BA (Hons) coursesFashion

Iain Archer

Course Leader

After graduating from the Royal College of Art with an MA Fashion Menswear Iain Archer originally worked in London as a designer specialising in urban street & sportswear.

On the strength of this experience he was invited to work overseas, initially starting in New Zealand, ultimately spending 25+ years working in Australasia, America, Japan, and Europe working with a series of internationally recognised brands.

With a love for narrative within design combined with a passion for cut and silhouette, Iain worked his way from designer to creative director, working closely with both product design, and brand communication to create rich brand DNA and authenticity for labels such as John Richmond, Boxfresh, Black (Australasia), Mooks (International) and Speedo (International).

In 2015 Iain returned to the UK, after spending time within education as a guest lecturer, he joined AUB as a full time Senior Lecturer in Design & Creative Cutting. He continues to work as a freelance consultant.


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Karen Ryan

Senior Lecturer

With over 20 years experience as a commercial fashion designer in the women’s wear sector Karen has been extremely fortunate to work in many disciplines including; fashion illustration, trend forecasting, visual merchandising and women’s wear design for both retailers and manufacturers such as River Island and M&S.

Current practice includes personal styling, which brings entrepreneurial skills and business knowledge to the course. Teaching areas of expertise include design, illustration, trend and cad implementation.

Karen is currently looking at the provision of careers information and industry knowledge, by creating a database of past and current placements and connecting students with industry opportunities such as accredited long term work placements, short term work experience, industry mentors, industry presentations and student sponsored projects.

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Elena Crehan


After graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Textiles for Fashion under Professor Louise Wilson, Elena has worked as a freelance designer at a wide range of luxury fashion companies including Alexander McQueen and Tom Ford. At each of these companies Elena was involved with all aspects of design and make, from initial research to stitching textiles pieces for show garments.

At Alexander McQueen Elena was employed to assist as part of a small select team at five consecutive Paris Fashion Week Shows and was also trusted as part of a team of three to set up and archive the Alexander McQueen collections following Lee McQueen’s death.

Elena was the embroidery / textiles designer from 2014 to 2015 for couture shoes at Georgina Goodman. She worked closely in a very small team, assisting at every stage of the design process and designing and making textiles to create and embellish extraordinary couture shoes, she also contributed to commercial shoe collections and other accessories in this role.

Elena’s skills include textiles design, embroidery design, Print design, artwork and placement design, fabric techniques, draping, pattern cutting, and manufacture. Above all Elena is an especially skilled at designing integrated textiles which inform design, rather than being applied on to a base, and building 3d constructions to inform shape. She has deeply routed love of craft and creating new textures to an impeccable standard.


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Penelope Norman


Penny began her path to a career in fashion here at AUB, studying Art Foundation in 1999. She went on to study a BA Hons in Womenswear Design with Business Studies and Languages.

Penny has always evidently celebrated shape and diversity in her work and her career has seen her designing ranges for Simply Be, 50 Plus as well as diffusion ranges for larger companies including TJ Maxx in the USA and Chigo in Germany. She has had the opportunity within her Career in womenswear to design Plus size Swimwear, Lingerie and soft furnishings as well as sourcing and buying product, textiles and jewellery.

Penny has enjoyed great success in designing prints for the ranges she has worked on, her research and inspiration for this is broad, from hand painted roses for a screen printing silk to re-working vintage prints into digital for jerseys.

Penny was integral to the launch and content of the Ecommerce site at Anna Scholz and worked on capsule collections from design through to production with 6 week lead times, at this time Penny began working more closely with the companies pattern cutters and creating specification sheets and preparing patterns for the product.

Penny joined AUB in 2015 as a Technician Demonstrator combing her design and digital skills to work on the digital fashion elements of the course. Penny is fully trained in Modaris, Diamino, 3D Fit and Marker Manager and has recently used her extensive experience and skills in photoshop to assist in learning the Kaledo Print package which has opened up even further oportunity for design creativity in textiles for fashion.

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Jody Harris


Jody specialises in Manual Pattern Cutting and Digital Pattern Cutting using Lectra software.

She has over 15 years’ experience in Pattern Cutting and the fashion industry including grading, designing, tailoring, garment construction and retail.

Within a specialism in CAD Lectra software and proficient in Modaris, Diamino, Modaris 3Dfit and Kaledo. In 2012 she completed a PGCE accredited through Southampton University.

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E-J Scott


E-J Scott is a dress historian and fashion curator who holds a deep commitment to using fashion and textiles to broaden the reach of the heritage sector.

His study of design and dress history at the University of Brighton were coupled with voluntary practice in the fashion stores at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, where he trained in specialist mounting of fashionable objects for exhibitions ranging from late 19C Regency dress to Biba’s iconic designs from the 60s & 70s.

His role as Assistant Costume Curator for the National Trust involved the care for a similarly diverse collection of nearly 20, 000 objects of dress and accessories c1670 to today.

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Anna Konig


Having completed her first degree at Sussex University, Anna studied design at Central Saint Martins and the London College of Fashion.

Then, after working for a short spell in the fashion industry, she went on to complete her MA in Fashion Theory at LCF.

Now that she has taught in specialist art and design institutions for over a decade, she has extensive subject knowledge relating to the fields of fashion and textiles history and theory.

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Gillian Kelly

Technician Demonstrator

Technician Demonstrator Gill Kelly has had a varied career in fashion over many years working for different companies in pattern cutting and manufacturing. Honing her skills in these areas and has been technician demonstrator at AUB for the past twelve years.

Gill facilitates the students learning in technical pattern cutting and manufacturing skills for men’s, women’s and children’s wear. In recent years she has developed her skills in accessories mainly bags using leather and fabrics.

Gill wrote and teaches on a short course for “Leather Craft.” Students are taught to design and make leather accessories using the relevant hand tools and machines.

She also teachers on “Customised Pattern Cutting & Fitting,” where students create blocks and patterns to fit themselves.

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Alex Greatwich

Technician Demonstrator

Alex is an Image & Communication Technical Demonstrator for BA Fashion. With 7 years of industry knowledge and experience using the Adobe suite (amongst others) with a history of film and video work within various companies in the UK, including being sole company videographer for a large streetwear clothing company, shooting runway and editing fashion films for a worldwide audience.

Alex also spent a year in a notable New Zealand ad agency as well as filming and editing some small freelance short documentaries over in Oceania.

Alex has worked his professional life in the IT, Advertising and Branded Clothing industries.

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Alena Bessant

Technician Demonstrator

Born in Czech Republic, fashion designer and entrepreneur Alena Bessant studied BA (Hons) Fashion Design at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth working on ‘Live projects’ with designers such as Tracey Boyd or Justin Oh during her studies.

Following her successful showing at the London Graduate Fashion Week, Alena went on to work as a designer for leading UK Silk manufacturer, designing for high street labels including Designers at Debenhams (Pearce Fionda, Ben de Lisi, Mathew Williamson, Gharani Strok), Monsoon, Muji, Marks and Spencer, August Silk, Kookai.

In 2005, Alena launched her own fashion label and presented her first solo collection at the Swatch Alternative Fashion Week, London. Since then, she has been regularly showing at the Prague Fashion Week and has been nominated for The Talent of the Season Award at PFW and the Top Style Designer Award at the International Textile Fair in Czech Republic.

Her designs have been featured in a number of fashion magazines in Czech Republic and internationally. Beside her specialist subject fashion design and creative pattern cutting, Alena’s interest is in fashion illustration with graphic pens media.

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