On May 5, fourteen students from the Department of Merchandising, Apparel & Textiles put their jet-setter skills to work and headed to London and Scotland for a summer study tour. The students were accompanied by Dr. Ann Vail, Director, School of Human Environmental Sciences and Dr. Scarlett Wesley, Associate Professor, Department of Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles. The group engaged in a dynamic schedule full of sight-seeing and store visits. As one of the fashion capitals of the world, London played as an inspiring pallet for these students to obtain valuable resources in the fashion industry.
Photo by Susannah Treese (MAT Graduate Student)Recent graduate, Meredith Cinnamon, attended the tour and reflected on her trip, “One of my favorite visits was Zandra Rhodes. She is a textile print designer and she has every screen print she has ever designed since the 1960s! I also really enjoyed the visits to the Tartan Textiles Mills in Scotland.”
While abroad, students got to see first-hand the company that manufactures the University of Kentucky Plaid (woolen products). A unique experience unlike any other, this visit allowed students to view how the UK Plaid wool is made from start to finish. Dr. Scarlett Wesley stated, “One of the most memorable moments was of course visiting the House of Edgar textile mill where the UK Plaid wool scarves are being produced. This mill has been in business since 1783. We got to see everything from the design process, to the spinning and weaving of the fabric to the production of the scarves. The House of Edgar is located in Keith, Scotland which is in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. While traveling there, we saw so many beautiful villages, castles, farms and churches. It was an unforgettable experience!!!”
Must-see attractions that were visited during the tour included the Tower of London, Camden Market, Buckingham Palace, Dover Street Market, Hamley’s Store and the Liberty of London. The study tour wouldn’t be complete without store visits from some of the most prestigious designers and fabric makers in the world. Students journeyed to Arantza Vilas (designer for Pinaki Studios), Stella McCartney, and Matthew Williamson and visited the current showroom for Vivienne Westwood. Much was accomplished during the eight day trip.