Katie Noakes

Katie Noakes, University of Brighton Faculty of Arts

Textile Design for Fashion with Professional Experience BA(Hons)

What work are you exhibiting in the Graduate Show 2012 - Up and Beyond?

The Egyptian Afterlife – A knitted collection

The ancient Egyptians believed that life after death would be similar to their best days on earth. Because of this, they were entombed with small objects that symbolised different strengths- such as hope, or luck to help prepare for the afterlife.

Based on this, I have designed a fashion-textile collection inspired by Ancient-Egyptian design and the concept of the afterlife. On completion of the project, a ready-to-wear, luxury, yet commercial collection of garments will be produced, incorporating symbolised strengths and treasured possessions.

My background

After studying a National Diploma in Art and Design, followed by an Art Foundation at home in Oxford, I decided to specialise in textile design. I wanted to learn more about the industry, techniques and processes, so decided to further my education by studying at university.

The reputation of the art and design courses at Brighton really appealed to me, as well as the quirky area. After visiting Brighton on an open day, I decided the textile course was the course for me, as it was 4 years, with industry experience and small classes.

I also felt I would have a better student life in Brighton rather than London.

After experimenting in different textile disciplines, I decided to specialise in knitwear design. With generous time allocated for tutorials and teaching, I have always felt guided and prepared in my projects. With the small classes, I have been able to learn vast amounts off other students, as well as technicians and tutors. There is a real sense of welcome and community within the textile department at Brighton.

In my third year, I took use of the university contacts and I interned for Donna Karan in New York, as well as Damaris Ltd. based in London, and Larch Rose based in Brighton. This gave me a realistic insight into the fashion and textile industry and prepared me for my final year, as well as for what I may plan to do after uni.

I have received generous amounts of tutorials. Yarn is constantly available, as well as technician support. University contacts helped me to gain fantastic opportunities on my placement year. I have gained business knowledge with the help of business studies sessions which have prepared me to write my own business plan.

What would you say to anyone considering this course?

The course is fantastic for anyone who enjoys the fashion aspect of textile design. Brighton has a very supportive textiles course, and is great at dedicating time to turorials and extra help and support. With small classes, you are able to get to know everybody on the course, and gain friends as well as skills and experience. The business studies section of the course helps students receive invaluable information about starting up their own business.

What has been your greatest challenge?

My greatest challenge has been channeling everything I have learnt in my first three years into making my final collection of textile samples and garments.

After graduation:

I aim to pursue a career in knitted textiles, by applying for knitwear designer vacancies within fashion companies.

receive our @artsbrighton newsletter