My name is Ian Kettle, I run the CSM Study
Abroad Semester Programme at Central Saint Martins. I’ve been teaching Fashion Design
at Central Saint Martins for over 20 years. I’m a freelance fashion designer so I have
been working for a variety of UK based and European designers for about 25 years. The
course is designed for degree students. So international degree students who want to
come and study at Central Saint Martins would come for one semester out of their programme.
During that 14 weeks we have two main projects, design projects, we have cultural studies
and a variety of what we call electives and usually we get them to design a collection
at the end of which there is also a make element as well. The practices we do in our class
are very much based on how Central Saint Martins approaches research and design and so we’re
very research heavy, sketchbook development, lots of drawing practice, lots of textile
and colour analysis, lots of experimentation. What I’ve done here has been a lot of learning
through doing and a lot of the teaching has been based on pushing your, kind of, creative
ideas, rather than, you know, encouraging technical perfection. I mean it’s been really
great, like I loved it here, like I don’t want to leave. My first time leaving the country was this
summer and I was like, “wow!”. I mean London’s really great it’s very different than my own
country in the way that my industry is even set up here. I feel like this is where change
is probably happening so, it’s really exciting to kind of be at a place that’s a part of
that. We have a dedicated studio where the students
can come and work, you have a very well rostered group of professional tutors coming in and
working with you, and there’s a lot of one to one tuition, there’s a lot of diagnostic,
which goes on on the course which is very valuable. The tutors are very encouraging and in a sense
they always say like, this is about you, this is about what you want to do, you guys are
the future of fashion. Every year we have what’s called a meet the
makers which is a really amazing opportunity for our students on the final week. So we
have professional photographers coming in to shoot their work. Those images and the
portfolios they’ve made throughout the course are then used the following day for a session
we call meet the makers. Uh, meet the makers, I invite three or four industry professionals
to come in. So they come in, and they go through the students’ sketchbooks, sped the afternoon
with them, we give them professional advice, we talk about their careers and what they
should put into their professional portfolios and where they see their career from that
point onwards. And then we have a party! To finish things off. We encourage you to explore
London, be London, party and play, take from the city everything you can while you’re here…
And I feel that that feeds into the work that we do within the room. I really love the course,
I think it’s quite old school.