Archive for the ‘University of the Arts London’ category

Free event celebrates drawing and creative education in King’s Cross

Drawing the World, a free event and highlight of The Big Draw Festival, will take over Granary Square at King’s Cross on Sunday 11 October, where visitors of all ages are invited to join in with a day of creative activities from 11am-4pm.

DrawingInSpace - Alaistair Steele

Drawing in Space by UAL Associate Lecturer in Architecture and Spatial Design Alaistair Steele 

Drawing the World is a partnership event between The Big Draw, UAL and House of Illustration, joining together to promote the vital role of creativity in education, society and everyday life.

Visitors can choose from a programme of workshops created by Central Saint Martins, House of Illustration and The Big Draw to become an artist, architect, fashion illustrator, print-maker, or urban sketcher for the day.

Activities on offer include:

• Watch Rootstein Hopkins UAL Chair of Drawing Professor Stephen Farthing RA and 30 UAL postgraduate students produce an epic drawing of the world in a performance directed by a drone and mobile phones
• Trace the universe’s first 14 billion years on a Mythical Drawing Trail with Global Generation, and discover their unique Skip Garden
• Discover 3-D drawing; try experimental map-making with David Lemm, illustrator-in- residence, and see who can make and draw the biggest GRRRRR! in illustrator Rob Biddulph’s workshop, all at the House of Illustration
• Ready Steady Colour a take-away pizza with ketchup ‘paint’ and salt ‘n’ pepper glitter
• Sketch the changing urban scene from viewing platforms, map its history on a giant timeline and design emoji for King’s Cross
• Complete a walk-and-draw map while discovering even more of King’s Cross

The Big Draw President Sue Grayson Ford said of the event:

“Drawing the World will be an epic celebration of creativity, and it promises to be a highlight of the October 2015 Big Draw Festival, which will see thousands of people take part in hundreds of drawing events across the globe.”

Dean of Academic Programmes at Central Saint Martins, UAL Mark Dunhill said:

“Drawing is a language that encompasses a very wide range of media and approaches, and can be used for a multitude of different expressive, descriptive and practical visual thinking purposes. We are delighted to be involved in activating the public spaces around the Granary Building as part of this event. Drawing the World will turn the college inside out and stimulate all kinds of intriguing, fun and thought provoking ways of making images collectively.”

Director of House of Illustration Colin McKenzie said:

“As the only public gallery in the world devoted to the art of illustration in all its forms we are delighted to be working with The Big Draw and UAL on this exciting day devoted to getting as many people as possible involved in the activity of drawing.”

Drawing Seance -Marc Hulson & Kjetil Berge (2)

Drawing Seance by Central Saint Martins MA Fine Art students Marc Hulson and Kjetil Berge

Drawing the World is one of hundreds of activities taking place as part of The Big Draw Festival, an annual festival encouraging people of all ages to connect with museums, galleries, parks, artists, designers and illustrators across the world through drawing. You can also watch a short film about the event on the UAL Postgraduate Community’s YouTube channel .

For a full list of all the activities on offer on the day and details on how to book for certain workshops, please visit The Big Draw’s website.

Review: UAL Alumni Australia Group’s ‘Interchange’ Exhibition

Interchange: “a changing of places, as between two persons of things, of one with another.”

The UAL Australia Alumni Group Exhibition

The UAL Australia Alumni Group Exhibition

The UAL Alumni Australia Alumni Group’s ‘Interchange’ exhibition was the inaugural event for the UAL Australian Alumni group and showcased the work of a range of UAL alumni from the areas of digital design, graphic design, industrial design, conceptual design, fashion, and film. The exhibition was held at the Gallery of Australian Design, which is strategically placed in the nation’s capital and shows a range of the best design work across the nation.

The opening show on 11 September was well attended with alumni making the trip from Melbourne and Sydney. Following a “high tea” with champagne, cakes and sandwiches, the show was opened by the Deputy High Commissioner to the British High Commission, Mr Tony Brennan, who gave a speech about the importance of UK-Australian partnerships. Mr. Brennan also spoke of the great benefit of exchange between our two countries and the wealth of creativity that stems from these exchanges.

