The annual ‘New Designers’ event, markets itself as the ‘UK’s most important exhibition for emerging design’, during which design education, design consumers and the design industry come together to celebrate and recognise and the next generation of graduate designers. This was my first time attending New Designers, and as we will be exhibiting here this time next year, I wanted to visit the current year’s Colchester stand and others, to get an idea of what it was all about.
In the main spaces, each university held different areas, with individual designers displays of work on show. It was exciting to see a huge range of innovative techniques used within the textiles areas. Many of the students I spoke to whose work had caught my eye, had used digital embroidery within their work, such as Huddersfield student; Jessica Thorton’s ‘Scabs’ collection. Viewing these works has really got me thinking about the experimental and alternative processes I could consider using within my work next year. For example, I thought Bournemouth graduate Alexandra Uffindells collection of jewel-like, chocolate-inspired resin pieces would look amazing incorporated into a textiles garment.
On visiting the Colchester Fashion and Textiles stand, it was interesting to see more garment-based textiles. One of the stand-out graduates from Colchester this year in my opinion, was defiantly Amber Pullen. The sheer amount of work and effort she put into her final collection, involving fashion and interiors was really admirable and inspiring, as well as the use of vibrant, screen-printed textiles.
Overall it was defiantly worth visiting New Designers, in terms of gaining inspiration and being well-prepared for the upcoming year. From what I gathered, exhibiting at the event had been really beneficial for many of the graduates, and they were able to gain contacts within the industry and generate interest in their work. One of the most important aspects of being a designer is being able to market your work, so New Designers is a truly important event.