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Fashion designers of the future offered an insiders’ view of the industry

Press Release   •   Dec 06, 2018 12:24 GMT

Designs by Northumbria University Fashion graduates on show at The Bowes Museum

Famous names from the UK’s fashion industry, including accomplished Northumbria University fashion graduates, will gather in the region this weekend to inspire the next generation of designers.

They will come together at The Bowes Museum, County Durham on Saturday 8 December, at an event organised by Northumbria University, Newcastle in partnership with The Bowes Museum.

Visitors will hear from fashion industry influencers including renowned fashion photographer Chris Moore, award-winning fashion critic and author Alexander Fury, and renowned fashion writer Professor Iain R Webb.

Students can also meet and be inspired by some of Northumbria’s most accomplished Fashion graduates who have gone on to establish highly successful careers in the industry, including working with some of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses.

The graduate speakers will include:

  • Graeme Fidler, creative director at fashion label and design consultancy Several and an award-winning designer who has developed collections for prestigious menswear labels including Polo Ralph Lauren, Bally and Aquascutum;
  • Talent Agent Imogen Davies who represents fashion photographers worldwide, for clients including Topshop and Harpers Bazzar; and
  • Jennifer Barrett, Founder and Managing Director of ‘This is Creative Enterprise’, which helps young people to explore opportunities in commercial creative, design and digital industries.

They will be joined by Royal College of Art graduate Michael Herz, co-creative director and design consultant at Several – who has worked with high-profile names including Aquascutum., Bally, Guy Laroche and Marc Jacobs.

The special event at The Bowes Museum will offer three distinctive sessions, each offering unique, inside perspectives from the world of fashion.

11.30am – 12.30pm: Invitation Strictly Personal with renowned fashion writer Iain R. Webb

Iain R Webb is a Professor of Fashion and Design at Kingston School of Art, Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martin’s and The Royal College of Art, and acts as creative consultant at the Fashion Museum, Bath. During this session Iain will talk about life on the front row and his book; ‘Invitation Strictly Personal: 40 years of fashion show invites’. Guests can have their copy of Iain’s book signed at the event and the session is free to students interested in fashion.

2.15pm – 3.15pm: Meet the fashion industry alumni

Come along to meet and quiz some of Northumbria University’s most successful fashion graduates and hear about their personal journeys from undergraduates to leading industry professionals.

Northumbria University’s Fashion Design BA (Hons) course was established more than 60 years ago and is renowned for producing high quality, industry-ready graduates, many of whom have gone on to enjoy successful careers at brands and agencies across the globe, including Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, H&M and Nike. Undergraduates can also follow BA programmes in Fashion Design and Marketing and Fashion Communications. The event is free of charge for students interested in fashion.

3.30pm – 5.00pm: Catwalking: In conversation with Chris Moore, author Alexander Fury, and Iain R. Webb. This session includes refreshments and needs to be pre-booked. A £3 charge applies.

Join Chris Moore, Alexander Fury and Professor Iain R Webb, to hear about some of the most memorable moments in the history of the catwalk. The talk will be Chaired by Linda Watson, Reader in Fashion at Northumbria University and author of best-selling book ‘Vogue: Twentieth Century Fashion’.

Newcastle-born Chris Moore has been at the forefront of fashion for six decades, capturing iconic moments at shows including Chanel, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. He has strong links with Northumbria University and has photographed Northumbria’s Fashion Graduate shows for over twenty-five years.

Alexander Fury is a fashion journalist, author and critic. He is currently the Fashion Features Director of AnOther magazine, and the Men's Critic of the Financial Times.

The sessions complement a major exhibition currently showing at The Bowes Museum; Catwalking: Fashion through the lens of Chris Moore’, curated in partnership with Northumbria University, which marries Moore’s stunning imagery with original outfits from the world’s leading fashion houses, alongside design pieces by Northumbria graduates.

Chris Moore has photographed the work of Northumbria’s final year Fashion Design students at the annual Graduate Fashion Week catwalk shows in London since 1991 and is a regular visitor to the University. In 2013 he was awarded an honorary degree by Northumbria in recognition of his creative contribution to the world of fashion.

Linda Watson, Reader in Fashion at Northumbria University said: “We are absolutely honoured to welcome Chris, Alexander and Iain to this very special event at Bowes which I know will be both fascinating and inspirational.

“Northumbria has a longstanding partnership with The Bowes Museum and we’ve worked together on some fantastic projects over the years. We are also extremely proud of our very close and longstanding relationship with Chris Moore, who has been integral to making this event happen.”

As a prelude to Saturday’s sessions at The Bowes Museum, Northumbria’s Fashion graduates will return to Northumbria’s School of Design to inspire current students on its Fashion, Fashion Design and Marketing and Fashion Communications programmes.

