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A Year in the Making

A Year in the Making

What a month it’s been! It feels like last months event and the Adobe Textile Designer demo was so long ago now, but what a fantastic night it was.

In July we celebrated CAD for Fashion Academy’s 1 year anniversary with an event called ‘A Year in the making’. The event was a chance for us all to look back on the last year and see how far we have come. Learners, industry friends and C4F Tutors were all there to raise a glass for everything we have all achieved! From small hurdles, slow and steady progress to complete shake-ups of life, work and personal development.

We are grateful to all of you who were able to join us on the evening to raise a glass! and to those who sent their congratulations.

Owner Erica Horne and resident, fashion print and graphics expert Stephen Rose; raise a glass to celebrate CAD for Fashions first year.

Adobe’s ‘Textile Designer’

At the event, we were treated to an exclusive Demo from our resident fashion print and graphics expert Stephen Rose. He told us all about Adobe Photoshop’s ‘Textile Designer’, formally known as ‘Project Paras’. This new plugin is going to change the way you create your repeats in Photoshop for the better! He showed us how easily it allows you to capture different colour combinations and also how it gives you full technical control over your output when you are ready to print.

Have a go in the studio! 

After the talk, we opened up the studio to let everyone have a go at using the new plugin. We provided a demo file and simple instructions which meant everyone was able to have a play and see how incredible the new features could be when it is finally rolled out in the main program.

Stephen Rose supporting our learners whilst they try out ‘Textile Designer’ for Adobe Photoshop

It’s fair to say there were some pretty excited faces in the room…

“This is how excited I am about the preview I’ve seen tonight of the new Adobe software – Adobe Textile Designer. This is gonna change my life! @cadforfashion 🖤🖤🖤” Alix Webb

Overall the event was a great success and it was our genuine pleasure to share it with you all. It also attracted a fair bit of interest outside our little community; including a little company called… Adobe! Next week myselfand Stephen will be on a video conference to California to speak with Mike Scrutton; Director of Print Technology and Strategy at Adobe. He is in charge of developing the ‘Textile Designer’ plugin and wants to speak to us about what we think! 

Over the last few weeks, we have been collecting feedback from you guys on Instagramand Facebook so we can help to make this feature the best it can be before its rolled out in the next major update. If you have any feedback or suggestions we would love to hear from you and will be passing all of this on to Adobe next week. Get in touch on

Adobe’s ‘Textile Designer’ for Adobe Photoshop
Graduate Fashion Week 2019

Graduate Fashion Week 2019

Graduate Fashion Week – The most exciting yet most nerve-racking week for the final fashion year students. You never know what could happen in a week, but now it was time to see.

Going to Graduate Fashion week in the year of 2019 was a different experience for me than the other times I have visited. Usually, I am invisible behind backstage helping the current final year students, always in a mad rush to get the garments onto the models; but this year that was not the case. I was in full view taking in the whole experience of what Graduate Fashion Week had to offer.

The Start of the Day

The moment I stepped into the entrance of Old Truman Brewery, I could tell in an instant that I was entering a Fashion Event. Cameras were everywhere, taking shots and films of the number of people walking through the door, showcasing how popular the event was. I could feel the buzz of the surrounding people as soon as I walked in. As you enter you spot the variety of different Universities stands that are dotted around the map. What impressed me the most was how you could see the personalities of what each University had to offer. You could see this from the way they had creatively thought of how they wanted to present their work. Garments, Portfolios, Magazines, Look Books, Zines, there was everything on show. A real range of products, all intriguing to see.
I spotted as I walked around, teams from the industry meeting graduates, reviewing portfolios and discussing career options. So, not only was it a great exhibition but also a great way for the designers work to get noticed. An easily accessible way of self-networking.


I kept walking around and soon realised there were another 2 floors of this. I couldn’t wait for more. I headed to the next section and noticed boards full on snapshots of Instagram Posts. As I got closer, I soon realized it was a few bunch of the #TagYourTalent posts from the current graduates. I thought I had recognized them from my own feed. I liked this feature. It represented the typical story of the lives of final fashion year students.

I even loved following the # on my feed, such another great way of designers to get recognized and acknowledged. Even so, I ended up following probably nearly every different student as I just got fascinated seeing people’s ideas come to life and also seeing what the exact topic was that inspired them to create such unique diverse collections and outcomes.

GFW Live!

Throughout the day there were also many live discussions on various topics in the talk space including, Mothercare, expressing how important body confidence is in their message for the brand; Q&A’s with Footwear designer Sam Pearce, and even chats with the ever so famous Gok Wan and Hilary Alexander, expressing everything related to career goals and how to prepare for this.

Sponsor Stands – Great for Graduates

Dotted around the exhibition space where also the stands of the people supporting Graduate Fashion Week, these including, Size?, Tu, George, Clarks and so many more. You could see walking past how helpful these were to current graduates as everyone was holding a portfolio waiting patiently in line. The day was a great way of self-networking, showing your work to potential employers, or even if it is just trying to get some advice on work and how to get where you would like to be. Tu also presented the 2018 scholarship collection which I loved. Seeing this put the whole day into perspective for me as it showed how helpful this day can be for not only the graduates but the brands too. It is a great community for students but also helps spot the fresh and emerging talent for the brands.