Artist Jeremy Blank (Chelsea, 1981) from Perth showcased digital video work he produced with renowned musician Brian Eno.

Jeremy Black's work

Jeremy Black’s work

Recent graduate Gillian Jo Chiao Fang (CSM, 2014) a resident of Melbourne, showcased her conceptual design work, and Professor Lyndon Anderson (CSM, 1997), the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Canberra, displayed his award winning furniture design.

Lisa Scharoun (CSM, 2002) and Fanke Peng, (LCF, 2013), design academics at the University of Canberra and founding members of the UAL Australian Alumni group, organized the show and also displayed their most recent work. Lisa, a graphic designer, photographer and artist, displayed her award winning posters for the Australian Paralympic Teams as well as a design for a child health and vaccination system that she created for the Bill & Melinda Gate’s foundation. Fanke, a digital and fashion designer, created a new interactive digital piece using Kinect motion sensors.

Kyle Portbury (CSM, 2007) a Sydney based director, actor, filmmaker and founding member of the UAL Australian Alumni Group, screened his award winning documentary film “The Mountain Within.”

And finally, Melissa Jackson (CSM, 1998) a milliner and fashion designer based in Melbourne, displayed a colourful range of straw hats.

Melissa Jackson's straw hat

Melissa Jackson’s straw hat

The exhibition will be open until 30 September 2015, so check it out if you have the chance!

You can also watch a video about the exhibition here.

Australia UAL exhibition video

The group really enjoyed the exhibition and look forward to hosting more events around Australia in the future!  You can get in touch with them at

For all the photos of the event click here.



Taking centre stage in Beijing

7734 by ABIGAIL HAMMOND photography Tristam Kenton
The largest ever exhibition of European theatre design opens in China this week, curated by Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL. Hosted by the National Centre for Performing Arts, highlights of the exhibition include the designs for the Lion King stage play and Cheek By Jowl productions.

Coinciding with Beijing Design Week and the China-UK Year of Cultural Exchange, the exhibition will put a spotlight on the design process from initial idea to final production and will cover the full range of design for theatre and performance. The curators have described the exhibition as a “garden of ideas” that also illuminates for a Chinese audience the differences and nuances of design approaches across Europe, with drawings, process work, scale models and costumes, as well as moving image on display.

Curated by Wimbledon’s MA Theatre Design course director Michael Pavelka and Theatre Design Senior Lecturer Peter Farley, the exhibition features work from the Lion King by Wimbledon alumnus Richard Hudson, Cheek By Jowl by Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnelan, Ping by LCF alumna Daphne Karstens, alongside designs by Thomas Rupert and Dimitry Krymov.

Ping by DAPHNE KARSTENS photo Alex Traylen

Dean of Wimbledon College of Arts, UAL Simon Betts said: “Wimbledon has a long and distinguished history as one of the UK’s leading specialist theatre institution and is internationally recognised for preparing students for the professional world. Our graduates have been pushing the boundaries of performance design for many years, so it’s extremely exciting for the College to be invited to put together such an important showcase of best practice in this area.”

Curator Peter Farley said: “It is exciting to take an exposition of European performance design to China and that the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing recognizes the importance of this largely undocumented subject as an essential and vital component of performance-making.”

Recognized for its preeminence in both design for theatre and film, Wimbledon’s roster of star alumni includes Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy award winners such as Sarah Greenwood, Anthony Ward, James Acheson, Charles Knode, Christopher Oram and Mark Tildesley.

Richard Hudson Contes de Hoffmann Spalanzani

This month UAL will launch a new alumni network in Beijing, high profile graduates include fashion designers Min Wu, Huishan Zhang, and Johanna Ho, Vogue China fashion editor Grace Lam, and designer Tom Shi.

