Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Interview with Central Saint Martins Graduate: Amanda Harrison

When I saw Amanda Harrison's graduates collection at Centrall Saint Martins, I was truly amazed by the intricate patterns that Harrison designed and drew herself. Since graduating, Amanda has moved to Italy to become a print and textiles designer, here is my interview with her!

What was your experience of studying at Central Saint Martins? How did going there help you to become the designer that you are today?
Central Saint Martins is intense, it's hard work, passion and belief and the ability to survive off a few hours sleep a night. Surrounded by talent it is a place to thrive and develop and to find a personal 'signature'. There are four years to the Fashion Design course, part of it is one year for placement year which is a very valuable year as you find your position within the fashion world and it validates where you want to be, you learn from the phenomenal talents and creative directors which is a truly honoured position to find yourself in as a young designer.

Since graduating what have you been up to?
Even before graduating in the final few weeks I received emails regarding working with designers. So I found as soon as I graduated I immediately started to work with well known couture houses as a print designer. However I was given an amazing opportunity to work in Italy with a very famous luxury label and have been living and working in Italy for a while.

Have you always known what you've wanted to be?
From a young age I always loved art and to be involved with art. As my education developed I found an interest in science developing. So even when I started Central Saint Martins to study Fashion I was still completing my Open University Chemistry Degree. These two subjects compliment each other well, as I also have a fascination and understanding of nano textiles and also the construction and elements of fabrics.

Who are the greatest influences/inspirations in your life?
I had a great art teacher at school called Mr Clipsham, he encouraged me to explore all elements of art from painting, to pen and ink to sculpture and textiles. He enabled me to extend my A'Levels by 
studying at night classes which was a few nights a week after a day spent at sixth form studying my 
base A'Levels.

What do you like best about creating your own prints/designs
Every print is different, it can come from different techniques, for example when I won the Liberty of London award the print originated from me etching a design into a copper plate by hand and then printing from this onto fabric. It is a very old traditional method and provides a stunning print.  Then as in my final collection this was all hand drawn with fine black pens, or I can create a print from hand painting. Or then again a computer drawn print which I have created using a tablet pen and creating a print from thousands of tiny dots to create a full image. There are many variants in print which keeps it exciting.

If you wasn't designing what would you be doing?
I would have been in an artistic career somewhere. As I also have extensive knowledge with all computer design software and CAD I probably would have been in Graphic Design. However fashion is definitely my home.

Do you have an ultimate goal for what you want to do/be or will you just see where life takes you?
I am very happy in Italy, the people have made me so welcome and it is such an honour to be living the same area as my hero Leonardo da Vinci amongst the most beautiful and inspirational architecture. However I intend to stay focused and develop my career further, I have worked hard to be where I am and intend to work hard to get to where I want to be.

Be sure to check out my of her work here.
Lots of love,
Tiana x


  1. I remember reading an article about how science and fashion go hand in hand. These designs are magnificent!! Amazing interview!


    1. That is definitely the right word for them! Glad you like the interview so much :)
      Tiana x

  2. love reading interviews like these! her prints are amazing, im going to be at csm next year so this was really helpful but kinda daunting lol x


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