Textile Design Personal Statement

Having learned to use a sewing machine at a young age, I have had a genuine and practical interest in textiles for as long as I can remember. I was always fascinated by the contents of my grandmother’s knitting bag, with its assortment of crochet needles, magnifying glasses and pins, and still retain a fondness for the craft of knitting. I would love to learn about its production on an industrial scale, particularly the many different weaves. Other subjects that deeply absorb me include industrial embroidery and mixed media textiles (experimenting with innovative methods such as burning and gluing gives me great satisfaction). My application for deferred entry, in order to complete an art foundation year, testifies to my enthusiasm for my subject and a willingness to nurture and develop my natural creative talents. My passion for textile design has flourished in the last few years and recently I have focused my attention on clothing, studying aspects such as fabric drape in detail. I designed and made my first outfit from scratch for my Design Tech GCSE; since then I have adapted and customised almost my entire wardrobe, feeling proud to wear my own creations and standing out more as an individual. Cutting patterns is yet another skill that I am looking to develop: a degree in textiles is the perfect route for someone so sincerely engaged by so many different topics within the field.

As a conscientious and committed worker, I have dedicated considerable time to gaining invaluable workplace experience. I volunteered at a graphic design company, benefiting from working firsthand in a business environment and even having the opportunity to use specialised IT to create logos (appreciating the relationship between design and concept). I later enjoyed a placement concentrating on fashion buying and the retail industry, travelling to France to work face-to-face with customers in an exclusive boutique. I spent time in Bologna, Italy, with the store’s owner learning how she would source and buy the latest collections. I came away from the experience with a real appreciation of what is involved in the financial and management side of fashion retailing. Indeed, I have been so inspired that a friend and I have since organised and opened a charity shop within our school boarding house.  The stock (food, cosmetics and stationery) has proved immensely popular and we began turning a profit after only two months. From running this project I have seen my leadership and management abilities improve dramatically, along with my interpersonal skills. I have also had to control basic budgets and take on a sense of responsibility within the school as a whole.

My extra-curricular activities often focus on my love for art and textiles; I have subscribed to both Vogue and Tatler for several years and use these as a starting point for my own imaginative designs. Other forms of inspiration/recreation include visiting galleries and museums; I recently attended the quilt exhibition at the V and A, which was immensely interesting as I could almost ‘read’ the stories in the details of those unique pieces. It also brought back memories of my childhood visit to the Armani exhibition at the Royal Academy, an event that has always stayed in my mind. My positive attitude towards meeting and working with new people means that I am often involved in a variety of activities, such as organising the annual fashion show at school and helping to decorate Soho House in preparation for the festival. I have progressed to the highest levels in my LAMDA drama certificates and have achieved a bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, testifying to my individual motivation plus my ability to cooperate and make decisions as part of a team. I believe that, should you accept me onto your course, I can demonstrate all the necessary creative passion and practical experience that you are seeking and will work consistently to reach my full potential, a horizon that seems to be ever-expanding.

Carl Johnson