UAL has just signed an MOU with Beijing Municipal Commission for Education which will represent the first stage in a collaboration that will involve UAL working closely with selected key Beijing institutions. UAL is the only UK arts and design institution with which the Education Commission is working. The collaboration will involve the provision, by Beijing, of a number of two year scholarships to fund the best Beijing students to study at UAL colleges for our first and second year. UAL and the Commission also hope to collaborate on allied activities, including the development and provision of summer schools for Beijing students.

Search theatre and design courses at UAL

Read more about the Evolving Design For Performance exhibition in Beijing



Insiders’ Guides to London Design Festival 2015

As London Design Festival roars back into town with a staggering array of exhibitions, installations, talks and fairs, UAL’s community of design experts share their insights into the must-see events for London Design Festival 2015.

Alice Rawsthorn
Design critic and author of “Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, UAL honorary fellow
Max Lamb My Grandfathers Tree  Courtesy of Gallery FUMI

My Grandfather’s Tree: “Max Lamb’s “My Grandfather’s Tree” project at Somerset House sounds fascinating. Over several years, Max felled a sickly female ash tree on his grandfather’s farm in North Yorkshire helped by a friend Jon Turnbull. The tree was cut into 131 logs, from the top down, respecting the natural structure of the knots, branches and crotches. Max has since remade each log into a chair, stool and table, and young ashes are growing on the remains of the original tree.”
Find out more

Jonathan Barnbrook
Designer and UAL honorary doctor

LDF at the V&A: “There are very strong links between the V&A and the LDF, I know Victoria Broakes the curator at the V&A who is heavily involved and a great supporter of LDF (and whom I worked with on the ‘David Bowie is’ exhibition). I particularly like this year the way in which the special projects LDF which have ‘infiltrated’ the V&A. Great to look out or discover by chance as you walk around the museum, most unexpected for me is Creative Cloud by mischer’traxler situated in the Norfolk House Music Room a brilliant poetic combination of the old and new.

Also I would also recommend the Robin Day installation, the industrial design he created shaped the environment of my youth. Not only are they great examples of well-considered, human, production lead design but also contain an interesting psychogeographic element having appeared in every school or TV programme in the 1970s.”
Find out more

Peter Saville
Graphic designer and UAL honorary doctor

Kvadrat: “I’m looking forward to seeing Raf’s new collection for Kvadrat.”
Find out more


Paul Goodwin
UAL Chair of Black Art and Design

You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well as By ReflectionV and A Pavillion Olivier Bellflamme
Mexican Pavilion at the V&A: “You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection: I’m looking forward to seeing this exciting architectural intervention in the John Madjeski garden at the V&A by the young Mexican architect Frida Escobedo. I’m very interested in how architects create interactive environments and spaces to encourage public interaction and common reflection about who were are as urban citizens and how we can live, work and play together in pubic spaces. This work reminds me of the brilliant outdoor installations and pavilions of visual artists such as Jeppe Hein or Dan Graham who work with expanded notions of art and architecture to open up new understandings and experiences of communal spaces.”
Find out more


Nick Bell
UAL Chair of Communication Design
The excessively long slow shoes

The Intelligent Optimist: “The dominant world-view we’ve known this last hundred years is in the advanced stages of decay and is being superseded by nimble new models. If you are curious as to the kinds of transformative design intelligence the future needs then don’t miss The Intelligent Optimist at Central Saint Martins. Look out for the ‘Social Agents’ and especially ‘The Fixers’ who don’t see the world as a set of problems but ‘as situations to make productive sense of.”
Find out more

Sir John Sorrell
UAL Chairman and London Design Festival Chairman
Marta Bordes Elastic Lights
UAL Now, designjunction and Odyssey Virtual Reality: “I highly recommend a visit to Design Junction and also a visit to the London Design Festival at Somerset House to have a ride with Odyssey Virtual Reality.”
Find out more

Ben Kelly
UAL Chair
What Is Luxury? and  50th Anniversary of the British Road Sign: “What is Luxury? at the V&A. This is an unusual take on the definition of luxury. Sir John Soane’s Museum – Space and Light. 50th Anniversary of the British Road Sign at The Design Museum. 100 leading British artists and designers have been asked to submit their own road sign design – to develop concepts that evolve from the current signs and develop ideas which makes us stop, look and think about design and our environment in a slightly different way; less instructions and more pause for thought. I am included in the 100 designers. Clearly, this is a must see exhibition!”

