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Knitwear Chanel to Westwood – Education and Learning Blog


The apprentices have had a busy few weeks of educational trips, first off it was London Fashion Week then design week and now some up-and-coming exhibitions.

Wendy VABlog

After a busy admin and teaching day we (myself and Keeley) went straight to the Fashion and Textile Museum. A glass of bubbly was a welcome sight, followed by brilliant examples of knitwear through the decades. Swimwear from the 1930’s (would you actually get it wet?), through to fabulous Westwood punk, 1980’s pieces and a beautiful beaded example by Matthew Williamson, left us thinking, how many hours did that take to produce?
It’s amazing how easy it is to date the garment, oh how I miss my 1980’s pink spotted, shoulder padded jumper…

The exhibition was opened by Zandra Rhodes and I spotted Andrew Logan, I remember him visiting the print studios at Middlesex University in the 90’s, he has aged well!

If you have a desire or passion for anything textiles, or fashion-related than this is the perfect exhibition, displaying the best of techniques and styles through the years.

Wendy VA blog2From there we hopped on a bus to East London to catch Kipple. An installation by Dan Tobin Smith for the London Design Festival. Shown around the studio by his wonderful assistant Michelle Amosu we enjoyed spotting items from the past (a tape recorder, jelly moulds, kermit the frog) in this colourful exhibition of discarded objects, displayed like a chaotic colour wheel.

If the exhibition travels it’s well worth seeing, if not you can see some images below. The picture of Rod Stewart I included especially for Jenny Holloway.

This week has been enrichment week for our students. We try and book visits to exhibitions at least once a term to keep ourselves and our students informed.

First we visited Horst at the V&A. Fashion photographs, his early ones with poses reminiscent of classical sculpture and lit like some films of the time, think of German Expressionist films. I really enjoyed viewing all of seeing Horst’s Vogue covers.

We finished the day seeing Wedding Dresses, from the 18 to the present day. Our favourites were the contemporary dresses, but we appreciated the hand embroidery on the older styles. Some of our level 4 group liked the nude coloured dress worn by Kate Moss, with antique gold coloured crystal embellishments. I thought the hand pleated silk column dress was beautiful.

If you are going to the V&A it’s worth seeing Disobedient Objects – props and examples of activism (free) as well a visiting the decorative art and crafts café. It’s a great museum to visit for research or leisure.

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