Textiles students selected to take part in prestigious Dublin and London shows
Foxford and Kilcolgan students take part in London Fashion Week and The Knitting and Stitching Show
Two final year GMIT Textiles students have been given a huge career boost after taking part in two prestigious shows in Dublin and London recently. Student Amy Brannigan from Ballinstaig, Kilcolgan, Co Galway, was invited to exhibit her work at The Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin’s RDS, the definitive exhibition for lovers of textiles in Ireland, and Katie Moore from Foxford, Co Mayo, was chosen to work at London Fashion Week after winning an internship with international Irish designer John Rocha.
Amy Brannigan launched her collection of laser-cut jewellery and embroidered textiles at the prestigious textiles event which ran in Dublin’s RDS during October and November. Organised by ‘Twistedthread’ UK (http://www.twistedthread.com) it has become the largest and most highly regarded textiles and craft event in Ireland, attracting up to 35,000 visitors from home and abroad and providing a unique experience for those who are passionate about stitching, knitting, textile crafts or any other form of textiles.
She exhibited alongside some of the leading international artists in textiles including Tilleke Schwarz, Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn. Earlier this year Amy was named overall winner of the fashion and design competition ‘Fashion-Able Kenmare’ as part of the Kenmare Lace Festival.
Helen Marriot, organiser of The Knitting & Stitching Show, invited Amy to come back next year with other GMIT Textile students and to travel to UK cities with the exhibition. As well as the RDS Dublin venue, ‘Twistedthread’ run exhibitions at Alexandra Palace, London, the HIC Harrogate, Olympia, London, and at the NEC, Birmingham.
Speaking about her experience, Amy says: “I was delighted when Kim Thittichai, a well-known author of Textile books such as ‘Hot Textiles’ and ‘Experimental Textiles’ asked to photograph my work with the intent to feature it in her Blog http://www.hot-textiles.blogspot.ie/. I was also approached by the new publication ‘BASH’ magazine which was launched this month in response to Irish demand from people looking for alternative venues, occasion-wear, photography and accessories for bespoke weddings in Ireland.”
Peter Conroy, lecturer on the BA (Hons)Textile programme at GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts and Media, says GMIT has a terrific relationship and long history with ‘The Knitting and Stitching Show’ going back 15 years.
“We are offered exhibition space at each annual event and this gives valuable exposure to the general public as well as to other international artists and designers while students are still at college. It provides them with an insight to potential markets and helps to develop interpersonal and soft skills so necessary to their future design careers. I am delighted but not surprised that Amy had such a successful show as she is a wonderfully talented and hard-working designer-maker. I look forward to seeing her next collection of fabulous textiles at her final year exhibition.”
“GMIT's Textile students are actively taught how to develop and prepare their portfolios to suit the needs of the commercial design world. This ensures that they can bring valuable design skills to the table when applying for external work experience and internships, “ explains Mr Conroy.
Student Katie Moore, who won an internship with international Irish designer John Rocha , worked on hats for his SS14 collection. As part of this, she was invited to London Fashion Week to work with the John Rocha team.
Speaking about her experiences, Katie says: “While working backstage during the John Rocha LFW SS14 show I was so busy soaking up all that was around me, there was so much to see and learn. My time at John Rocha was invaluable. I enjoyed every minute of it and learned so much, but also got to put all the skills I've gained while studying Textiles in GMIT to good use. I really look forward to my next London Fashion Week experience.”
Commenting on Katie’s achievements, Peter Conroy says: “When she was called for interview with John Rocha she had a fantastic opportunity to show the in-house designers her college work. She has a background in millinery but her portfolio contains broader textile interests such as fabric printing, weaving and embroidery. This was no doubt one of the reasons why Katie was invited to work at Rocha's design house 'Three Moon Designs' - as it is well known that he values textiles as the creative core of his collections. It was no surprise then that the design team particularly admired Katie's portfolio of wonderful fabric prints created as part of a college project here at GMIT’s Centre for the Creative Arts and Media (CCAM)."
“It is always a rewarding experience for lecturing staff to witness and support burgeoning creativity allied to professionalism. Certainly Amy and Katie have plenty of both qualities. Being invited to take part in both prestigious events such as London Fashion Week and The Knitting and Stitching Show is a very positive reflection on the educational quality of the Textile programme at GMIT," adds Mr Conroy.
Read more about GMIT’s Art & Design (Textiles) programme,