International designer and Royal Couturier David Emanuel flew into the heart of Cardiff to open a brand new fashion course within Cardiff School of Art and Design at Cardiff Metropolitian University.
Alumni David has had an international career spanning the last 30 years, making his name designing the most famous dress in the world - Princess Diana’s iconic wedding gown. He has earned a prestigious reputation within the industry designing for many of the world’s other most high profile stars.
The new fashion design studios at CSAD – where fashion giants like David and Julien Macdonald also studied - will be the base for the very first cohort of students who have been lucky enough to gain a place to study on the BA Hons course, which has been inundated with over 100 applications.
Fashion at ‘The Met’ will provide a fresh approach to design thinking, with the course constantly pushing the boundaries in this ever-evolving and challenging world of fashion. Students will gain cutting edge skills at the forefront of the creative industries to ensure success in a fashion-saturated world.
Programme Director and Principal Lecturer Irene Dee will be heading up the new course, offering a wealth of experience in both the design industry and fashion education.
She is a long-standing member of the British Fashion Council and joined the University last year after several years as Programme Leader of Fashion at Newport School of Art & Design and the recently-merged University of South Wales. Course founder Irene is thrilled to finally be opening the studios to the new students who are very excited and eager to learn and progress in their careers.
She said: “Fashion expresses our values, culture and society. More importantly, it influences and shapes them. The course is a very welcome final addition to the offering of Cardiff School of Art and Design, which has rich heritage and an established reputation within the creative industries.
“When you become a fashion designer, you become an influencer. Our students will explore their individual talents through the professional design process, which creates freedom with constraints and reflectivity with spontaneity. The course embeds innovation and risk-taking in the design process from concept to final product, with consideration for commercial viability but innovation and creativity at its core.
“Students I have taught have won numerous prestigious national and international awards and are now in influential roles within the industry at houses including Burberry, Erdem, Superdry, All Saints, Topshop, River Island, Harrods own label, Joules and Debenhams to name just a few. I have had the great pleasure to mentor graduates in starting their own successful designer brands after graduating both in the UK and internationally and am immensely proud to be part of their success within the industry.
Professor Olwen Moseley, Dean of Cardiff School of Art & Design said “We are honoured that David is giving us his time to inspire a new generation and be part of the new course from the beginning, especially with his connection to Cardiff Met and his Welsh roots. The course, which is an addition to the acclaimed portfolio of creative courses in the School, is set to be fast-paced and the students will hit the ground running, becoming designers from day one.”
David, who was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by the University in 2010, also opened and viewed the students’ first showcase of their creative designs from a recent three-day design challenge, which is showing at the first fashion exhibition at CSAD in celebration of many fashion showcases to come. He said: “Having started my career here, and been given the Fellowship, this is a wonderful new chapter in the story, and I am truly honoured.”