London Textiles Trip: Designers of Dreams

Lower Sixth Textiles students recently enjoyed their annual residential trip to London. With a packed itinerary, including sight-seeing and fashion exhibitions, the students were really inspired by the two-day experience.

A walking tour of Brick Lane and Spitalfields taking in the street art, culture and entertainment proved to be a great opportunity for street photography. From here we made our way over to The Southbank to continue our tour of the street art along the Thames followed by a visit to The Vinegar Yard in Bermondsey.

The ‘Swinging London’ exhibition at The Fashion and Textiles Museum was curated including interior and fashion design from this iconic era. Work from designers such as Terence Conran, Mary Quant and Laura Ashley featured in the museum allowing the students to see some if the most influential work of this period.

We finished our first day with a trip to the top of The Shard to take in the bird’s eye view of London from above. After a twelve mile walk, the students enjoyed their relaxing evening meal, with a chance to recuperate before day two!

A day in the life of a fashion student could not have been better, as we began our second day with a guided tour of the ‘Unlocking Stories’ exhibition at the Alexander McQueen flagship store on New Bond Street. Here the students were guided through a range of ‘stories’ created for the current McQueen collection. They were able to handle luxurious fabrics, take close up photographs of some of the most influential pieces of the McQueen legacy from previous collections and investigate the exquisite construction techniques used within haute couture. 

After a visit to Soho to see the range of fabric and trimming shops frequented by the London designers, we made our way to The Victoria and Albert Museum.  We were very lucky to secure tickets for the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition, which we were expecting to be a highlight of the trip. Each room was beautifully curated with the most influential work of Christian Dior from the 1940s that continues to be such an inspiration today. The work of Dior’s predecessors, John Galliano, Raf Simons and Maria Grazia Chiuri was placed alongside each collection; with so much to see we were all in awe of the sheer beauty and excellence in each piece, many of which we have seen in books, magazines and television advertisements.

This was a truly special occasion and we have all been very inspired by the skill and beauty of fashion design and construction at the very highest level. 

Mrs J Bishop, Head of Textiles