Vicky Fabbri
Barnaby Barford The Tower of Babel bone china building c Barnaby Barford courtesy V and A
Tower of Babel by Barnaby Barford, Tokyo Bike Tours and LDF x Mast Brothers chocolate collaboration: “Barnaby is an artist working within the medium of ceramics to cross into the design world. The Tower of Babel is 6m high and represents 1000s of real shops seen on London High streets, made from bone china in Stoke on Trent. It will be an awesome faciniating sight, and is already getting heaps of press. The bike tours are a great way to explore the London Design Festival, which are guided by design experts (in the past Max Fraser and Duncan Richie), whilst test riding the gorgeous Tokyo bikes. And chocolate… that’s just pretty cool!”
Find out more

Discover UAL’s events at London Design Festival 2015

See a preview of UAL Now at designjunction

Explore the full London Design Festival programme

Search design courses at UAL

Follow UAL Edit on Instagram to see shots from the shows

UAL at London Design Festival 2015

LDF logo
For London Design Festival 2015, UAL invites you to talks, workshops, exhibitions, pop-up shops, and installations across London. Find out what’s on during the Festival.

Kuniko Maeda
24-27 September
designjunction, The College, Southampton Row, WC1B 4AP
Sixteen creatives destined to define the future design landscape will exhibit in UAL Now at designjunction during London Design Festival 2015; selected from UAL’s graduating class, the exhibiting artists are drawn from over 5,000 graduating students. At designjunction these rising star designers will appear alongside prestigious brands from around the globe, through the UAL Now initiative which showcases the most exciting emerging talent from University of the Arts London.
Read more

design education wtf
Design Education… WTF
24-27 September
designjunction, The College, Southampton Row, WC1B 4AP
During designjunction UAL’s Central Saint Martins Product and Industrial Design programme will be exploring the question: What’s The Future of Product and Industrial Design Education? through a series of discussions and workshops.
Read more
An interactive ‘exhibit’ inviting product and industrial design alumni to sign or carve their name or design into a new wood workbench
Read more

Edit 2
EDIT 2.0/
11-21 September
Upper Gallery London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle,  SE1 6SB
11-21 September
An exhibition celebrating the launch of EDIT 2.0/, a publication produced by LCC’s Course Leader for BA (Hons) Graphic and Media Design, Craig Burston. Subtitled ‘What Does Green Really Mean?’, the book records an investigation into the assumptions we make about the notion of ‘green’.
Find out more

STAK Exhibition

11-21 September
Well Gallery, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB
An exhibition of work produced by the advertising photographer and commercials director STAK. Born in Cyprus, STAK came to England with his family at the age of six and studied at LCC alongside other illustrious alumni such as John Hegarty.

Ladybird Reimagined
Ladybird Books Reimagined
11-21 September
Lower Gallery, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6SB
Students from London College of Communication have joined forces with iconic publisher Ladybird Books in a collaboration that reimagines the brand in today’s world. The exhibition is the culmination of a six-month project in which illustrators, animators and graphic designers from LCC have collaborated to create work that celebrates and reimagines Ladybird’s classic pocket-sized books for their centenary year.
Find out more

MADCFJ Ana Quinones Noriega
The Intelligent Optimist
19 September-17 October
Lethaby Gallery, Crossing Gallery Central Saint Martins, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA
Showcasing recent CSM graduates who are shaping the future of design, The Intelligent Optimist can take many guises: Future Gazers, Material Explorers, Social Agents and The Fixers. All, in their various ways, are using their creative practices and canny intelligences to reimagine better futures.
Find out more

