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A Level Textiles Course

A level Textile students experiment with a wide range of materials, techniques and styles to produce original and exciting designs.

A level Textiles and Fashion at Ashbourne

Ashbourne art students have the opportunity to experience a variety of art activities including drawing, life drawing, silk screen printing, sculpture, digital art, photography, fabrics and textiles. They can then make an informed decision, based on their interests, aptitude and skill, on which areas to specialise.

For anyone interested in fashion design, interior design, textile art, fashion journalism, styling, retailing, costume design for theatre and film, and fashion illustration then A level Textiles is an excellent choice. Ashbourne’s Textiles A Level is taught with a predominantly fashion emphasis. It merges the cutting edge world of Fine Art, Textiles, Fashion and Promotion to allow students to develop their own creative journey and a mini capsule fashion collection or series of samples for textiles and interiors.

A level Textiles students have outstanding opportunities to showcase their work at Ashbourne’s fashion show, which is part of the hugely popular annual Revue show, and at the Creative Arts Exhibition, as part of their professional development.

Preparing for a career in fashion and textiles

The Art Faculty offers expert guidance and comprehensive support for students applying for art degree courses at university. Students take part in group critiques to analyse and develop their work, join portfolio preparation workshops and receive one-to-one support during the application process.

Many of our students go on to study at prestigious art colleges including the London College of Fashion, Central St Martins, Ravensbourne, University of the Creative Arts, Kingston, Chelsea and the Istituto Marangoni.

Career pathways

A level Textiles students have a wide choice of career pathways including fashion accessories designer, bespoke tailoring, theatre costume designer, pattern cutter, fabric technologist, fashioner editor, stylist, visual merchandiser and forecasting agent. As well as alternative options like university lecturer, art therapist and museum curator.

European trip

Every year Ashbourne students have the chance to visit a major European city, such as Rome, Athens, Madrid, Florence and Barcelona, during the Spring half term. The trip is an extremely popular cultural experience that takes in many of the cities’ fine art, fashion and design galleries. It is a fantastic opportunity for A level Textile students. It is also a real highlight of many students’ time at Ashbourne.

Which syllabus do we follow?

Ashbourne follows the AQA specification for A level Textiles.

What is covered on the course?

Art students have the choice to explore a variety of art activities during their first year and begin to build up a dynamic portfolio, which constitutes 60% of the overall result. At the end of the first year students will complete an internal assessment and exam to ensure they attain a suitable standard to progress to A level for the second year.

During the second year A level Textile students are treated like the designers they aspire to be. They are encouraged to look at textiles and fashions from different periods and cultures and interpret those designs using a repertoire of different techniques and processes. They work on completing a mini collection and are taught how to build on their skills from year one in research, 2D and 3D development, colour, texture, pattern and working on 3D creative outcomes.

Students learn to source fabric and visit all the major exhibitions and galleries in London for research. These projects are Fashion, Textiles, Interiors or Promotion based. These individual projects form the basis of their portfolio entries for University or Foundation Year.

Who teaches this course?

Arianwen Shoring

MA Graphic Design, Fashion and Branding (Nottingham Trent Universtiy); BA Hons Fashion (University of Wales); PGCE Art and textiles (University of Worcester)

Arianwen has been teaching in fashion, design and branding for many years and has extensive experience preparing students for university and entering the art world.

Reading and resources

Books
The Complete History of Costume and Fashion, Bronwyn Cosgrave
Illustrated guide to the history of clothing and fashion from Ancient Egypt to the present day.
“Vogue” Sewing
Classic 1975 Vogue Sewing fully revised and updated with photos and illustrations covering everything stitchers need to know to make professional and fashionable garments.
Fashion & Textiles: The Essential Careers Guide, Carol Brown
Practical advice on breaking into the fashion industry.
Gallery bookshops
You will find a wide range of art books at all the major galleries including the V&A, Fashion and Textile Museum, The National, The Portrait, Tate Britain and Modern and the Royal Academy.

Vogue
Fashion magazine that sets the trend for the industry. First published in Britain in 1916 and now sold worldwide.
News, views and reviews on all things Fashion in the Guardian and Telegraph.

London Fashion Week
Fashion ‘gurus’ showcase their latest fabrics and designs to the world during London Fashion Week which is held twice a year in February and September. It runs alongside fashion weeks in New York, Milan and Paris.
Fashion and Textile Museum
The museum highlights the changing face of contemporary fashion and includes designs by Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Biba, Mary Quant and Vivienne Westwood. It also runs hands-on workshops, lectures and events.
The V&A
Holds one of the world’s largest collections of textiles and fashions spanning more than 5000 years and covering Europe, South, South East, East and Central Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. It also runs talks, workshops and events. Located not far from the college in South Kensington.
What’s on and where
TimeOut’s guide to current and upcoming fashion events in the capital.

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