BIAAF: Fashion Design for Young Professionals
UAL Short Courses recently delivered an exciting fashion design programme for BIAAF (Bilbao International Art and Fashion), a creative platform which aims to support promising fashion designers from across the world as they establish their careers in the industry.
The course took place over 1 week and saw creative professionals from various art residencies across Europe travel to London to experience the creative environment at Central Saint Martins. Among them was Jon Alkain Urdangarin, a fashion designer from Northern Spain. Jon is currently working on his third fashion collection focused on bridal wear.
We caught up with Jon and two other participants to hear about their week. Read more about our custom training courses to find out how we can support your learning objectives.
Led by designer Stephanie Cooper, The Fashion Design for Young Professionals Short Course offered participants the opportunity to explore design processes and research pathways in a supportive environment.
During the week, participants were required to produce work reflecting the theme of ‘Disobedient Bodies: The Human Form Reimagined’. Participants created their own fabric design ideas and experimented with fabric manipulation, volumes, constructions and surface designs.
Topics covered included:
- 2D and 3D experiments
- Shape, proportion and scale
- Construction techniques
- Fabrications, colours and surface design
- Garment detailing
- Visual research
To support their projects, participants were invited to conduct visual research using the resources at Central Saint Martins library. This is something that Jon found particularly useful; “I’ve been learning about how to research and re-create the ideas and stories that I have in my mind,” he says. “I’ve learnt that if you have an argument or a reason that you’ve already researched your project will make more sense – that’s how people will get into your story or idea.”
“I didn’t really come to the course with a specific idea,” Jon tells us, “but I wanted to try out lots of different ideas and research them.” During the course, Jon began researching bridal wear and became interested in idealised female beauty standards. "I'm really enjoying the research process," he says.
Alvaro Azkue Telleria came to the course from his home in the Basque Country, Spain. After studying for a bachelor’s degree in fashion design in Barcelona, Alvaro moved to San Sebastián and took up an art residency.
“BIAAF offer a number of scholarships every year so a group of people can come to Central Saint Martins for a week or so to work on their projects,” Alvaro explains. “I was really excited to come to Central Saint Martins – even if only for a week! The whole experience of coming to London to study has been really nice for me. London is such a vibrant, multicultural place. So as well as the university context – it’s been really exciting to be here.”
During the week, Alvaro has been working on his first fashion collection, which he has spent some time developing as part of his art residency. “It’s been perfect for me because I’ve been able to show the work that I have already developed and take my ideas further. I can then apply these ideas into my collection when I go back.”
“The course has been intense but you really have the opportunity to push your ideas here,” says Alvaro. “They really push you to do your best work. I’m going back to Spain with lots of new ideas.”
Lorea Church Iturbe also found the course inspiring and would recommend the experience to others. “It’s definitely worth it coming here and experiencing this university - it’s wonderful,” she says, “it helps to improve your creativity and expand the mind.”
Lorea studied fashion design in Bilbao and enjoyed the opportunity to experiment with new designs at Central Saint Martins. “I like how Central Saint Martins celebrates the relationship between fashion and art,” says Lorea. “The aim is to create something really special and artistic.”
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