Since graduating in 2015 from BA Textile Design at Chelsea, Seiichi Yamamoto has progressed into a full time textile designer in Japan. As part of our One Year On interview series, we spoke with Yamamoto to learn more about his projects and reflections on time at Chelsea.
What have you been up to since you graduated?
Following graduation from the BA Textile Design course, I worked for fashion designer Claudia Catzeflis as her assistant. When my student visa expired I moved back to Japan and started working as a textile designer for a company in Tokyo, producing mainly neckties. The company is an exhibitor at the international menswear and accessories event Pitti Uomo in Italy. We handle licensed productions for Italy and UK brands of neckties.
Tell us about your practice, how has it developed since graduating?
During my studies at Chelsea I really liked Chanel tweed so I consequently focused on tweeds for womenswear. I mainly worked with wool. Now however, as a designer of neckties, I need to consider the context of men’s suits and therefore mostly work using silks. Learning how to work with silk was difficult but a welcome and worthwhile challenge for me.
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently designing textiles for neckties, pocket squares and scarfs for various brands and department stores in Japan.
What are your future ambitions?
I aim to keep creating textiles and to continue developing my practice in a creative and sophisticated way.
Tell us about your time at Chelsea, what did you enjoy the most?
While at Chelsea, I spent much of my time creating fabrics. I also spent a lot of time developing a personal style for fashion drawing which I really enjoyed.
What is the most important thing you learned on the BA Textile Design course?
Prototypes! Make trial pieces as much as possible before making final pieces.
Also it is helpful to consider the way you hope to present your work when you are at the early stages of a project.
What advice would you give to our students who are about to graduate?
If I can offer students some advice, it would be to focus carefully on what they are working on at Chelsea, using the facilities they have available and then to consider how they will present the work when finished. Working on those presentations is very important and sometimes using other media such as making a video is helpful.
Find out more about Chelsea’s BA Textile Design course