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Sue Chowles

As Course Leader of the BA Fashion Degree at Norwich University of the Arts I bring over 20 years of extensive teaching and industry experience. The new BA Fashion programme started in September 2010 and my first year of final students graduated in June 2013. The degree at NUA has been written to have a unique focus and delivery emphasising the ‘pushing of creative boundaries’ craftsmanship and the mastering of technique. The degree combines conceptual and directional Fashion design practices with a strong emphasis on creative pattern cutting methods, professional garment construction and couture levels of craftsmanship.

I have a drive to preserve the integrity of traditional skills and to educate and inform others which led me in 2011 to present a paper at the ‘Fashion Colloquia’ during London Fashion Week entitled ‘Sitting by Nellie’ : Cultural Heritage and Preservation of couture Craftsmanship. The Colloquia was hosted by the University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion and addressed an International audience of Academics, journalists and Industry representatives. It is imperative within my own professional and teaching practice that a symbiotic relationship is harnessed between both creativity and technical curiosity. Exemplary workmanship, refinement and mastery of technique is paramount to my own philosophy and practice. My professional research and practice focuses on developing and exploring innovative design at Couture level whilst aiming to synthesise innovative and directional methodologies of creative pattern cutting. Through my own practice I analyse the application of contradictory materials and their unique interaction utilising traditional methods of fabrication with a modernistic approach to materials and aesthetics.

In 2011 I was awarded TESS funding to film and document a 5 day Couture Masterclass. Audio Visual demonstrations of a Savile Row tailor ’at work’ documents the methodology of specialist traditional handcraft techniques incorporating Couture Bespoke Tailoring, Couture Garment construction and hand finishing. The video demonstrates how the footage will be utilised to educate and inform, as both a Teaching and Learning resource for students, academic and technical staff.

Practice and Research Outputs

  • 2014 onwards: Appointed Member of Graduate Fashion Week Executive Committee
  • July 2011: Successfully awarded TESS funding to film and document a Savile Row tailor Couture Masterclass
  • September 2011: Presented a paper and audio visual film at the ‘Fashion Colloquia 2011’ a symposium during London Fashion Week entitled ‘Sitting by Nellie’: Cultural Heritage and the Preservation of Couture Craftsmanship
  • June 2003: Represented the London Institute including London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins at the International Design Council Awards in Tokyo, Japan. Instrumental in the production and choreography of the fashion show for the Design Council showcasing students work internationally
  • May 2003: Guest Principal Lecturer at the Sri Lankan Institute of Design and Technology. Delivered the BA (Hons) Fashion Design Degree years 1 and 2 for the duration of one month
  • February 2002: Invited as a key judge to represent the London College of Fashion at the 28th Kobe Fashion Contest in Kobe, Japan
  • March-June 2003: Appointment as External Examiner for the BA (Hons) Innovation and Enterprise Fashion Pathway at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design, University College
  • May 2001: Appointment as Subject specialist of the Re-Validation of the BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons) Programmes delivered at Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication
  • March 1997 – April 1999 – Appointment as Subject specialist on Validation Committee of the BA (Hons) Fashion with Textiles Design at Ravensbourne College of Design & Communication
  • February 1997 – Exhibited Chowles-Munday at London Fashion Week, Autumn/Winter 1997/98
  • September 1996: Exhibited Chowles-Munday at London Fashion Week, Spring/Summer 1997
  • February 1996: Exhibited Chowles-Munday at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 1996/97
  • March 1997: Commissioned to produce a couture collection using fine Swiss embroideries, collection was prominently featured in Textil Suisse and exhibited at London Fashion Week
  • August 1995: Formed design partnership Chowles-Munday; Design Director for designer fashion label marketed internationally
  • August 1995: Chowles-Munday designed a collection exclusively for Liberty’s of London
  • September 1995 – January 1996: Formed new company Chowles-Munday Ltd.
  • 1990: Exhibited at the Pompidou Centre, Paris
  • 1990: Exhibited at the Cross-threads exhibition at Edinburgh, Nottingham, Birmingham and London
  • July 1989: Exhibited at the Royal Albert Hall for the L’Oreal Hair Fashion Show Extravaganza
  • September 1989: Exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art in the ‘Art of Photography meets the Art of Partying at the Negative Image’
  • 1988-89: Exhibited in the ‘International Wool Secretariat Wool Collection’, Royal College of Art, London. Distributed at Harvey Nichols, Harrods – London, Victoire – Paris and Henri Bendel – New York

Other Activities

  • 2012: Member of the British Fashion Council Colleges Council
  • 2012: Graduate Fashion Week membership
  • 2011: Member of Heads of Course, British Fashion Council
Sue Chowles

– Sue Chowles

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