 Tsai & Yoshikawa Figure No.1
Tsai & Yoshikawa Figure No.1

19 September-19 October
Henry Moore Courtyard, Chelsea College of Arts, 16 John Islip Street, SW1P 4JU
This new site-specific work by collaborative artists Hsiao-Chi Tsai and Kimiya Yoshikawa will be installed within Chelsea’s Henry Moore Courtyard. Commissioned by Chelsea College of Arts, the artists have taken inspiration from the courtyard’s absent Henry Moore sculpture, ‘Two Piece Reclining Figure No.1 1959’, considering its historical relevance to Moore’s work and the College.
Find out more

Chelsea 10
19 September-7 October
Chelsea College of Arts will be celebrating 10 years of creativity at Millbank with ‘Chelsea 10’ an exhibition celebrating Artists and Designers that have graduated from the college since 2005. The exhibition is taking place across the Millbank site with work exhibited in the Triangle Space, Cookhouse Gallery and the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground.
Find out more

we built this city
MiAL Pop Up Shop at We Built This City

19-27 September
56-57 Carnaby Street, W15 9QF
UAL Students’ Union initiative Made in Arts London are teaming up with We Built This City’s Carnaby Street store to host a week long pop-up shop showcasing an exciting selection of emerging art and design. MiAL’s Pop Up Shop will offers the chance to buy affordable art and design from some of the most talented students and graduates from University of the Arts London, including illustration, limited editions, artist books, homeware, fashion, and accessorie. The pop-up shop will host two artist workshops: Make your own Pop Art Jewellery and Screen Print your own Tote Bag.
Find out more

Read the exclusive insiders’ guides to London Design Festival 2015 from UAL’s design experts

See a preview of UAL Now at designjunction

Explore the full London Design Festival programme

Search design courses at UAL

Follow UAL Edit on Instagram to see shots from the shows

London Fashion Week SS16 – the insider guide

London Fashion Week logo
More dazzling with every season, London Fashion Week sashays back into town for five days of catwalks, launches and parties across the Capital from Friday. With a reputation for presenting the most exciting new and established designers, London Fashion Week draws media, buyers and celebrities from around the world to see over 70 designers showing during the official schedule, more than half of whom graduated from UAL’s prestigious Colleges.

Most of the Spring Summer 16 catwalk shows will be livestreamed to the London Fashion Week outdoor cinema and online, giving instant access to viewers worldwide from Golden Square to the Golden Gate.

Tony Glenville with Virginia Bates and Jade Parfitt at the LCF MA catwalk show by Alex Maguire

Global fashion month fixture Tony Glenville, Creative Director: School of Media & Communications, at London College of Fashion, UAL reveals the names to know this season, with his exclusive insider’s guide to London Fashion Week:

“I tend to know that the bigger names have plenty of images around, and easy access, so I often select small shows, or installations to see new work or designers who are beginners or those who will not have masses of images out there in the media. Pringle and Belstaff have new design teams so are really interesting, especially Belstaff who last season moved forward hugely. Berardi and Koma have an international sophistication to them which is different to the normal London mood and style. I love Fashion Scout so I will be there a lot seeing the young designers and the first timers. ”

Tony’s must-see list for SS16 is:

Faustine Steinmetz – “Fascinating methods”
Teatum Jones – “Brilliant ideas”
Antonio Berardi – “International de Luxe”
Marques Almeida – “Adored from day one”
David Koma – “Slick and polished”
KTZ – “Fascinating concepts”
Toga – “Beautiful construction”
Ryan Lo – “Magical narrative”
Fydor Golan – “Quixotic each collection”
Belstaff – “Superb quality and understated”
Pringle of Scotland – “Luxurious and understated”

He comments, “all these are designers with something to say, an original clear handwriting to their shows and I am fascinated to see what they see as the answer to fashion each season”.