Time For The Catwalk Show

But now, it was time for the catwalk. I was there supporting my University and every student that got picked for the show. As we waited, you could hear everyone’s conversations, eager wanting to get in. I managed to get 2nd row back and oh how I did feel like I was at London Fashion Week. More people were walking in and taking their seats, these including the VIP’s who were judging the variety of awards and scholarships, and the cameras were put into place at the end of the catwalk. Everyone was ready for the show to start.

Photos By Simon Armstrong via

We had twenty collections walk down the catwalk and not one was similar in any way, all such diverse concepts explored. Not only did the garments look great but you could see every student considered the whole look, including accessories and shoes. It really did just make me want to get started with the final year, creating my concept and getting into design work to see final products come to life. I felt immensely proud for my University as the show had finished, but couldn’t bear to think how all the students were feeling behind backstage, knowing that soon that the whole year would soon be finished, and how they were all realising that they did it, one of the hardest years they had to face was all coming to a close.

The whole day at Graduate Fashion Week was such an amazing experience for me, seeing everything that each graduate had worked so hard on in the last year. Each outcome looked incredible. But not only was it a great day for me but also everyone there. Graduates spending time with well-known brands, the brands trying to find some new fresh emerging talent, and just a place where everyone came together to celebrate everything creative. Graduate Fashion Week did an amazing job to host all of this again for yet another year, and I hope that next year I will see you there with my collection going down the catwalk, but I guess we will just have to see! Until next time Graduate Fashion Week!


Adobe Creative Cloud – Do I need it?

Adobe Creative Cloud – Do I need it?

When I started my studies in Fashion Design the only Adobe Creative Cloud program I had heard of was Photoshop. Even so, this wasn’t due to my course. I always associated it with the media; Photoshop creating cellulite free legs or bronzed skin and tiny waists. Never had I thought that this application would be so important to the course I had started to study.    

But now, studying at University and working within the industry I have realised how important the use of Computer Aided Design software such as Creative Cloud is to everyday processes. For example, the most popular: Photoshop and Illustrator. Photoshop is ideal when working with imagery and editing, especially in regards to fashion. It is also useful for creating mood boards and enhancing research pages for projects at University. Illustrator, vector-based software, is ideal for creating striking logos for your new business or creating professional looking design and technical flats. 

These days, it’s all about what skills you have within the Creative Cloud programmes. And actually, how valuable it is to create pretty much anything. As it states on the Adobe website, “When imagination and innovation come together, anything’s possible.” 


If any of you are unsure what Creative Cloud is, here’s a quick overview: Creative Cloud is a membership plan that provides you with the best creative tools to help in services such as photography, design, video and even the web. It lets you download the apps straight away and you receive the latest updates and big releases as part of your subscription. It also offers a lite version of these same apps and more on Android and IOS either on a mobile, tablet or computer.


For design, the main software programmes that are used in the industry are Photoshop and Illustrator – these are the only two products that I thought I would need to use anyway. Downloading these onto my laptop would cost £19.97 a month just for a single app – so, nearly £40 for the two. However, you can download the Creative Cloud package for nearly £50 a month – and that’s for 20+ apps. The deal even includes built-in tutorials and provides templates so there’s no need to worry if you are a beginner in some of these aspects. You’ll also be given access to millions of high-quality images, graphics, fonts and videos to help you to create.

As a student, I manage to save 65% and only have to pay £16.24 during the first year of use. After the first year has ended, the price then goes to £25.28 a month. Even with the second year price increase this is still a great deal compared to the professional individual pricing. So, make most of the student perks whilst you can!

To check out Adobe’s current pricing visit the website. Keep an eye out on their page as they often offer good discounts on all packages at certain times in the year, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 

Digital Publishing – Indesign

Through using Creative Cloud I soon learnt of another product that is useful for design: InDesign, used to create digital publishing. 

I only found this out during my sandwich year when I was working with a company that heavily relied on computer-based outcomes. One of my main jobs was creating presentation booklets. At the start of the placement, I constantly used either Photoshop or Illustrator but these came with limitations. In Photoshop, you had to save each page and struggled to work with a double page layout. So, you really only saw the final product when you began to print it out for the first time. Illustrator was useful with the page layout but saving took time, as the file size was not compatible. This was when my manager introduced me to InDesign through the Creative Cloud.  This product works alongside the use of Photoshop and Illustrator; it’s ideal for handling the bulk of pages at one time whilst keeping a coherent automatic page layout system that is also quick and easy to understand.

Something similar that lets you produce quicker results is Adobe Spark. This app is free for use by anyone, or £10 a month for premium usage, but the premium version is included with the Creative Cloud package. It provides you with ready-made templates for products such as web pages and video stories so you can easily create quick, reliable, professional-looking advertisements.  The premium package also allows you to base the social graphics around your business/company. What I also like about this app is that your work will easily sync from each of your devices so, when inspiration hits, you can get your thoughts and ideas down quickly – wherever you are. Overall, this app is great for creating the promotional material you need to communicate with your customers, without the hassle of spending a great deal of time on it – freeing up time to focus on the other aspects of running your business. 

