Alison Welsh is Programme Leader and third year tutor for BA (Hons) Fashion. She has been a menswear designer since graduating from Newcastle Polytechnic in 1981. Alison worked as a design consultant at Design Intelligence a fashion forecasting company in Covent Garden for four years. She then went on to set up IN.D.EX a similar company based in Wapping, specialising in Menswear. Alison is a trustee of Graduate Fashion Week, a charity that was launched in 1991 as a forum for the best of BA Graduate fashion design in the UK.
In her previous job as a menswear design consultant with clients such as Levi’s and Nike, Alison produced designs in a commercial context, carefully calculated in response to fashion trends and cultural influences. In contrast, her recent body of research has provided an opportunity for her to work in a more individual manner, utilising personal influences and passions as a starting point, ignoring the pressures of the commercial world. Working in this way has enabled Alison to produce work, which is free from practical restraints, with no commercial outcome.
Alison is exploring emotional connections with places and people, and records the development of this experimentation. Her pieces are deliberately spontaneous, enabling ideas or concepts to be explored quickly. They incorporate textiles and objects with a history of use, which might otherwise be discarded, celebrating the rejected. The embroidered and printed imagery is often symbolic, exploring personal reference points. Some of her work was exhibited at Axis Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, as part of the Crafts Council exhibition ‘Surface Structure Shape’ she has also exhibited at Gallery Ten, Daimaru, Tokyo.
She is currently working on developing garments and textiles in India, tackling issues regarding sustainability and natural organic dying methods. Combining contemporary British fashion with traditional Indian garments, making them not only suitable for a modern international market, but also for the newly emerging young Indian market. Exploring the relationship between fashion, craft, textiles and the commercial context.