Watch the shows live from Friday 18 September on the London Fashion Week livestream – see the schedule

London Fashion Week SS16 runs from 18 – 22 September 2015 based at Golden Square, Soho, W1R 3AD. Find out more on the London Fashion Week site

Bart Hess Echo 2011
Visit the Fashion Space Gallery’s LFW exhibition Digital Disturbances, which examines the influence of digital concepts and tools on fashion. Find out more on the exhibition event listing

Flora Miranda photographer GÖKAY CATAK-digital artwork JOACHIM BEENS
Search fashion courses at UAL


New UAL Alumni Group in Manchester, UK

Live in or around Manchester?  Missing UAL? Want to meet like-minded creatives for networking or just a couple of friendly drinks? If you answered yes to any of those questions, we have just the thing for you… 

Meet Susannah Cole. Susannah studied at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. She has recently moved to Manchester, and is in the process of setting up an alumni group there.

Susannah Cole

Susannah Cole

“I grew up in “the sticks” (in Lincolnshire) and London always seemed so exciting! Most of the fashion magazines and art books I read mentioned the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins so I decided that I had to study at one of the colleges!

I wanted to be a fashion journalist so I enrolled on a Foundation course in Fashion Promotion Media at London College of Fashion. Whilst there, I found out about a new course called BA (hons) Criticism, Curation and Communication: Arts & Design (now entitled BA (hons) Culture, Criticism and Curation), and thought it sounded fascinating.

London is a fantastic city and I had a great time studying there. You’re surrounded by some of the best galleries and museums in the world – there’s almost too much to see and do!

I relocated to Manchester last year and I wanted to find out about arts events in my new city and to make new friends. I’d been to some of the alumni events in London and decided on a whim to join the one here – only to find out that Manchester doesn’t have an alumni group!

I’m hoping the group will give alumni the chance to network and collaborate on projects, to find out about arts events in the city, and to make new friends.”

If you want to be a part of the new UAL Manchester Alumni group get in touch with Susannah today by emailing

UAL Now preview – the new names to know at designjunction

Sixteen creatives destined to define the future design landscape will exhibit in UAL Now at designjunction during London Design Festival 2015; selected from UAL’s graduating class, the exhibiting artists are drawn from over 5,000 graduating students. At designjunction these rising star designers will appear alongside prestigious brands from around the globe, through the UAL Now initiative which showcases the most exciting emerging talent from University of the Arts London.

Here, we bring you an exclusive preview of the work which will be exhibited at The College, 24-27 September. These are the sixteen new names to know in design:

Ana Jimenez Palomar
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery, Central Saint Martins

Ana Jimenez Palomar

Abay Zhumagulov
BA (Hons) Product Design, Central Saint Martins

Abay Zhumagulov

Ben Perkins
BA (Hons) 3D Design, Camberwell College of Arts

Ben Perkins PerkiDesk

Brook Sigal
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery, Central Saint Martins

Brook Sigal

Charlotte Garnett
BA (Hons) Jewellery Design, Central Saint Martins

Charlotte Garnett

Evangeline Pesigan
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery, Central Saint Martins

Evangeline Pesigan aninag

Geraldine Biard
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery, Central Saint Martins

Jardin d'Hiver - Copyright 2015 G+®raldine Biard

Joana Cartaxo
BA (Hons) Ceramic Design, Central Saint Martins

Joana Singuaris

Kuniko Maeda
BA (Hons) Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts

Kuniko Maeda

Laura Shrimpton
BA (Hons) Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts

Laura Shrimpton

Louise Tucker
MA Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts

Louise Tucker

Marta Bordes
MA Design: Ceramics, Furniture and Jewellery, Central Saint Martins

Marta Bordes Elastic Lights

Olivia Aspinall
BA (Hons) Textile Design, Central Saint Martins

Olivia Aspinall

Wataru Goto
MA Visual Arts: Designer Maker, Camberwell College of Arts

Wataru Goto

Yizhu Fang
MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins

Yizhu Fang

Yuta Segawa
MA Visual Arts: Designer Maker, Camberwell College of Arts

Yuta Segawa

UAL Now showcases recent graduates’ work at the best fairs and industry exhibitions across art, design and communication; in order to launch their work, products, ideas, services and companies. It enables and prepares them to connect to curators, buyers, collectors, manufacturers, agencies and specialist audiences, so that they can sell work, network and advance their practice and careers in the creative and cultural sector.

