The London Fashion Trip was a complete success. Throughout the trip the students beamed and so did the sun at times. 15 Sixth Form Textiles students together with their teachers Miss Barnes and Mrs Humphreys, caught the train to London on Thursday 24 October.

Report by Anne Morgan, Year 12 Textiles Student below:

We arrived in London in the afternoon and found our Hotel which was conveniently situated near the train station. Once we had settled in to the hotel, we caught a train to Charring Cross where we walked to the Aldwych Theatre to watch the musical ‘Top Hat’ which was based on a film from the 1930’s starring the actor and tap dancer Fred Astaire. It was full of atmosphere and glimmering outfits. After the show we walked back to the train station where we saw the City alive and bright with lights.

On Friday morning we visited London’s College of Fashion where we saw the portrait exhibition of Coco Channel. Seeing some of her tailored outfits displayed and talking to some course advisors from the college was helpful for study purposes. The college buzzed with working students and the exhibition inspired us to start choosing our own fabrics for our A level course. The first fabric store we visited was the store McCulloch and Wallis. Some of the students bought fabrics here for their coursework. Later that day we walked to Saville Row which is home to some of the best bespoke tailors such as Norton and Sons and the best couture designers such as Armani, Alexander McQueen, Burberry and Vivian Westwood. After exploring Covent Garden Market Square during lunch, we arrived at the Royal Opera House. Here we were able to have a backstage tour and were shown the best seats in the theatre and the Royal Box, which had been used by Queen Victoria. Our guide led us to the Crush room which once would’ve been used to serve fruit crush drinks in the intermission of the operas being performed. Next we saw the Dining Hall which is primarily made from glass. It was once part of the Flower Market in Covent Garden as seen in ‘My Fair Lady’. We were then led to the costume department along past the balcony where we saw the ballerinas training for the current Ballet ‘Jewels’.  We met the current designers and saw their designs from previous shows. We were also able to get up close to the Tutu’s being used in ‘Jewels’ which was themed on the groups of colours; Emeralds, Rubies and Diamonds. We were then taken to the upkeep and dying departments where they authenticate or repair a garment for a ballet or visiting opera. The place was so inspiring and elegant we didn’t want to leave. Finishing the day, we walked via Berwick Street, host to yet more fabric retailers, and on to Liberties Department Store in Marlborough Street. The store is something very similar to that of The BBC Costume Drama ‘The Paradise’.

On Saturday morning after a tiring but exhilarating day before, we walked along the Thames, passing the Clink Port and the Globe Theatre, towards the Tate Modern Museum. We stayed briefly in the Tate Modern before walking to The Fashion Design Museum to see a Bellville Sassoon 1950’s & 60’s exhibition of Couture clothing.

The group was constantly inspired by some of London’s iconic sites such as Spitalfield Market and Tower Bridge. Before stopping for dinner we visited the Museum of London, where we witnessed many fashion exhibits across the centuries. The tour ended with three costume exhibits from the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 Olympics. After dinner we passed the Royal Court of Justice on our way back to our hotel.

Our Last day was a packed morning. After an early breakfast start we went straight to the Victoria and Albert Museum which displayed the exhibition of ‘1980’s Club to Catwalk’ and a costume exhibition from 1815 to the 1950’s. For those of us designing costumes, it was important to see the classic styles from across the centuries. We finished our visit to London by visiting the couture department stores Harvey Nicholls and Harrods where we were able to get up close to the products and feel the many textures. We concluded that high standards were needed for our own coursework.

Then it was over and we had to catch the train back home. We arrived back in Axminster tired but full of new ideas and aspirations.

All the textiles students owe a big Thank you to the wonderful Miss Barnes and Mrs Humphreys for such a successful and well organised weekend. Everyone got so much out of the trip including how to use the London underground.

Thank you.

Textiles Students Visit London

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