Joe Richards is the resident designer at Bath Spa University, this is his second year of this job, he was a guest lecturer for seven years previously. He did and art foundation at Bath before moving onto Westminster university for two years, studying design for two years but didn’t finish the course. He interned at Dior in Paris for two and a half years and has assisted an editor of Vogue in Japan. Joe grew up in Kenysham, and showed interest in fashion from a young age; holding his first fashion show at 14 years old in his school. He wrote to his fashion heroes when he was younger.
Fashion is a medium of expression, it allows you to express yourself and like it or not we are all involved in fashion, as it is the clothes we wear, it constantly surrounds us. Throughout his time studying he didn’t have enough money for a proper sketchbook so made it himself, he taught himself a lot as well as collecting things that he felt a connection with; continuously photocopying and absorbing information around him.
Throughout this talk it was very clear the passion and enthusiasm Joe has for his work and the world he works in and how important the energy and emotion of a body of work is. Also, how important it is to be yourself within your work, you may work towards a brief but don’t change the way in which you work, even if it is only subtle like the way a shirt falls. Constantly relate you work back to others and learn from their work, see work as a whole and don’t just focus on one element- see it as a small part of something big.
One of joe’s aspirations is to have his own design house and “I want my team to be an abundant table of generosity” and a collaboration between all medias: fashion, styling, photography and many more- it is critical to the way fashion works.
During his time interning he worked very hard and saw it as a learning opportunity, absorbing everything and everything everyone said. You are presenting work to a standard of the brand, in this instance it was Dior, therefore everything photocopied was done straight and quickly. This will gain you a reputation for being trusted.
Joe’s big break came in his third session creating his own designs (SS16), it was inspired by William Morris. This resulted in a collaboration between himself and Morris and Co. and Celia Chancellor modelling his designs for him. It is important to use people that connect to your world, the team you chose to work and surround yourself with is incredibly important.