During designjunction UAL’s Central Saint Martins Product and Industrial Design programme will be exploring the question: What’s The Future of Product and Industrial Design Education? through a series of talks and workshops. Alongside this activity there will be an interactive ‘exhibit’ inviting product and industrial design alumni to sign or carve their name or design into a new wood workbench. Find out more

UAL Now at designjunction runs 24-27 September at 12-42 Southampton Row, WC1B 4AP

As a designjunction partner UAL friends can purchase half price tickets to the event using the promomotion code DJUAL

Find out more about UAL Now

See the event information for UAL at designjunction

See behind the scenes as the show goes up by following #UALNow on social media

All works are available for sale, for more information or sales enquiries, contact to find out more

Discover all the UAL events at London Design Festival 2015

Read the exclusive insiders’ guides to London Design Festival 2015 from UAL’s design experts

Explore the full London Design Festival programme

Follow UAL Edit on Instagram to see shots from the shows

Search design courses at UAL

UAL Russia Alumni Group: Marketplace II

The UAL Russia alumni group are meeting for their next Art&Design Market to round off a busy year, and they want YOU to join them. The event will be the perfect way to catch up with old friends, make new ones, and not to mention sell a piece of work or two…

May 2014 Marketplace, by Fedor Toshchev

May 2014 Marketplace, by Fedor Toshchev

The marketplace will take place on Saturday 19 September in the beautiful and spacious back yard of Powerhouse Moscow, a well-known creative spot. New and experienced artists and designers alike will be showing and selling their work, ranging from fashion and jewellery to art prints and ‘zines. Open from 12pm, we will definitely finish with a late night party!

Participation in the event is free. If you wish to take part in the market, please send an e-mail to with some information about yourself and some images of your work.

We look forward to meeting you there,

Anna Mokhova and the rest of the UAL Russia alumni group.

Meet: RIXO

Orlagh McCloskey and Henrietta Rix both studied BA Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion. After working on a project together they hit it off and decided to go into business together.  Now, a year later, they have just launched their own Womenswear contemporary label, RIXO, a strong British take on vintage creating wearable flattering shapes for women of all ages.  We met with Henrietta and Orlagh to find out how their journey from the classroom to the boardroom…

Henrietta and Orlagh

Henrietta and Orlagh

What made you want to study at LCF?

Orlagh: There was no one from where I’m from who had ever been to LCF; it was definitely the name and the reputation that drew me to study there.

Henrietta: I found three courses I was interested in – one in Manchester, one in Westminster and one at LCF – I knew I wanted to come to London, and was torn between the campus-feel of Westminster and being in the centre of London with London College of Fashion.  One of my friends had done the course at LCF and recommended it to me, she said the connections that you gain through LCF, being in the centre of London and the reputation makes it stand out.

How did you adjust to life in London?

H: In my first year I found it hard as I didn’t know that many people and I wasn’t used to it, but it does make you stronger as a person definitely.

O: When you’re at a campus Uni you don’t get that taste of what living in London is actually like, you’re in the campus bubble. LCF helps you adjust to getting a job after and the London lifestyle, because you’re already used to it.

It takes a year to find your friends, it took longer than I expected – you meet people in class but it takes a while to forge the relationships after class… 

Part of the first collection

Part of the first collection

What were the highlights of your time at LCF?

All the modules had a commercial side with real life situations, not necessarily all design – we were always grounded in the reality of the industry, and what’s going on 24/7.

When did you decide you wanted to work together?

We did a consultancy project together where we had to go out into industry and find a company to be consultants for. We found Anne’s Podium by going round loads of studios and knocking on doors in East London. She opened it and agreed to take us on. We worked really closely on that and realised how well we worked together.  We had the same sort of attitude and approached work in the same way.

We then both went on the placement years. We decided to do the year in industry to get some contacts and experience, and as soon as we finished we could start the business!