CAD Sketching – Photoshop Sketch

Another tool that works nicely alongside Photoshop and Illustrator is Photoshop Sketch. This lets you draw just as though you’re drawing on a canvas, producing the ideal blend of colour or brush strokes to create the perfect sense of what you want to portray in the drawing. Especially for design students, this is ideal to create your templates on the go via your tablet/phone. This app makes it easy to insert an image that you want to work from and allows for different layers to be present to give the drawing depth. These layers work well to create a good ground to base your drawing on and they work just like Photoshop. You can change the opacity as well as adding a blend mode onto each section. If you want to further enhance your work you can open it up through Photoshop, allowing the layers and the background to isolate from one another. You can also open in Illustrator to scale the image to preferred size before printing. 

Video Content – Premiere Pro/Adobe Premiere Rush

Something that is becoming increasingly popular as time goes on is vlogging. You see this everywhere, especially in the fashion sector. So, if you want to broaden your interaction with your customers and introduce vlogging into your promotional material, use Premiere Pro in Creative Cloud. This is a video editor mainly used for film, TV and the web. Don’t worry if you haven’t used anything like this before because on the Adobe Creative Cloud website there’s a range of tutorials sectioned into Beginner and Experienced, for those using the software for the first time or those who want to polish their skills and increase their knowledge. The tutorials show how to create different effects and how to use the tools provided. Any camera is usable, delivering the same content to any platform used. 

Adobe Premiere Rush Creative Cloud can also work alongside this, allowing you to capture shots from your phone and edit them right there and then. Easy tools such as colour editing, audio and motion graphics help you to enhance it that little bit extra. Once complete, your final product can be uploaded straight up to any social media platform. Quick and easy.

So, as you can tell through my rambling… I feel that Creative Cloud can be so useful in many ways and for different aspects too. In my opinion, this package is great! The different software works together and, as a whole, it can really help you to enhance your end product. All basic skills and knowledge transfer throughout Creative Cloud apps, so it’s very user-friendly and easy to get to grips with each area.

And…I’ve only just scratched the surface!  These are only a few of the programmes offered through the deal. There are so many more, but if I told you about them all you would be reading this post for at least a couple of days! I’ve let you know about the ones I think are really useful in the fashion sector and those that can help with running and promoting your business…but if you want to know more about the other programmes just head along to the website:

This is such a good deal for what is included and don’t forget that it’s even cheaper for students! I bet all you students out there haven’t heard anything better, have you? I know I haven’t.  Please do head along to the website and look into the other apps provided as part of the package, to get a true sense of the deal.

I really do hope that this post was helpful! Feel free to comment with your thoughts… What do you use most? How has Creative Cloud helped you? Are there other programmes that you like that I haven’t mentioned? It would be good to hear your opinions!

Until next time!


Meet the Team – CAD for Fashion Resident Expert… Stephen Rose

Meet the Team – CAD for Fashion Resident Expert… Stephen Rose

We’re lucky enough at CAD for Fashion to have a resident fashion print and textile expert, Stephen Rose, who tutors our digital print and textile design courses.  Stephen is a mine of information and knowledge, with vast industry experience which he is more than happy to share with those taking our digital courses.  

Stephen Rose – Resident Fashion Print and Graphics Expert.

While many believe that CAD software is difficult to use, you will find that if you’re taught the right tricks and techniques and the correct way of doing things from the start, rather than being clumsy, frustrating and time consuming, these programmes are incredibly quick, efficient and effective to use for fashion and textile design.  And Stephen certainly is an expert in his field!  Founder and owner of Now! Design, Stephen has 20 years’ experience of developing and designing placement prints and repeat pattern fabrics for everything from fashion apparel to sportswear and soft furnishings for countless high street stores and well-known brands – with many of his designs becoming bestsellers in stores and online. 

In addition to his incredible talent, Stephen’s a thoroughly nice guy with a calm and patient teaching style.  Whether they’ve come in as complete beginners or designers wanting to refresh or top-up their skills, most of our course attendees come away amazed at how much they’ve learnt and managed to achieve.   You really can get to a higher level, faster if you’re trained by experts!

Stephen teaching our Adobe Photoshop for Fashion Print and Textile Course.

Driven by his passion for print, Stephen has also co-founded Graphic Moda, a creative marketplace for digital fashion print, which brings talented designers and buyers together to supply commercial fashion retailers with exclusive high quality designs at fair trade prices.  

“I’ve dedicated my career to digital fashion print design and I really enjoy taking courses at CAD for Fashion and helping others to learn what’s possible – seeing them realise what the software can do (or, rather, what they can do with the software!), achieving new things, finding shortcuts that will help immensely in their day-to-day work, creating something that looks amazing… it’s incredibly rewarding.  It’s my passion and if I can help to fuel that in someone else, well, there’s nothing better.”

Stephen Rose

Thanks Stephen – it’s great to have you on the CAD for Fashion team!

Find out here about our forthcoming courses or sign up for our newsletter to be amongst the first to hear about new and exciting courses and workshops planned for 2019.