Emma Jane Goldsmith, Senior Lecturer in Fashion added: “Northumbria’s fashion graduates have a strong track record of establishing highly successful careers at a wide range of levels in the fashion industry, with many going on to work with highly-respected and well-known fashion designers and brands.

“We are always extremely pleased to welcome our brilliantly successful graduates back to Northumbria, to inspire our current students to go on to become the next generation of successful fashion designers and influencers.”

Booking is essential for some of the sessions on Saturday, 8 December at The Bowes Museum. For more information including timings, admission prices and booking details, please click here.

For more information about Fashion programmes at Northumbria University click here.

Notes to editors:

Northumbria is a research-rich, business-focused, professional university with a global reputation for academic excellence. To find out more about our courses go to www.northumbria.ac.uk

If you have a media enquiry please contact our Media and Communications team at media.communications@northumbria.ac.uk or call 0191 227 4604.


Graeme Fidler – Creative director / Design Consultant, Several

Graduated From Northumbria BA Hons Fashion in 2000

In 2014 Graeme launched menswear brand Several; bringing together a label, design consultancy, and e-commerce destination. Several provides the informed and style-aware man with understated wardrobe staples that reference subculture and have been refreshed and made relevant with modern design details, quality and craftsmanship.

Graeme has an exceptional design pedigree and a strong instinct for what style conscious, modern men want to wear. He has honed his aesthetic notably as a designer at Polo Ralph Lauren, Design Director at Aquascutum, and Creative Director at Bally. His approach combines classic men’s tailoring with directional design and quiet luxury.

He has worked with the fashion industry’s great image makers and art directors, such as Ronnie Cook Newhouse, Chris Simmonds, Steven Miesel, Willy Vanderperre, Tim Walker, Alasdair McLellan, Edward Enninful, and Olivier Rizzo.

In 2000, Graeme won the Royal Society of Arts Student Design Award. He has twice been nominated for the British Fashion Council Menswear Design of the Year and in 2004 won Arena Magazine Menswear Designer of the Year.


Imogen Davies – Fashion Photographic Agent at One Represents LTD

Graduated from Fashion Communications in 2012

Imogen Davies is a talent agent, representing fashion photographers worldwide. Her artists shoot campaigns and editorials for clients such as Topshop, Whistles, Jaeger, GQ Style, Vogue Russia and Harpers Bazaar. Prior to this, she worked as the Shoot Coordinator for the French Connection-owned brand Toast, and at international model agency Viva London. During her time at Northumbria, she worked at London Fashion Week for several seasons in event production.


Jennifer Barrett – Founder and Managing Director, This is Creative Enterprise CIC

Graduated from Fashion Design and Marketing in 2001

As founder of This is Creative Enterprise (TICE), Jennifer’s organisation is intended to fulfil the ambition of creating an entrepreneurial venture, designing projects and programmes whereby young people and schools can explore opportunities in commercial creative, design and digital industries.

Since 2006, Jennifer and her increasing team have focused their efforts on enabling young creatives the chance for self-reflection, to think about the world and their place in it, but also allowing the time and the opportunity to do so.

It is this time spent on research in career identity, the intrinsic motivations for career, and the notion of career as a “path with heart”, which supports TICE in understanding further what has already been identified in terms of exploration and decision making in young people.

With TICE, Jennifer has strived towards creating a flexible and exciting environment of nurturing creative career development.


They’ll also be joined by:


Michael Herz - Co-Creative director / Design Consultant, Several

Graduated from Royal College of Art Master Level & Westminster College of Art BA level

Michael is currently Co-Creative Director / Design Consultant at Several.

Prior to this he worked at Diane Von Furstenberg as Artistic Director, overseeing the brand’s promotion and design, from the creative direction of the ready-to-wear and accessories lines to the aesthetic of stores and advertising campaigns. He worked with Von Furstenberg as fashion curator for her Journey of a Dress exhibition in Los Angeles.

Michael worked alongside Graeme Fidler at Bally as Creative Director and Aquascutum where he managed a team of designers and the design direction across all womenswear collections. Michael’s respect for rich heritage and design archive can be seen clearly through his collections. His approach allows him to reference fabric innovation and iconic brand detailing whilst updating it with a modern revision.

He has also worked with Marc Jacobs at Iceberg and was selected by Alber Elbaz as head of design at Guy Laroche.


Christopher M Hodge – Senior Lecturer Fashion Fashion Communications

Chris will be interviewing the visiting alumni during the Q&A session.

Having worked at Northumbria University School of Design for almost 20 years Chris has seen over 3,000 students move through the school’s three fashion degree programmes.

He has previously worked in design and also in trend forecasting in both London and New York and also continues his own work as a Fashion Maker, Photographer and Stylist. As an active researcher, his focus in on contemporary interpretations of masculinity through clothing and image making and his latest work focusses on the dissemination of the heterosocial narcissistic male gaze. 

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