Tell us more about RIXO

We’ve always been obsessed with going to vintage fairs and finding timeless pieces, and we were thinking more and more about how the high street is commercial and saturated – you can go in to Zara and everyone will be wearing the same top as you, and we were getting sick of that.  We saw a gap in the market for the entry level contemporary price point and our concept.  Our customer is someone who would go into Zara, but it willing to spend a bit more for something that is timeless and not trend-driven…

 Short black dress

How do you switch off and relax?

It’s not a 9-5 job, we are constantly thinking about the brand, reading stuff, looking at competitors. We don’t ever switch off.

O: This morning I dreamt that our development samples were getting mixed up and I woke up in a sweat. We constantly have to check with each other whether we’ve had the conversations or just dreamt them!

H: I’ll wake up in the morning and it will be as if I haven’t seen Orlagh in a week, I’ve got so many new ideas and things to talk about.

You have to have the drive and ambition, which we both have. We can’t have doubts. We are realistic and have plan B’s but you HAVE to be positive and believe in it. There’s no way that both of us would give up our income living in London and be putting our own personal finding into it if we didn’t think it was going to work. We have to be REALLY self-motivated. We can’t wait to get up in the morning and start working on things.

Do you do the designs yourself?

We design everything and hand-paint all our prints in our kitchen.  We’ve had help from family and friends with design and Photoshop.  You have to have your finger in every pie and work out what you can do yourselves to get costs down. If you don’t know something there’s so much information available at your fingertips to learn.  For example, we know we can paint a print, but actually getting it on to a dress is a different matter altogether.   We have taught ourselves lots of new techniques.

We also designed the branding/website/logo – we have a clear and strong idea of how we want everything to look. We wanted to do it ourselves as we had the vision in our heads. That helped with the development process as we were able to be really clear on what we wanted. Our e-commerce website is launching now! 

How has your degree at LCF helped you with your ventures?

One of the most impotatnt things we learnt on the course at LCF, and from working in industry is being really aware of your cash flow – a lot of designers struggle with this.  For example, a lot of on-line retailers don’t pay on delivery, they pay 120 days later, so you have to bear that in mind when working out how much you can afford.

The experience we got on the course and the year in industry also gave us the contacts to be able to trust the suppliers we are using now. If you have a supplier who you’ve worked with and you trust it gives you the confidence to deliver what you’ve promised, which is crucial to your reputation.

We’ve also subsequently worked with loads of UAL alumni, and through that met loads of crucial new contacts. So many of the people on our course are working in the industry, it’s been really good to have friends who can put you in touch with people, it’s helped a lot!

Skirt and blouse

What have been the highlights so far of setting up the label?

Seeing our name in the label in the back of a dress is an amazing feeling.  Also, we’ve started to get some really good press coverage – so when we see our dress in Red magazine, or the telegraph and Grazia are featuring us during London fashion week, it’s unbelievable.

H: My dad bought a 100 copies of the telegraph when we were in it! 

What’s next for RIXO? 

We are currently selling at three boutiques in London; Wolf and Badger, Bar and Bass and a pop-up in Soho.

Our plan for the immediate future is to launch the website and get our first collection going and then we are planning on rolling the collections – we always want to be adding new things every couple of weeks. We also want to work on getting more press and get noticed.

Orlagh and Henrietta’s Top Tips for setting up your own brand;  

  1. Meet people face-to-face – this has been one of the most important things we’ve done. When you’re starting out people are much more likely to help you out if you’ve met them in person.
  2. You never know when you’re going to work with someone in the future – so it’s really important to keep up good relationships from all your jobs because it’s such a small industry.
  3. If you can, don’t go it alone – We would find it so hard by ourselves, a partner will help you stay motivated. But is is so important that it’s the right person too; someone who you have the same attitude and aesthetic vision as.
  4. Be really flexible and able to take opportunities as and when they come – don’t be stuck and rigid. If a colour comes back slightly different than we imagined but it still looks good, there’s no point in being difficult about it. In the long run that won’t help anyone.
  5. Be nice to everyone! At the end of the day everyone is just doing their job…