Oh, la la Paris!

Paris was one of the best trips I’ve ever experienced, and is a must-go-to city. It was four days jam-packed with amazing experiences from the Premiere Vision event, to the Eiffel Tower, to wine and snails!

Chloe Watling
BA (Hons) Textile Design student

First-year BA (Hons) Textile Design student Chloe Watling talks about her trip with BCU to Paris.

One of the best aspects of the trip was being able to experience Paris with friends. We found the best way to explore the city was by hiring bikes and being our own tour guides! It’s a cheap and exciting way to find your way around.

We visited a really inspirational exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts, which gave us so many ideas for our projects – from the vast range of garments through the years (some of which have been worn by Audrey Hepburn), to inventive creations by Jean Paul Gaultier! Our current project is to design for fashion fabrics, so this really helped us to understand the broad range of materials used to make fashion statements and to make garments more unique.

Paris offers amazing shops for the perfect French shopping trip, from gorgeous designer boutiques to vintage finds and of course the tempting cosmetics in Sephora!

It’s quite expensive for food, but Parisian Macaroons have to be eaten! One gem we found was the Bouillon-Chartier. This was one of the most amazing restaurants we visited, with incredible (and affordable!) food, a great atmosphere and brilliant service.

Another exhibition we attended at the Museum of Decorative Arts was the Bauhaus exhibition. It was interesting to learn about different design concepts and styles of art and design, especially to see the different styles of weave and their relationship to the drawings being produced at Bauhaus.

Our current project is based on colour, so the collection of work and colour palettes used there, gave us so much inspiration in terms of colour pathways to think about in our own work.

First-year BA (Hons) Textile Design student Chloe Watling talks about her trip with BCU to Paris.

Paris really is a great city to gather ideas for projects – from fantastic exhibitions, shop displays and just experiencing the city for yourself.

Whilst exploring Paris one of the exhibitions we went to was the Anatomy of a Collection exhibition at Palais Galliera. This collection featured garments and accessories illustrating fashion from the 18th century to the present day. There were a wide variety of different styles, trends and pieces that were creatively intriguing and fascinating to see. It was amazing to see the development of fashion design throughout history.

First-year BA (Hons) Textile Design student Chloe Watling talks about her trip with BCU to Paris.

Across the road from Palais Galliera was Palais De Tokyo and the Museum of Modern Art. Both places offer interesting exhibitions and rooms full of large paintings and installations. Whilst in Paris it was good to see a diverse range of different pieces of design to help us think about how we can we make our work as interesting as possible to captivate people and to have our own work shown in exhibitions.

First-year BA (Hons) Textile Design student Chloe Watling talks about her trip with BCU to Paris.

Our last day was spent at Premiere Vision which really opened our eyes to what a trade show is truly like and how huge it is. It was good insight into all the different aspects of the industry, from trend forecasting, to accessory design.

The experience there gave us so many ideas of companies, concepts, and materials to think about for now, and for projects later on. It was useful to see how a trade show works with designers and businesses looking for a certain product or style of print. Learning how businesses present work for clients and how they attract the attention of clients was also really insightful. It was useful to relate this to creating, and presenting our work to a high, professional standard.

Whilst at Premier Vision we visited the Ensell and Hall design stand ran by Textiles tutor Jean Ensell. This was a fascinating experience as she gave us her insight to the industry and how she has become successful.

A great piece of advice she gave us was to be confident, fun, and creative with your work, which I think is something everyone can apply to their work in fashion and textile design!