CSVPA in 10 Questions with Dr Michelle Jones

Get to know Fashion Pathway Leader Michelle Jones

Wed 14 Jul 2021 < Back to listing


To celebrate 10 years as an approved UAL Awarding Body centre, we put 10 questions to some of our academic staff!

10 Questions with Dr Michelle Jones

Michelle holds a BA in Theatre Design from Nottingham Trent, and an MA and PhD in Design History from The Royal College of Art. She has worked as a freelance textiles designer and was assistant head of the textile department at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Michelle currently splits her time between CSVPA in Cambridge and Central Saint Martins, UAL in London.

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What is your motto or personal mantra?
I’m not sure as it is constantly changing!

What is your creative specialism?
Design History and Theory, with a specialism in the 20th Century. I was also, for many years a freelance textile artist for theatre and film following on from my position as assistant head of the textile department at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden London.

What attracted you to this creative practice?
My interest in all fields of design

Who inspired you in this direction and why?
Sir Roy Strong - who recommended I went to the RCA to study design history.

What is the best advice you were ever given, who did it come from?
The more you learn the more you will realise how little you know (from my MA thesis supervisor).

How do you nurture young talent?
I encourage young talent to read, to contextualise their practice to learn how people think about the world and articulate their ideas.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
My day is usually taken up with delivering lectures, seminars and tutorials that contextualise design practice one half of my week in either CSVPA or Central St. Martins, UAL London. I am currently preparing my index for my book that is published by MIT 2022 titled London Couture and the Making of a Fashion Centre.

Who is your favourite designer and why?
My current favourite menswear designer is John Alexander Skelton, who has a sustainable ethos behind his collections. His craft-based work involves handdying techniques and adopts a historical aesthetic from 19th Century Northern working-class styles.

What’s the best professional compliment you have ever received?
That my lectures completely changed the way a student saw and thought about the world.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?
Expanding minds and talking about and generating ideas.


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