in a day’s work.

It proved to be an excellent grounding for a diverse and fascinating career in the fashion industry.

“I’ve always been very driven,” says Karen. “I knew I wanted to work in fashion from a young age.”

She went on to work all over the world with international brands including TopShop, John Lewis, House Of Fraser, Reebok, Speedo, Canterbury Of New Zealand, Joe Bloggs, Tesco, Harrods, Hamley’s, Claire’s Accessories and Sainsbury’s.

The first half of Karen’s career was design-based – she was Joe Bloggs’ Manchester design manager and held a design role with Reebok in which she visited the world’s trade shows to monitor changing trends.

She then moved into product development and the business side of the industry, roles for which she needed technical as well as design expertise as she worked with factories around the world to get apparel produced.

Her most recent role, managing accounts for many of the above-mentioned high street names was a high-pressure, seven-day-a-week job that she describes as “well-paid and very stimulating”.

“There was a definite thrill about it,” she says. “I was responsible for coming up with new ranges, going to see buyers and work with overseas factories to try to hit price points. It’s been very interesting to see new fashion economies emerging, with the advent of China and India developing as competitive world economies.”

She also has experience of running her own fashion businesses, selling men’s streetwear into Japan and is looking into developing a business selling a line of leather accessories.

All of which means she is uniquely placed to offer a rounded insight into the world of fashion.

Karen began teaching BA (Hons) Applied Creative Design: Fashion and BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing: Retail at Harrogate in March 2012. Recently, she also moved into a maternity cover role teaching Applied Creative Design: Fashion at Hull School Of Art and Design.

Karen is currently completing her PGCE, after which she intends to complete an MA in CAD, focusing on digital fashion and textile conceptual design. She is also keen to develop a research interest in the global impact of emerging economies, particularly with a view to the Chinese work ethic and culture and its development in the worldwide marketplace.

All her students benefit from an enviable raft of industry contacts and are currently involved in a project with Speedo.

“My hope is that this will become a springboard for students,” says Karen. “The project is partly design-oriented for the fashion design students and partly marketing-oriented, focusing on business and statistics with the Harrogate students.”

She plans to introduce more live client projects in the near future as she believes this “real-world”, pragmatic approach is vital if her students are to graduate with a worthwhile understanding of the industry.

“It really inspires students if you can give them professional projects to work on,” she says. “If I feel any of my students aren’t putting their heart and soul into it, I’m quite forthright about it. They need to be professional, even at undergraduate stage and getting industry speakers in really underpins that message. I’m striving to make my teaching relevant and real – to give students creative freedom while also giving them a realistic view of what employers want.”

 

Chris Dimmack

Chris graduated from the University of Northumbria, where he won rare and prestigious Industrial Design awards from the Royal Society of the Arts and the Chartered Society of Designers. A PhD project is in the pipeline.
Whilst working with Alexander McQueen, Chris designed and fitted designer’s shops in Paris, created hermaphrodite mannequins for David Bowie and installations for venues such as the Biennale in Florence, or Cinecittà film studios in Rome and created a McQueen Christmas tree for the Louvre as part of ‘les sapins de noël des créateurs’. Chris’s design work for McQueen has graced the pages of Vogue – with campaigns such as Tag Heuer’s millennium campaign and a chainmail-suited Boris Becker. Chris is currently engaged in professional practice through architectural projects, graphic design work for a raft of blue-chip clients, film and industrial design.

Staff Profiles – Harrogate School of Art and Design

In Alphabetical Order:
SURNAME, FORENAME   –   DEPARTMENT/ROLE

NAOMI BOLSER –  Photography, CATS

DAVID DIGBY – Photography, Creative Futures

HEIDI DONOHOEFine Art

HELEN GRAHAM – Fine Art, CATS

CAROLINE MIEKINA-HOUSMAN – Illustration, Creative Futures

JULIE KINSEY – Fashion

LOUISE LUMSDEN – Interior Design

Ana Perez – Fashion

EMMA SMETHAMInterior Design

ANNABEL SMITHFashion

Fraser Wright – Photography, Creative Futures

EDWARD WEBSTER – Photography